Let me explain,
SO, I’ve seen ‘House at the End of the Street’ honestly, probably, 5 times at this point and those who read my Curse of Chucky review post will know, I’m more into the supernatural type horror. This is probably at least, in part, because it is further from reality. However, I think this is a really good movie for several reasons.
I think it is scary because of how real it is. He was a mentally ill man who was emotionally tortured his entire life after the death of his sister. He was told he killed his sister and his parents did not want him, they wanted his sister. For parents to force their kid to take on their dead sisters identity because she died is abuse. And no one knew, no one helped him.
This was furthered by him being an outcast because of his family meaning he couldn’t make the positive ties he had needed. The town treated him badly because of something that happened to him (well at least so they thought).
I also think it is good because you can see him somewhat deteriorate when he loses “his sister” over and over. He loses so much control when he loses her. And it’s also super interesting to me how much they humanised him. Lots of movies where people are mass murderers or kidnappers show them as a monster but this movie really said ‘hey, it’s not that simple’.
He grapples with wanting to protect Jennifer Lawrence and wanting to fit in, whilst also trying to manage his psyche and mental illness. It is clear that he did not want to hurt Jennifer Lawrence however, in that moment, when he realized he couldn’t have both unless she was Carrie Anne, for him things changed.
Now, I’m no psychologist/psychiatrist, and I’m not condoning his actions in any way. But it is so powerful to show a normal person ruined by society over time. He was a child and there was an accident, his parents abused him for years before he could no longer take it and yes, murdered them. Then he spent the rest of his life trying to atone for “killing his sister” by “protecting her and keeping her safe”. Obviously, that isn’t what was happening but for him, it is, he was protecting his sister. The town shunned the boy they believed lost his parents and sister in a terrible way.
So, I really think this movie goes to show how society can ruin people and mental illness can have terrible impacts. He was a regular guy, any one of us could have become him if we had similar circumstances and I think the depth of his character is what really makes this a good movie. Even after all he had lived through and the persisting mental illness, he is kind to Jennifer Lawrence at all times until he needs her to become Carrie Anne.
I won’t say it’s particularly scary or anything but it is fascinating to me to finish a movie about a man kidnapping women and killing them, but feel somewhat sorry for the killer at the end when they show his story. A man who had nothing to hold on to but his sister and he needed her to ground himself.
I’d love to know your thoughts on this movie and if you’ve seen it in the comments at the bottom of the page. It is currently available on Aussie Stan and I highly recommend giving it a shot.