CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS AND TO BE HONEST I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY'RE FOBBING THIS OLD TOOT ON US
Back in 2008, Mark Tonderai directed Hush, a neat little Britsploitation thriller which didn't really show us anything startlingly new but was nevertheless well put together: exciting, engrossing and good nasty-edged fun with a nice rain-and-sodium-streetlights visual style to it. Sadly, despite a couple of familiar names in the cast and one of the top young stars of the moment, his second feature really is a second feature: back in ye olden days of the 1970s it would have relegated to the bottom half of a double-bill with a proper studio A-picture. These days, however, this kind of disposable support feature usually just gets shunted off onto the DVD shelves with little fanfare.
House At The End Of The Street is in pretty much every way a generic, anonymous potboiler of a movie: as with Hush there's nothing massively innovative or different about it but in this instance it comes across as implausible at best and downright silly at worst, and it's capped with a dubious plot twist that only really makes sense as a last-minute bonus surprise. Four years ago a young girl brutally murdered her parents (in an irritatingly stylised flashback) and promptly disappeared: her brother Max Thieriot's continued presence in the house has driven down property values in the area, which has allowed Elisabeth Shue and her teenage daughter Jennifer Lawrence to rent a house half the size of Blenheim Palace on a shift-nurse's wage. But Thieriot has a shocking secret in his basement....
Actually he has at least two secrets but neither of them are that shocking: at its best it's kind of okay but the final reels degenerate into the kind of bog-standard homicidal maniac theatrics we've seen in final reels for decades now, with the heroine running around a massive mansion evading the psycho and at least two people are lying dead. Which would be okay if it were actually exciting or scary, but other than the occasional Boo! technique of something unexpectedly lurching into frame with a big crash on the soundtrack it's neither. The film's official twitter hashtag is #HATES, which is perhaps pushing it a little but still appropriate. It shares a writing credit with the tiresome Dream House, where the sub-Shyamalan Big Twist also turned the whole thing into nonsense; here it's not as blatantly and laboriously signposted in flashing pink neon, but you'll still have figured out at least one gaping plothole by the time you reach the car park. Dispiritingly ordinary.