Stepping into new terror-tory, Oscar-nominated actress Jennifer Lawrence says House at The End of the Street will chill you to the bone.
When describing Jennifer Lawrence, many say she’s wise beyond her years. She’s tackled serious drama in Winter’s Bone, a role where she earned an Oscar-nod at age 20, and proved she could be a strong, arrow-yielding heroine in The Hunger Games. But now Lawrence is stepping out of her comfort zone to dive into the world of horror in House at The End of the Street.
“This was something completely different for me,” Lawrence said. “I had never worked in this genre before and it was an amazing experience to do something so completely out of my comfort zone. But I really liked that it wasn’t about scaring people with blood or what I think of as ‘boo’ elements. The characters are very well developed and you find yourself getting scared for them in a personal way. You are both invested in the love story and afraid for Elissa. It is a very sophisticated way to frighten an audience.”
In the movie, Lawrence plays Elissa who, along with her divorced mother, Sarah (Elisabeth Shue), move into an upscale neighbourhood to start a better life. But after they learn of rumors that the nearby woods are haunted by a homicidal killer, and Elissa befriends the mysterious sole survivor of a grisly double murder that took place in the house next door, their dreams for a brighter future spiral into a twisted nightmare. Pretty creepy, right?
But knowing that her handsome neighbour, Ryan (Max Thieriot), seems suspicious, her character can’t help but fall for his charms. “We constantly tell ourselves to listen to our instincts,” Lawrence said. “But what if you go out on a limb listening to your gut and then you end up being wrong? There are so many twists in the characters that you never know who you can trust. You spend the entire movie wondering.”
Even after starring in The Hunger Games, where Lawrence plays a kick butt heroine fighting to survive a gruesome game where the only way to win is to be the last person standing, you’d think Lawrence had the action scenes down to a fine art. “There was a lot more thinking on my feet than I had done previously,” Lawrence admits about doing the action scenes for the movie. “In a big emotional scene with another actor, we can always rehearse it. But how in the world are you going to rehearse running upstairs, screaming and crawling on the floor? I would sit there before [the director] called action playing it over and over in my head, but it could turn out completely different in the moment. You don’t know what can happen until you do it.”
One thing that may surprise many fans about Lawrence is her passion for singing, which she was able to indulge in with the role of Elissa, who is a budding musician. “I love to sing,” Lawrence said. “But once I became an actress, I shut it all down. It was so much fun to go to the studio with Benji Hughes and Steve Lindsey, who are absolute geniuses. We recorded music for hours and hours.”
All singing aside, Lawrence admits that being a part of this movie was exciting being a fan of horrors and psychological thrillers. “I love horror movies,” she admits. “I love scary shows like Celebrity Ghost Story, which is not supposed to be scary but scares me to death. I’m like a five-year-old. My imagination is out of control.”
House at the End of the Street opens September 21.