Black director helms horror film ‘House at the End of the Street’

Mark Tonderai goes over a scene with star Jennifer Lawrence in Relativity Media's thriller 'House at the End of the Street.' © 2011 HATES, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.  Photo Credit: Albert Camicioli

Mark Tonderai goes over a scene with star Jennifer Lawrence in Relativity Media's thriller 'House at the End of the Street.' © 2011 HATES, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Photo Credit: Albert Camicioli

House at the End of the Street hits theaters today just as Halloween season approaches.

The horror film, which stars Jennifer Lawrence of The Hunger Games fame, tells the story of a mother and daughter who move to a new neighborhood only to learn that a young girl killed her parents in the house next to them. Lawrence, who plays the daughter,  Elissa, becomes friends with the surviving son and finds that the mystery has only begun to unfold. Oscar nominee Elisabeth Shue stars alongside Lawrence as her mother Sarah.

The director behind the psychological thriller is Mark Tonderai. He first made his debut as a director in 2008 with another horror film called Hush, which received a lot of praise and was nominated for a British Independent Film Award.

“This is a film that’s all about what lies beneath,” Tonderai said in a statement. “Everyone has that within them and I think that’s why the film works.”

“It’s about dualities,” he added. “It is what gives the film a soul and keeps it from being just another horror-thriller.”

Tonderai is happy with the attention his new film is getting. He says audience response at a recent screening was fantastic.

“It’s changed my life,” he told theGrio. “I’ve got a film that’s coming out on three thousand screens. It’s amazing.”

Born in London and raised in Zimbabwe, Tonderai stands out as a black director in a genre where not many are known.

When asked if he feels any pressure to represent the black community, Tonderai said no.

“I’m me first and black second,” he said. “I’m just me and I can do my own thing. I don’t really think about it.”

House at the End of the Street is expected to do well at the box office, especially with the help of the fan base Jennifer Lawrence has garnered in the past year. The film will be going up to bat against End of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña and Trouble With the Curve, starring Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams.

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