Jennifer Lawrence Stars In A Shockingly Successful Horror Movie Now Streaming

Jennifer Lawrence stars in House at the End of the Street, an overlooked horror film from before she was Katniss.

By Robert Scucci | Published

House at the End of the Street

Before Jennifer Lawrence had her massive breakthrough with her portrayal of Katniss Everdeen in the highly successful Hunger Games franchise, she had a lead role in a horror film called House at the End of the Street, which can now be streamed on Max. Though this film was not well-received by critics at the time of its release, it was a moderate commercial success, pulling in $44.1 million off a budget of $10 million.

Despite the film’s 12 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Jennifer Lawrence’s rise to stardom, as well as her ability to do her best with a script that critics considered to be uninspired, makes House at the End of the Street worth watching if you’re a fan of her other films.

House at the End of the Street centers around Sarah Cassidy (Elisabeth Shue), her 17-year-old daughter, Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence), and their troubled neighbor, Ryan Jacobson. They are alarmed to find out that a gruesome double murder occurred at Ryan’s house four years before they moved into the neighborhood. The accepted story is that 13-year-old Carrie-Anne, Ryan’s younger sister, murdered their parents, but many residents and Sarah feel uneasy about Ryan.

This suspected foul play doesn’t stop Jennifer Lawrence’s Elissa from getting close to Ryan against her mother’s wishes because Ryan has an outwardly gentle and caring countenance. Through this budding relationship, we learn that Carrie-Anne suffered a traumatic brain injury after falling off a swing set when Ryan was supposed to be watching her, and the injury made her extremely violent.

Her violent tendencies eventually manifested in the form of her murdering her parents before running into the forest to live a feral life, and nobody in the neighborhood has seen her since the murders occurred.

But things go south in this Jennifer Lawrence movie when a secret room in Ryan’s basement is revealed, and we find a grown-up Carrie-Anne, who Ryan is secretly taking care of. If this sounds like an epic twist, you might want to watch this movie because there’s something far more sinister going on than what this first-act reveal leads you to believe.

Needless to say, you could tell that something is off at this point because when Elissa gets a look at Carrie-Anne’s old bedroom, which Ryan has preserved in case she comes back home, it looks like it belonged to a toddler rather than a teenage girl. Ryan attributes the decor to Carrie-Anne’s stunted mental development. Jennifer Lawrence does an excellent job as Elissa in her delivery as a young woman who has deep sympathy for her new neighbor and friend.

House at the End of the Street may be one of Jennifer Lawrence’s lesser-known films, but it’s safe to say that even at the age of 20, she had acting chops already being recognized. For every shortcoming this film has, she truly carries the show, and her portrayal of Elissa is earnest and believable, even though some aspects of this movie require one to suspend a healthy amount of disbelief.

2011 and 2012 were big years for Jennifer Lawrence, and she took on a number of iconic roles that launched her career to new heights during this time. Not only did her contributions to the Hunger Games and X-Men franchises make her a household name, but she also starred in Silver Linings Playbook alongside Bradley Cooper, a performance that landed her an Academy Award win for Best Actress.

One of the prevailing theories behind House at the End of the Street’s success on the commercial front was her newfound fame.

In other words, if House at the End of the Street was released in 2010, the year it was filmed, it may very well have been a total flop because Jennifer Lawrence was still a relatively unknown actress at the time. But since this film was released during the same time her more iconic movies were making their rounds in theaters, it got quite a bit of attention upon its theatrical release.

Despite the poor critical ratings that House at the End of the Street received, critics agree that Jennifer Lawrence and Elisabeth Shue had solid performances, and you can see for yourself by streaming this horror blockbuster on Max right now.