House at the End of the Street (2012)

<strong class="MovieTitle">House at the End of the Street</strong> (2012)

(Video On-demand, March 2013) For a straightforward low-budget woman-in-peril thriller, House at the End of the Street isn’t too bad: There are a few narrative curveballs, the lead actress is compelling and the brisk pacing forgives a lot of other issues.  Few people outside the Ottawa area will care that the film was shot in the neighborhood, but plenty will see the film because it stars a then-little-known Jennifer Lawrence.  Fortunately, Lawrence has what it takes to play a plucky teenager in danger: her performance is compelling as she holds her own alongside Elizabeth Shue.  The rural setting is good enough for a few chills, and after a clumsy start, the direction builds a decent sense of tension as each suspense set-piece is put together.  It wouldn’t be fair to overhype House at the End of the Street as anything more than a run-of-the-mill thriller, especially during its first act, but it’s quite a bit better than its savage critical reception may have suggested.  If nothing else, it shows Jennifer Lawrence running around looking scared in the classic tradition of exploitation thrillers.

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