Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Following a painful divorce, Sarah Cassidy and her teenage daughter, Elissa, moves from Chicago to a “nice” suburb in Seattle, determined to make a fresh start.  Elissa soon befriends their neighbour Ryan, a lonely young outcast living in the house at the end of the street, in which his sister once murdered their parents; Carrie-Ann then disappeared into the surrounding woods where it is believed she drowned.  Inexplicably filled with unease over Elissa's friendship with Ryan, Sarah tries to exert some control over Elissa’s life, straining their already tumultuous relationship even further. 

Elisabeth Shue as Sarah, Jennifer Lawrence as Elissa.  They did a good job of portraying the tense mother/daughter relationship

Years after the double murder the Jacobsen family tragedy is still the talk of the town, as Ryan’s dilapidated house and its reputation has a negative effect on the surrounding property values, and the community just can’t seem to let go.  Hated and victimised by the townspeople, Ryan has turned into somewhat of a recluse, and Elissa is determined to be his friend and get the townspeople to give him a break.  More unsettling than the house or Ryan’s reputation, however, is the urban legend that the disturbed Carrie-Ann never died, but continues to live in the woods; a creature of hatred. 

Is it Elissa’s imagination, or is she being watched?

In 2012 I read the book, which is based on the movie.  I am disappointed to report that, like the book, the movie did not scare me once.  One could argue that the reason is I have read the book and knew to expect all the twists and scares, but I doubt it.  My best friend, Erika, had not read the book but found the movie equally boring.  There is no suspense, and the movie never managed to make me fear for Elissa's safety; not even in the climactic final scenes where she must fight for her life.

I did not find Max Thieriot to be very convincing in his role. A stronger actor may have made this a whole different movie 

I love Jennifer Lawrence.  I would watch a recording of Jennifer Lawrence reading the phone book.  As far as I'm concerned she can do no wrong, and she can make anything interesting; truthfully she is the only reason I finished watching the movie. Her performance is solid, but sadly it could not save the movie.

Jennifer Lawrence did a great job, as always

Like the book, I would rate this 1/5.

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