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House at the End of the Street – Blu-ray Review

January 3, 2013 – 10:59 AM - Posted by: Justin Sluss

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Blu-ray Disc Review

1.5 out of 5 starsThe Movie Itself has an average rating of 5.4 on IMDb
4 out of 5 starsVideo Quality 1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
4.5 out of 5 starsAudio Quality
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
1 out of 5 starsBonus Materials are too short with DVD & Digital Copy
Rated:PG-13 and UNRATED
Year: – 2012
Length: – 101 minutes & 102 minutes (UNRATED)
Studio:FOX
Region:Region 1 (A)
This uses 30.7GB total.
Street Date: January 8th, 2012


Overall VerdictWorth A Rental At Best

Buy it for $19.99 @ Amazon.com
Buy it on Blu-ray for $19.99 @ Amazon.com


— Review written by: Justin Sluss

Trailer:


The Movie Itself is based on an original story by Jonathan Mostow. Writer (here) Mostow is best known for his efforts as a director on such films as “U-571” (2000), “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” (2003) and “Surrogates” (2009). The screenplay was adapted from his original story by David Loucka whose previous writing credits include “Dream House” (2011). Finally, the film is directed by Mark Tonderai whose previous credits include the straight-to-video film “Hush” (2009) and the indie film “Dog Eat Dog” (2001).

The story focuses on a newly divorced mother “Sarah” (played by Elisabeth Shue) and her teenage daughter “Elissa” (played by Jennifer Lawrence) that move in to a new house in the suburbs trying to make a new start. The house they move in is next to a house at the end of the street where a double homicide took place years ago. The house is said to still be occupied by a surviving son of the murdered couple who was living elsewhere at the time. It was said that the mentally disturbed sister was the one who committed the murders. We assume that she was sent off to a mental institution or correctional facility. It’s obviously strange that the son wasn’t living there at the time or the tragic event and he’s played to be the sole survivor we also assume.

The son “Ryan” (played by Max Thieriot) eventually meets up with Elissa and she takes a liking to him. This really upsets her mother who warns her not to go around him. The whole community dislikes Ryan and doesn’t understand why he remains living in the home where gruesome murders took place. The other reason the neighbors dislike Ryan is that his home and it’s twisted past are the reason their home values are so low. Elissa’s mother Sarah works at a Hospital in the Emergency Room where she one day meets a police officer in town named “Weaver” (played by Gil Bellows). Sarah asks the police officer about the boy Ryan living near her as he’s become friendly with her daughter. The officer tells her that the community gives him a hard time and sympathizes with him. Sarah still doesn’t take that as enough to think she should keep her daughter seeing him. It’s quite obvious that the mother is only watching out for her daughter here because she’s getting bad vibes from Ryan and the history of his parents’ murders by his mentally disturbed sister. That’s the whole essential plot here, that this kid could be mentally disturbed as well and be dangerous or such.

House at the End of the Street on Blu-ray screenshot

House at the End of the Street” proves to just be way too predictable and it doesn’t ever seem to connect to you, the viewer. It’s never even all too disturbing or intriguing — aside from Jennifer Lawrence’s performance, which is a bit of both. It feels weak aside from the cinematography. Let’s face it the acting and characters just seem to all be misses. I personally just never was feeling it, sorry. I really disliked it. The typical viewer probably won’t be as crucial on it but then again I don’t think they’ll really end up enjoying the film either.

During its theatrical run this film seems to have absolutely been despised by the critics, especially when you take into consideration its staggering 11% (out of 100%) on the “tomato meter” over at Rotten Tomatoes. Plus the somewhat mixed bag of a 48% (out of 100%) audience rating over there isn’t much to make you feel better about that if considering purchasing or renting the film. Over on IMDb the film holds a slightly higher 5.4 (out of 10) rating but is based on less than 9,000 votes (versus the 47,000 roughly over on RT). In terms of the box office return, this film reportedly had a 10 million dollar budget and ended up making 31.6 million in ticket sales domestically as well as another 4.7 million in foreign ticket sales. That all is according to Box Office Mojo. Those numbers taken into consideration it’s obvious that makes for a pretty nice return for the production company (Relativity Media) as well as now studio (20th Century Fox); for picking up the film for home video distribution. Still, I don’t think this film is going to be too big of a hit with audiences, based on the ratings so far from the theatrical run. It’ll likely get a decent amount of rentals because of Jennifer Lawrence‘s star power coming off of “The Hunger Games” film(s) but probably not as many sales on Blu-ray.

