Movie summary: A mother and daughter move to a new town and find themselves living next door to a house where a young girl murdered her parents. When the daughter befriends the surviving son, she learns the story is far from over.
Robert Menzies, president of Zed Filmworks and line producer on HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET, talks to Ottawa Life about the eagerly anticipated horror-thriller, without giving away any surprises – although he did reveal that Ottawa substitutes for Afghanistan in one scene!
ROBERT MENZIES: HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET stars Jennifer Lawrence, who had just made Winter’s Bone (2010), for which she received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Jennifer Lawrence was a real catch for us because she was just leaving our set to go to England to shoot X-Men: First Class, in which she played the new Mystique. From there, she went on to star in The Hunger Games, which is seen as “the new Twilight.” HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET (filmed here in the summer of 2010 and budgeted at $7-million – Ed.) was supposed to come out in the spring of 2012, but the release date was pushed to September, to give some breathing space between our film and The Hunger Games, so we didn’t get totally lost in the shuffle.
HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET also stars Elisabeth Shue, another great actress. This is a really interesting thriller – with deep, dark, scary human situations that have at least two or three “jump out of your seat” scenes. You’re not expecting the horror of moments which come very surprisingly and make for a great classic-style horror-thriller.
OTTAWA LIFE: The title reminds me of those old 1970s and 1980s Italian horror films like The House of Fear and House by the Cemetery. Or the 1972 American horror-thriller The Last House on the Left.
ROBERT MENZIES: Yes, it’s sort of a tip of the hat to all those great films. And HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET turned out very well. I think the performances are excellent. Audiences will really relate to these characters. HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET will be the first theatrical film to be produced and filmed entirely here in Ottawa, and it’s being given a worldwide theatrical release and a solid marketing campaign through Relativity Media in Los Angeles.
We were able to land two actresses who were on their way up. Jennifer Lawrence was on the cusp of becoming a mega-star and Elisabeth Shue was making a career comeback. (Shue went on to star in the mega-hit PIRANHA 3D and replaced the departing Marg Helgenberger on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.) These fine actresses sell the premise and engage the audience.