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A Romantic Horror Film

9 Jan, 2013 By: Angelique Flores

The director speaks more of relationship themes than of scares in this thriller

Most call House at the End of the Street a horror film or even a psychological thriller. But director Mark Tonderai sees the film as a love story.

“I call it a romantic thriller; I think I'm the only one in the world that calls it that,” he said at the Jan. 8 launch party for the film’s home entertainment release.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment hosted the celebration at Hollywood’s Geisha House, the same night the studio released the movie as a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack with digital copy for $39.99 and a DVD for $29.98. The Blu-ray includes the featurette “Journey Into Terror: Inside the House at the End of the Street.”

The film stars Academy Award nominees Jennifer Lawrence and Elisabeth Shue, and Max Thieriot.

Newly divorced Sara (Shue) and her teenage daughter, Elissa (Lawrence), have just moved to the suburbs. Their hopes for a fresh start are crushed when they learn that years prior, a murder took place next door when a girl killed her parents and disappeared. The girl’s older brother, Ryan (Thieriot), still lives in the house. His grisly past comes to the surface as he and Elissa become friends.

“I want mothers and daughters to see it,” said Tonderai, who points out themes of a mother-daughter relationship, parents’ love for their children and also the romantic love story that develops — not the usual themes for a horror film.

House at the End of the Street is Tonderai’s second outing as a director (his first film was horror-thriller Hush), and critics compare the film to a Hitchcockian-style thriller. The comparisons are flattering to Tonderai, who is a huge fan of the legendary director, whose influence should come as little surprise.

“I think Hitchcock is phenomenal,” he said. “I’ve seen everything he’s done, even stuff that he made before he left England.”

Admitting that he never went to film school, Tonderai said he got his film education from reading, and most of those books were about Hitchcock and his filmmaking.

Next up for Tonderai is an adaptation of the book The Terror of Living.

“It’s Stephen King’s favorite book,” he said, describing the movie as No Country for Old Men meets The Fugitive.

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