Relativity Media, also responsible for other recent movies that include “Immortals”, and “Shark Night 3D” has a brand new type of drama/suspense, psychological thriller film with a surprise end called “House at the End of the Street” directed by Mark Tonderai opening Friday, September 21, 2012.
“House at the End of the Street” is in the same ranks as classic films of the same genre, “The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane,” and Alfred Hitchock’s “Psycho” with modern-day story-telling of “Orphan”. Starring Jennifer Lawrence as “Elissa” and Elisabeth Shue as her mother “Sarah” who moves them both to a woodsy rural area after going through a recent divorce.
Quickly taken by the beautiful scenery and new home, seventeen-year-old Elissa starts to settle into her new surroundings and making new friends. Sarah immediately notices that the house across the way from theirs, merely separated by some trees is the reason she got the house for a great deal. It was the house where a thirteen-year-old girl killed her parents, then disappeared into the surrounding land. “Nobody lives there right? Sarah asks her land lord. “You did sign a lease” he reminded her. During a neighbor get together, the mystery starts to unravel then continues to build from there. The neighbors talk about how Ryan Jacobson (Max Thieriot), the son of the parents who were killed in the house returned there after he was away at boarding school during the time his parents were murdered. The neighbors talk of a widely spread rumor in the town, or “old wives tale” that Ryan’s sister has never been found and the legend is that she is living in the forest.
Elissa’s fascination with Ryan grows even more once she meets him face-to-face and discovers he is a creative type like her – she’s a singer/song writer, and he is a writer who has aspirations of becoming a psychiatrist. She soon finds herself exploring his soul and his infamous house in question. Seeing him as a victim is her natural tendency as her mother points out that she always tries to fix people. The more involved Elisaa gets into Ryan’s life, ignoring the settle red flags along the way, the more she learns that she wishes she had never bothered. Ryan’s dysfunctional family upbringing with a capital “D” played a part in the shaping of this college-aged man whom Elissa is so infatuated with. Shaken-up all too much of what Elissa and Sarah find out in the end is enough for Sarah to break that lease.
“House at the End of the Street” is not a horror film, but a well-done and perfectly paced suspense thriller film guaranteed to cause many jumps and cringes while immersed in it. Fans of the genre will not be disappointed. Lawrence is a radiant film screen siren, and a legendary starlet in the making. Her co-star Max Thieriot is a brilliant young actor, capturing the true essence of a character with the type of disturbing past and how he is shaped by it. This is sure to be a break-out role for him.
“House at the End of the Street” is a welcome back to a film of such twists and surprise endings that I haven’t seen since “The Orphan”.