As the intrepid heroine of Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone (2010), Jennifer Lawrence evoked genuine pathos without betraying a single emotion, not unlike Dana Andrews in his best work for Otto Preminger or Jacques Tourneur. The steely reserve and nuanced presence she exhibited belied her youth and inexperience as an actor. Since then, she’s taken roles that don’t utilize these strengths, as in this dull thriller about a mother and daughter (Elisabeth Shue and Lawrence) who move next door to a mysterious college student (Max Theriot), whose parents were murdered by his psychotic younger sister a few years prior. The material is contrived—director Mark Tonderai crudely apes Psycho at nearly every turn—and the dialogue is hopeless, rendering Lawrence completely ineffectual.
Director: Mark Tonderai
Producer: Aaron Ryder, Peter Block, Hal Lieberman, Allison Silver, Sonny Mallhi, Steve Samuels, Anthoni Visconsi II, Dominic Visconsi Jr., Ryan Kavanaugh and Tucker Tooley
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Max Thieriot, Elisabeth Shue, Gil Bellows, Eva Link, Nolan Funk, Allie MacDonald, Jordan Hayes, Krista Bridges, James Thomas, Hailee Sisera, Craig Eldridge, Jonathan Higgins, Oliver Soul, Lori Alter, Joy Tanner, Bobby Osborne, Gracie Tucker, Will Bowes, Jon McLaren, John Healy and Jasmine Chan
House at the End of the Street