One interesting note here though to close with. It’s said via trivia on IMDb that the film was originally going to have been directed by Jonathan Mostow and the screenplay adaptation of his story was going to have been done by Richard Kelly (of “Donnie Darko” fame”). Perhaps this would have been a better film if that were the case.

House at the End of the Street on Blu-ray screenshot

Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. According to the technical specifications listing on IMDb this was shot on 35MM film using the Panavision Panaflex camera with the Techniscope cinematographic process. In fact, on IMDb trivia it’s said that:

“The film was shot in the 2-perf Techniscope format to provide a grainy image reminiscent of older horror films and to save money on film stock and processing. Despite this, “Filmed in Panavision” is listed in the end credits.”

The black level is solid for the most part here, the color palette is somewhat vibrant, although obviously subdued and the fleshtones are accurate. There’s a good amount of detail here in shots. It looks appropriately as grainy (“gritty”) as intended but also manages to deliver a solid visual presentation. This earns a solid “4 Star Rating” for overall video quality. For a lower budget film, of the modern horror and thriller genres, it looks good. Plus, it does have some nice cinematography. If only the movie were just as good as this is visually.

House at the End of the Street on Blu-ray screenshot

Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. Shortly after the opening credits it’ll go entirely to dark visually and you’ll hear nothing but this weird creepy blend of sound effects and music building up slowly in intensity for a quite suspenseful start across the 5.1 soundscape. Things during the intro flashback sequence sound very ethereal and come across as disturbing as intended, with nice intensity as well. Both the original music (Score) and sound effects get a nice amount of rear channel use and LFE (bass) presence here and throughout the film. Dialogue is delivered distinctly through the center channel and doesn’t even come close to getting overpowered by any of music or sound effects. This delivers that suspenseful type of audio presentation that you’d expect from a modern horror film, on a solid basis. It does an impressive job in terms of sound and earns a “4.5 Star Rating” for audio quality. This definitely has some cool moments in terms of 5.1 lossless mix. It sounds good even if the film sucks.

House at the End of the Street on Blu-ray screenshot

Bonus Materials on this release are presented in Hi-Def (HD) video with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo @192kbps sound.

  • Both the PG-13 rated Theatrical version (1:40:45) and the UNRATED Cut (1:41:46) on the same Blu-ray Disc.
  • Journey Into Terror: Inside House at the End of the Street” (9:59 – HD) features on set footage, behind the scenes glimpses as well as interviews with the following people: Jennifer Lawrence (“Elissa“), Mark Tonderai (Director), Aaron Ryder (Producer), Elisabeth Shue (“Sarah“), Gil Bellows (“Weaver“) , Max Theriot (“Ryan“) and Eva Link (“Carrie Anne“).
  • Theatrical Trailer (2:28 – HD) shows that #HATES was used in the hashtag promotion as well as in the logo for the film with the five letters spreading out to spell the title.

Other bonus material:

  • A DVD of the theatrical version of the film in standard definition is included. This comes with Dolby Digital 5.1 @448kbps sound. This disc does not include bonus materials.
  • A Digital Copy of the theatrical version of the film is included on the DVD mentioned above. This is compatible with both Mac and PC as well as iTunes portable media devices (such as iPad and iPhone). You’ll have to use the redeem code included on a paper insert in the packaging once you’ve inserted this DVD-ROM into your computer. There you can acquire access via a pop-up in iTunes for your digital copy. It’s as simple as that.

Overall the bonus materials are way too brief of a bit of supplemental material yet the physical and digital additions of a DVD and Digital Copy (via a “combo pack“) are nice to see included. If you liked the film you’ll get SOME bonus material but not very much. Also factor in that you get both the Theatrical (PG-13 rated) version and UNRATED Cut of the film on the same disc.


Blu-ray Disc packaging:


Screenshots:

NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Please be patient with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.

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