House at the End of the Street parents guide

House at the End of the Street Parent Guide

Good chance you can pass by this house and not miss much.

Overall C-

Some people obviously don't watch horror movies -- otherwise Elissa and her mother (Jennifer Lawrence and Elisabeth Shue) would never have moved into the house next door to a murder scene, nor would the young woman have befriended the brother (Max Thieriot) of the killer.

Release date September 21, 2012

Violence C-
Sexual Content B-
Profanity C+
Substance Use D+

Why is House at the End of the Street rated PG-13? The MPAA rated House at the End of the Street PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and terror, thematic elements, language, some teen partying and brief drug material.

Run Time: 101 minutes

Parent Movie Review

After she became a household name in The Hunger Games, Jennifer Lawrence is a hot property for teen targeted titles, and this one fits that bill perfectly. Having just moved from the big city to a house in a wooded, small town neighborhood, Lawrence’s character Elissa and her mom Sarah (Elisabeth Shue) realize they were only able to rent their upscale, sprawling home due to an incident that happened next door.

Four years prior to their arrival we see the gruesome event of young Carrie Anne murdering her parents, leaving only her brother to survive the tragedy. There is also the rumor that Carrie Anne’s body was never found and that she’s still roaming the forest. Now Ryan (Max Thieriot) lives in the home by himself and the neighbors are anything but compassionate. They feel the house has eroded property prices and want it destroyed. Elissa however, is developing feelings for the estranged orphan occupant, especially when he offers the only hope for a safe ride home after she’s been hit on by a sexually aggressive senior boy from her school.

With her protective mother worried about her daughter’s rescue project, Elissa begins covering her tracks with lies about where she is going and call forwarding the home phone to her cell when her mom checks in on her from work. Of course this, and a myriad of other stupid decisions, will cause problems once the terror begins.

Targeting adolescent audiences with its relatively young cast, HATES  (the acronym given to this movie’s lengthy title) offers overly dramatic dialogue. Light on gore but heavy on jump scenes, the movie will be effective at convincing youth that the strange person on their street is a deranged killer. While blood is minimal we do see two people killed. A fight between young men is also depicted with one receiving a bone-breaking injury. Teens are involved in a couple of sensual scenes, as well as partying, gambling and consuming alcohol. One character gets drunk to the point of vomiting and at least one other is seen driving a car after imbibing. Recreational drug use by adults is depicted as well, albeit in a negative context.

Between the all-too-typical script and content issues, there are few reasons to put your money down on this film. From an artistic point of view the plot includes a couple of good twists and there are some capable actors on the screen—Lawrence being one of them. It’s just unfortunate the performers don’t have any substance to work with, and there is no sense of subtlety to build convincing horror. Good chance you can pass by this house and not miss much.

Directed by Mark Tonderai. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue, Max Thieriot, Gil Bellows. Running time: 101 minutes. Theatrical release September 21, 2012. Updated

House at the End of the Street
Rating & Content Info

Why is House at the End of the Street rated PG-13? House at the End of the Street is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of violence and terror, thematic elements, language, some teen partying and brief drug material.

Violence: A child with a knife is shown struggling with a mother and father, eventually murdering both of them. A child falls from a playground swing. A struggling girl is physically held captive and her neck is broken. A character is shot and killed. After discovering his car is being destroyed by a mob, a young man engages in a fight that results in a character suffering a broken bone. A character is stabbed. A group of young people throws an incendiary device into a home, starting it on fire. A girl deliberately burns her arm as part of an escape attempt. Domestic squabbles occur between a mother and daughter.

Sexual Content: In two different scenes young, unmarried couples are seen kissing passionately. During an argument a teen girl implies that her mother thinks she’s having “unprotected sex.” Teens in swimwear at a pool are seen.

Language: Infrequent use of mild and moderate profanities, as well as scatological terms.

Drugs/Alcohol: Teen drinking and drunkenness is depicted. Adults are shown using recreational drugs. A woman drinks wine and appears intoxicated afterward.

Other: Teen gambling is portrayed. Teens lie to parents about extracurricular activities and their whereabouts.

The script of this movie assumes teens are highly susceptible to the influence of peers. For example Elissa seems desperate to find a boyfriend and rescuing him from his problems. Do you feel this is an accurate representation?

Page last updated

More parents' guide for House at the End of the Street after the break...

House at the End of the Street Parents' Guide

In one scene in this film Elissa’s mother, after drinking some wine, abruptly informs her daughter and Ryan that they are not to spend any time alone together in either of their homes. Is this a reasonable demand? Would they have been more likely to accept this “guidance” if it were presented in a more kindly manner? Considering the movie’s target audience, how do you think the filmmakers want you to feel about this parent?

The cell phone becomes a big part of this plot. Do you think cell phones improve or deteriorate relationships between parents and teens?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of House at the End of the Street movie is January 7, 2013. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: House at the End of the Street

Release Date: 8 January 2013

House at the End of the Street releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) with the following extras:

- Unrated Extended Cut

- Journey Into Terror: Inside the House at the End of the Street

- Trailer

Related home video titles:

Other horror stories about about people making foolish choices when relocating include Dark Water, The Messengers and Jumanji.