'House at the End of the Street': Jennifer Lawrence horror flick comes to Blu-ray

jennifer-lawrence-house-at-the-end-of-the-street-blu-ray.jpg

Jennifer Lawrence has had a very busy year. In addition to her award-winning turns in "The Hunger Games" and "Silver Linings Playbook," a horror film Jen starred in called "House at the End of the Street" finally makes its debut on Blu-ray.

The timing couldn't be better for the indie thriller, as Lawrence's increased popularity can only draw more attention to "House at the End of the Street." Director Mark Tonderai speaks with Zap2it about working with Jennifer and leading man Max Thieriot -- who is set to play one of the lead roles in A&E's "Bates Motel." Here is Tonderai's Q&A with Zap2it:

This movie seems like it has a very Hitchcockian tone, and this is the perfect year for that between "Hitchcock," "The Girl" and "Bates Motel," that Max Thieriot is in. Can you talk a little bit about Alfred Hitchcock's influence?

It's funny isn't it, Max, because I was just in Vancouver shooting a pilot and he was up there and we hung out a lot, and it was really just interesting that he was doing "Psycho," because obviously "Psycho is a big part of this. Especially that last scene, that last scene is a did homage to the last scene in "Psycho" where she's going -- well, Norman's going -- "There's a fly, and I won't hurt the fly." We're doing the exact same set-up.

I haven't seen "The Girl," I started watching it on HBO and I haven't seen it. But the other one, ["Hitchcock"], I read the screenplay for because I really wanted to pitch on it because I thought it was really smart. As a filmmaker, you look at what Hitchcock when through to get {"Psycho"] off the ground and you go, "Christ, that was Hitchcock. If it's hard for him..." it's a real learning curve.

For me, when I look at how [Hitchcock] makes films -- like an innuendo, all the music is incidental, it's not scored -- it's a really smart way of making films. ... Hitchcock's attention to detail was unbelievable, and attention to detail in our film is unbelievable. People dismiss these sorts of films as voyeuristic and all sorts of things, but the detail in the film: The T-shirt she wears is the band that her father was in and if you look at all the pictures in the house they're all of women in dresses -- all the tells are there. ... There's a lot of things that I've taken from Hitchcock, but for me the real thing is the audience manipulation.

Can you elaborate a little bit on that?

I've watched the film with audiences and they fall in love with Ryan [Thieriot's character] and they come out of it, and the way we manipulate them into feeling something is the thing that I'm most happy about. When we first tested it in Burbank, I didn't know if it was going to work, because if it doesn't work, you're f****d. They have to like him. They have to fall in love with her, and it can't be weird, right? That's why he says, and people all ways go, "Well why do you live in the house your parents were killed in?" And she goes, "Why do you?"

We had to make a guy who lives in a house where this awful thing happened appear normal. It's a very difficult thing to do. So we did it with lots of things. We did it with the way that he's sensitive. He doesn't really get up too late because all the "best thoughts" have been taken. There's a sensitivity about him; he's kind of like a wounded soul, and that's the way that we felt. We felt that if we got the audience to fall in love with him then it would work, and it did.

Can you talk a bit about finding Jennifer Lawrence and Max, because Jennifer is obviously the "big thing" in Hollywood right now and Max went on to make such a similar project?

I think Max is just brilliant. I think he's a brilliant, brilliant actor and I think it was a really hard part to play because at any point you can show your hand and he doesn't. I think he's a really good actor but, if I'm honest with you, better than that he's just a really nice bloke. He's a really genuinely nice guy. Jen is the same way. Jen is a lovely kid. When I'd met her, all this madness hadn't happened and I haven't seen her since this madness has happened. But she's a good kid and she works really hard.

You've expressed some dissatisfaction with the way this film was received. Is that still the case?

It really frustrated me because, for me, a lot of the kind of critical response to it was really negative and I say this a lot to people: They went to the film and just looked at it, they didn't see it. And if you look at the film, it's got so much subtext and layers and so much going on. Everybody has a theme and the townsfolk are saying that we create our own monsters. He says it, he says, "You guys ostracized [Ryan], and that's why he is like how he is." Everyone has these kind of inner workings. Anyways, I think those feelings and those themes are what audiences connect to, even though they don't know why they connected to it, and I think that's why it worked.

There are two scary movie spoofs coming out, "Scary Movie 5" and "The Haunted House," but they both only seem to be riffing off of "Paranormal Activity." Why do you think that franchise is the only one they're targeting?

I think a lot of that is because that's the most recognizable form that people are going to see, because you're going to kind of caricature something that everyone knows. You're going to caricature Jay Leno because he's got a big chin and everyone knows that he's got a big chin, so it's an obvious target. The irony is, if I'm being honest with you, the real scary films are coming from France. There's a film called "Martyrs," it's a phenomenal film. And I don't like it -- I'll be very clear, I don't like the film -- but I respect it so much because it's such a good film. There's some really smart stuff coming out ... I don't know, that's what I think about that. I just think that those [spoof movies] caricature the obvious.

The God-honest truth, if I'm really honest with you, I tend not to try to comment on other films because I just know how hard it is to make a film. I'm really, really careful about films I don't like, because I have so much respect just for them to put the thing together ... No one sets out to make a s*** film. No one sets out to make a s*** film. People set out to make a lot of money, [laughs] that's different, but I think no one sets out to make a s*** film. You try to make the best film that you can, and at the end of the day, it's about you ... There's certain scenes in this that are pretty much exactly how I saw them, and I'm pretty happy about that.

Photo/Video credit: Relativity Media
SHARE IT ON: