Bad movies fall into several classes. Occasionally someone will make a bad movie on purpose – Uwe Boll, for instance, buys cheap rights to video games and then makes them into intentionally terrible films in protest of a subject he finds ridiculous (see: Bloodrayne, House of the Dead). On the other hand are filmmakers like Ed Wood (Plan 9 From Outer Space) or Tommy Wiseau (The Room) – people who try to make good movies, but end up so laughably bad they're worth watching anyway; they have an artistic appeal in spite of themselves. These are all “good” bad movies.
Of course, there are “bad” bad movies, too – recent examples which come to mind are Bridesmaids and Real Steel – Hollywood schlock insulting to the intelligence of the viewer. However, the worst type of bad movie is that which is simply unremarkable. Bad as Real Steel was, it was at least worthy of discussing on some level; however, there are some movies which are best left forgotten so the viewer can ignore the fact that they spent two hours of their life on something completely inconsequential.
House at the End of the Street is just such a film. It is the most recent vehicle for Jennifer Lawrence, a Louisvillian actress who gained significant acclaim after her well-deserved Oscar-nominated performance in 2010's Winter's Bone. Since then she has continued to delight audiences in films such as X-Men: First Class and, from earlier this year, The Hunger Games, in which she starred.
In her most recent film, Lawrence portrays Elissa, a high school girl moving to a new town with her mother, Sarah (Elisabeth Shue). They were able to get a good deal on their new home because of a tragic occurrence at a nearby house: several years before a young girl, Carrie-Ann (Eva Link), murdered both her parents before disappearing. She is presumed dead, but a body was never found. Upset about the fact that this tragedy is lowering property values all over town, the citizens wish to tear down the house, but it is still inhabited by Carrie-Ann's older brother, Ryan (Max Thieriot), who was staying with an aunt at the time the murders took place. Elissa befriends this sad, sweet man, unaware of the secret living in his basement...
The brunt of the fault must go to David Loucka's script, which is so uninspired as to be painful. The characters interact with each other using boring, cliché dialogue; he writes like a high school English student attempting to pen conversation for the first time. Furthermore, aside from the actual words themselves, the way in which they are spoken is utterly unrealistic. I refuse to believe that anybody is tactless enough to roam uninvited around the house of a man who was orphaned via double murder and immediately talk about how happy his family looks in pictures while bitching about the fact that her parents are divorced.