House at the End of the Street Directed by: Mark Tonderai Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue, Max Thieriot Rating: PG-13 Release Date: September 21, 2012
TRAILER SCORE: 6/10
Thoughts by TSR: I like what they’re going for with this trailer. Starting at the end, with Jennifer Lawrence already in full-on terror mode, and working backward to when she and Elisabeth Shue move into what they think could be their dream home is a nice touch that livens things up. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I’d be quite as kind if this played out in chronological order. It looks like it could be unsettling at times – mostly thanks to how talented Lawrence is – but it all feels fairly standard for the genre.
Lawrence has built up a lot of goodwill since Winter’s Bone, so I don’t mind seeing her in something like this. Her terror feels real, and like Elizabeth Olsen in Silent House she looks more than capable of carrying the film with style. And she’s going to need to, as her co-star Max Thieriot does not look great. It seems as though he is supposed to be playing a quietly menacing character who knows more than he’s letting on, but he’s just not convincing.
My biggest question is whether the trailer playing in reverse actually reflects the film. It could really set itself apart if it does end up playing with some non-linear storytelling. Beyond that, much of House at the End of the Street’s effectiveness will depend on whether or not they take the story to any unexpected places. It’ll be more of the same if they don’t, but this trailer potentially lays the groundwork for what could be a minor success bolstered by a strong lead performance.