Jennifer Lawrence has already become way too distracting. The Hunger Games star looks like a cross between Renée Zellweger and one of the podlings from The Dark Crystal, with a huge shiny moon-face putting her somewhere between the ages of three and 90. Those numbers may appear arbitrary, but I assure you they’re not.
In her new flick, House at the End of the Street, Lawrence plays the daughter to Elisabeth Shue, who has just purchased a new home conveniently located next to a haunted murder house. The house has a gruesome history — a young girl butchered her parents, leaving her brother alone to raise himself. It makes no sense — the kid (Max Thieriot) is obviously supposed to be in high school, yet lives in the house where his family was murdered, all alone. One hopes that there’s no reason for this at all, as any possible explanation would be inane.
So Lawrence and the boy get all PG-rated on each other, despite the fact that everyone else at school hates him. Ignoring all common sense, she drags her giant potato head to his place, looking for clues or just hoping to scare herself silly. The trailers make it look like she’s facing a supernatural force, until there’s a snippet of footage showing a creepy girl locked in a basement room. Lawrence is captured, tied to a chair and generally menaced, and blah. Studios need to stop making this movie — nobody has the balls anymore to make a genuinely scary haunted house tale. Even the forthcoming Ethan Hawke vehicle Sinister blames all the creepy shit on a fucking golem. Then again, the gang behind that flick made Insidious, which was scary as hell, despite its supernatural villain being Darth Maul, on short-term loan from tickling George Lucas’ frosty-haired balls.
Guaranteed House was made long before The Hunger Games, and then languished on the shelf until Lawrence’s stardom could afterbirth it into theatres. God knows it’s not Shue, who took it in the butt like a champ in Leaving Las Vegas, and didn’t get to enjoy the stardom-of-a-sort her co-star Nicholas Cage has. And her character had to wake up next to a drunkard’s death-boner, too. It’s a shame.
Anyway, House is PG-13, so all of Lawrence’s kiddie fans can check it out. That also means there will be no gore, and it will suck. Lawrence was great in Winter’s Bone, where her awkwardness played perfectly, and serviceable in The Hunger Games, which looked totally low-rent. Then again, the story is basically about a bunch of kids running around in the forest.
This week has a little something for everyone, including the not-so-obvious winner of the bunch, Dredd 3D, which is, bafflingly, not too bad. The 13-year-old mouth-breather in all of us will love this movie. End of Watch looks awesomely Jake Gyllenhaal-ly, where he and fellow Los Angeles cop Michael Peña take on a drug cartel of gang-bangin’ cholos.
If you’re feeling particularly creaky that day, skip the douchey-looking The Perks of Being a Wallflower for the Clint Eastwood-starring baseball drama Trouble with the Curve — what IMDb is calling the “kind of movie adults see with their parents.” Nobody, but nobody, sees movies with their parents (after the age of, I dunno, 12 or something). Our family watched Private Parts together one holiday, and it was mortifying — watching a woman masturbating on a bass-thumping speaker with your mom is the kind of scarring shit that will be guaranteed to go through your mind moments before you die.