While some film pundits are busy speculating how high into the stratosphere Jennifer Lawrence‘s career will go after The Hunger Games, her fans will have a chance to see the actress later this year in the thriller The House at the End of the Street. Lawrence plays young woman who moves with her mother (Elisabeth Shue) into a house that’s next door to a home where an entire family was murdered. Because family slaughter really hurts the resell value of a house (especially in this economy!), the family’s lone survivor (Max Thieriot) still lives in the home, and he begins an unlikely friendship with Lawrence’s character. However, inside his house she discovers some disturbing secrets.
Hit the jump for more including the first image from the film. The House at the End of the Street opens September 21st. [Update: We’ve replaced the image with the hi-res version]
Speaking to EW, director Mark Tonderai talked more about Thieriot’s character and the plot:
“Since he lives in this house and is driving down people’s home values, he’s very ostracized in this town,” Tonderai says. “The murder was committed by his sister, and she disappeared into the woods. There’s this rumor she still lives in the woods. People have seen her, and she’s insane. But is she out in the woods? And if she is, how does she feel about her brother getting involved with somebody else?”
He also provided some details on Lawrence and Shue’s characters:
“She’s a high school kid, about 17, and they’ve just moved into this new area,” Tonderai says. “Her father was in a rock band and was never around. The mother, in the early part of her life, was always out on the road with her husband taking drugs and getting drunk. When she cleaned up and they got divorced, she was always out working. Suddenly, she thinks she wants to engage and be a parent, but at this point her daughter is becoming a woman and has been left to herself for a long time. She rejects these overtures of motherly love.”
While House at the End of the Street is a thriller, Tonderai believes the story is really about family:
“I wanted to talk about how a parent’s love can help us or hinder us in becoming the people we are,” the filmmaker says. “It’s very much about a girl who’s becoming a woman, but her mother still feels she can do an audit on her life. The daughter is rebelling against that. She’s the petulant daughter, and [Shue] is the mother who doesn’t understand.”
I’m still iffy on the plot, particularly Woodland-Murder-Sister-Who-Was-Never-Caught, but I like the theme that Tonderai is going for and trying to place the mother-daughter relationship as the heart of the story.