House at the End of the Street (2012)

Classic horror with a haunted house, previous deaths, and a new family moving in next door. Which is quite an obvious route for a horror movie, but this one is different in its ending. Something I never expected and completely shocked me; but then again perhaps someone who is better known to horrors might have figured it out, but I surely didn’t, until the film wanted me to know. And I have to say, it made the film that much better.

Well to say the least it’s obvious the film is going to be a horror from the first second. Constant flashes from light to dark. Blurry limited vision for the audience. The film throws you straight in with a violent flashback of a young girl killing her parents. Four years later, brings a new family, a mother, Sarah (Elisabeth Shue) and daughter Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence), moving in next door to the haunted house, or probably just the house where the parents were murdered and they never found the body of the little daughter who killed them.

House at the End of the Street mother and daughter

The film is about the mother and daughter, of course, as they are the new ones to the little town. They soon discover that a young adult, Ryan Jacobson (Max Thieriot) the son of the couple who were murdered, is still living in the house. Of course, a bit predictable, Elissa meets Ryan, feeling sympathetic towards him, therefore so does the audience. Whereas the rest of society avoid Ryan, finding him troubled and should be left alone due to his complicated, sad past, and give him confusion on why he still lives in the house his parents were murdered in. The community isn’t really known to what happened to the younger sister, but the audience is soon told; this is where the horror element comes in. However, don’t worry, it’s not a film of the supernatural, more psychological horror.

This film does particularly have a plot that is quite obvious to what is going to happen, with Elissa in particular. This just makes the film a bit predictable for the majority of it, but then throws you off that track in the end, which is good. On the other hand, the film is able to require a mystery in a character, that isn’t so obvious and covers for the fact that Elissa is so. This being Ryan and his many secrets.

House at the End of the Street Alissa and Ryan

‘House at the End of the Street’ is split by lightness and darkness. By day and night. By tension and not. There isn’t really any springing moments where there are times of horror, during light and day. However, moments of darkness and limited lighting in the film, is where the audience knows something bad or scary is going to happen. There isn’t much cross over. This could be considered as a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you like to watch horrors. Personally, I liked it, mainly because it gives a break from constant suspense and it builds up tension within specific moments of the film. There are still many moments where there is plenty of tension and suspense and you’ll just be waiting for that moment that will make you jump. But there are also easier to watch sections of the film, and this just breaks up the film, and gives a little relaxation within the whole film. It means that the whole film isn’t full of tension or stresses you out. 

This film is a 15, and for good reason. The type of horror it is, is that it is a jumpy, tense horror. There aren’t many scenes that are gory, you don’t really see knives killing people, but you obviously know that it has happened for example. The film more focuses on the psychological matter of the killer, and what people go through within terrible past incidents and how that could affect someone. Obviously the film isn’t into the scientific aspects, it is just a horror of jump scares and tense silent moments where you know something is going to happen and as the suspense builds you still wait for it to happen.

Overall, I would say that this is a good horror. It definitely made me jump on many occasions and feel uncomfortable waiting for something to happen. And the ending is something I didn’t expect at all, that really did make it that much better because it was so unexpected.

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Alice In Wonderland (2010)

Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is truly a great film. Personally, I love interpretations of Disney Classics and this is one I definitely do enjoy watching. But this ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is very visually different to the Disney Classic, obviously because it is the brilliant Tim Burton directing the film. Wonderland becomes twisted with eerie colours, contrasting bright flowers, with thorns and mist. A dream-like wonderland where Alice (Mia Wasikowska) doesn’t know what is real and what is not, believing a pinch would wake her up, but when it doesn’t, she becomes more confused in this new world she fell into, literally fell, down a rabbit hole. Alice in Wonderland - rabbit hole

Wonderland is a world of a Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), a White Rabbit with a waistcoat (Michael Sheen), a smiling disappearing Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry), a Blue Caterpillar (Alan Rickman), a Dormouse (Barbara Windsor) and finally twins Tweedledum and Tweedledee (Matt Lucas). Most of the characters are animated, except, out of the previously said, Alice and the Mad Hatter. They are all brilliant in creating this fairy-tale like world, a world full of things believed impossible. But the greatest thing about Tim Burton is portraying these impossible things and making children believe that maybe they aren’t impossible, even if only in dreams. My favourite character, of course, is the amazing Johnny Depp playing the Mad Hatter. Not that this is any different from any of his other films, but the Mad Hatter is played excellently, crazy and confused, yet the audience feel that there is something missing in his life and he is just sad with all his loss. I just love a Johnny Depp film, without him it would be very different. Mad Hatter

The film throughout focuses on the madness of the world. When Alice finds herself in Wonderland, she is told that she is the Alice, but then told she isn’t the Alice, the film throws the audience around, not really knowing what is happening unless Alice knows herself. Wonderland is under the control of the evil Red Queen; played brilliantly by Helena Bonham Carter. I find when watching this film that even though she is the villain, there is something missing, that perhaps she is just misunderstood and lost in her own anger of jealously of her sister and paranoia of people she loves leaving her or choosing someone else. The previous Queen was the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), the Red Queen’s younger sister; and it is up to Alice to fight the Jabberwocky and give the rightful crown back to the right Queen. As the film follows the confusion of Alice and who she really is, she believes she can’t be the right Alice that they were all waiting for, and we watch her as she discovers who she really is and what she must do, whether she does or not is a different question. Red Queen

The main reason I think this film is so great is because of the visual effects and the difference to the whole animation and style to the Disney Classic ‘Alice in Wonderland’; this is because it is a Tim Burton film. Even though this film is predominantly for children, I think it can great for older ages as well. Also, who doesn’t love a film with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in it? Because they both are truly great. So if you think you would enjoy this film, join the madness of Wonderland and be thrown into Tim Burton’s version of it.