Movie Review – House at the End of the Street

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House at the End of the Street [HATES] is simply a bad movie trying to cash in on two ideas: the star-power of The Hunger Games – another  overrated shitstorm – and what I’ve now come to term as Cabin in the Woods Syndrome. Let’s examine these problems in order.

The Hunger Games rose to national fame because of its “dark” subject matter – kids killing kids. This is not, however, a new notion; this theme been explored since the early 1950s in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, and has been getting far superior films – 2000’s Battle Royal, for instance – banned worldwide. If you were to use this logic against the average Hunger Games fan, however, there would be no end to the amount of times you would be called a troll. But that’s neither here nor there. What the Hunger Games film adaptation gave us was the big-break role for Jennifer Lawrence, who is only one step above IBM’s Watson computer for displaying human emotion. Cut to a few months later, and the Lawrence automaton is co-starring alongside Elisabeth Shue in this film. Which leads right nicely into problem number two.

Cabin in the Woods Syndrome came about and derives its name from Joss Whedon’s 2011 film. Passing as a cheap horror movie in the trailer, it turned out to be a tongue-in-cheek, respectful hate letter to slasher films of the 1980s. It also gave a whole slew of filmmakers license to film awful movies, give them stupid names, and say, “Yes, we know that this looks like the biggest piece of stinking shit since Godzilla’s IBS started acting up before he invaded Iwakuni, but hey, Cabin in the Woods turned out to be pretty good, right? Give us a shot!”. Smash cuts, jump-scares, and brittle-sounding stringed instruments do not constitute horror films, you unimaginative morons! What constitutes horror is instilling in the audience a sense of terminal dread that lasts long after they leave the theatre. Honestly, I can’t remember half of what the film is about.

What I do remember though: Elisabeth Shue and Jennifer Lawrence move in to their dream home, and they meet their neighbour who lives in a house where a little girl killed her parents. Amityville-style demonic happenings, scream, blood, happily ever after, yawn. I thought stories were supposed to age like wine: the longer they were told, the better they got. But if you buttheads can bungle up a haunted house story – the most classic of horror storytelling conventions – this badly, then I honestly don’t know where that leaves us.

In short, HATES is a bad movie. Quite possibly the worst movie of 2012. Don’t see it. Don’t rent it. Don’t YouTube, torrent, or even think about it. Just leave it alone. If we don’t pay it any attention, then I’m sure it’ll go away quietly and without causing any more trouble than it already has.

Kyle Leitch
A&C Writer

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