The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2012
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 100/101 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue, Max Thieriot, Gil Bellows
Directed by: Mark Tonderai
Music by: Theo Green
Written by: David Loucka
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 8, 2013
Academy Award® Nominees Jennifer Lawrence* (The Hunger Games) and Elisabeth Shue** star in this edge-of-your-seat horror hit packed with heart-pounding thrills and gripping suspense. Newly divorced Sarah (Shue) and her teenage daughter Elissa (Lawrence) have just moved to the suburbs for a fresh start. But their hopes quickly shatter as they learn that, years earlier, a grisly murder took place next door when a deranged girl killed her parents and disappeared. The girl’s older brother Ryan (Max Thieriot) still occupies the house, and when he befriends Elissa, his secretive past could become her worst nightmare!
I am always up for a horror film and the trailer for House at the end of the street inspired enough interest that I looked forward to checking it out. Despite the silly/conventional title the glimpses provided in the trailer would lead one to believe that this is pretty much straight forward horror fare that revolves around the mysterious family next door and a dark and evil secret they keep hidden in their basement. In reality it is closer to a psychological thriller that opens with a grisly murder (which is fine) and then spends the next hour or so developing a lifeless story that revolves around a toothless plot twist that fails do to a complete lack of suspense and proper character building. The lack of credible elements of horror further hinders involvement as the storyline plays out dropping little hints at what might be going on here and there.
Quite honestly this film felt more like an edgy teen drama/romance, (new girl in town befriends bad boy loaner with a secret past) than a scare flick. As it builds to its conclusion the truth is unveiled and while it has a bit of a twist you simply don’t care since there is little to no connection to the main characters. Add zero suspense and ineffectual elements of fright and you have a boring genre entry that leaves you feeling cheated. On the positive side I like Jennifer Lawrence who makes the best of what she had to work with and seeing Elisabeth Shue onscreen is always a pleasure. Other than that House at the end of the street is a complete swing and a miss. Both the theatrical and unrated cut is included. I watched the latter which is roughly 1 minute longer and adds an additional segment.
The rating is for intense sequences of violence and terror, thematic elements, language, some teen partying and brief drug material.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
House at the end of the street comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.1 Mbps.
This isn’t a bright or overly colorful film. The chromatic palette consists mainly of cooler tones and muted secondary hues with the occasional interjection of primary colors that don’t offer much in the way of visual stimulation. This coupled with the light veil of grain gives it a rougher visual style that works quite well with the film’s thematic tone. Resolution is excellent but the nature of the photography isn’t always lent to the high gloss definition that provides an infinite sense of depth. There are many instances where detail is clearly resolvable with discerning visual perspective and rich clarity. On the other hand there are times where delineation and sharpness is less tangibly defining. Close ups tend to be outstanding and offer plenty of appreciable refinement in the physical features and weave of the fabric in the clothing worn by the cast. The perception of detail in backgrounds and scenes containing mixed light/dark elements can be scene dependent but this rarely has a deleterious effect. Contrast is stable over the course of the presentation and blacks, while not inky, have sufficient depth so that they don’t appear flat or washed out. I didn’t note any overt signs of video related anomalies and thought that this presentation as a whole was excellent.
The lossless audio presentation has no trouble conveying the predominantly front loaded elements present in the soundtrack recording. Dialogue reproduction is good with clear intonation and fair room penetration. The mix does a nice job of handling the various directional cues and off camera atmosphere creating sounds mixed to various points in the sound field. Dynamic range and low frequency effects rarely get an opportunity to shine which I found disappointing. Like the film, this audio experience does little to distinguish itself.
- (HD) Journey into terror: Inside the house at the end of the street – 10 minute featurette
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
- Bonus DVD
- Digital Copy
House at the end of the street is an ineffectual genre entry that suffers from a poorly conceived and executed screenplay that leaves its talented young star with little to work with. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment in a bare bones offering that features satisfying high definition video, unremarkable lossless sound and a paint by the numbers making of featurette. If you’re curious you can give it a rent but my advice would be to wait until it comes to cable TV.
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