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The Girl Next Door (2007)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Horror  |  17 October 2008 (Italy)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 17,291 users   Metascore: 29/100
Reviews: 179 user | 78 critic | 5 from Metacritic.com

Based on the Jack Ketchum novel of the same name, The Girl Next Door follows the unspeakable torture and abuses committed on a teenage girl in the care of her aunt...and the boys who witness and fail to report the crime.


(as Gregory M. Wilson)


(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Adult David Moran
Officer Jennings
Dean Faulkenberry ...
Gabrielle Howarth ...
Cheryl Robinson
Benjamin Ross Kaplan ...
Donny Chandler (as Ben Kaplan)
Spenser Leigh ...
Denise Crocker
Daniel Manche ...
Homeless Man Hit By Car
Greg Northrop ...
Police Officer #2 (as Gregory Northtrop)
Mr. Moran
Santo Silvestro ...
Ice Cream Vendor


Loosely based on the true life events surrounding the torture Sylvia Likens faced during her stay with her aunt and her death, this movie is an adaptation Jack Ketchum's 1989 novel of the same name. Story begins with a road accident witnessed by David Moran which sets his mind into a fierce reflection of his not so good childhood memories of Meg and how they first met in 1958. After the death of their parents in a car accident, Meg and her crippled sister, Susan come to stay with their aunt, Ruth Chandler, a sadistic psychopath with their three sons, Willie, Ralphie, and Donny. Meg and her sister become an easy target and fall prey to their aunt's cruelty and her only hope is David, who happens to be her neighbor, who seems to be already captivated by her beauty. After days of mental and physical abuse from her aunt, Meg finds courage, one day to report the events to Officer Jennings. But to her disappointment, her aunt is not arrested and her life, which she thought could never get ... Written by Benjamin Chacko

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In this town murder became the neighborhood game See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sadistic torture and sexual abuse, nudity, language and strong sexual dialogue - all involving children | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 October 2008 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The movie (and the novel it was based on) is based on a true story. The character of Ruth is inspired by Gertrude Baniszewski, who, in 1965, tortured two girls who were in her care (with the help of her sons, daughters, and one of her daughters' boyfriends). Gertrude (and her daughter, Paula) was given a life sentence; in 1985, she (Gertrude) successfully made parole. She died of lung cancer in June of 1990, at the age of 60. See more »


Though set in 1958, kids call one another "dork" and "doofus" - gradeschool put-downs that weren't in common use until Seventies or Eighties. See more »


[first lines]
Charlie Franklin: [on David's voice mail] Hey David, it's Charlie Franklin calling to say Happy Birthday. Sorry I couldn't get those tickets, man. I know you were counting on me, but my brother-in-law's in town. I'll give you a call next week, and maybe we can get together. Okay, have a good birthday. Take care.
See more »


Referenced in The Making of 'The Girl Next Door' (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A different kind of video nasty... and not pleasant
28 November 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I was very unsure on how to rate this film. I watched it all and to be fair the film held my interest throughout. I would say it is probably a good film but something I cannot say I enjoyed watching, which was probably the aim of the director. Taboo subjects in society change rapidly over the years and this film deals with argumentibly the most taboo, certainly a topic most people find hard to talk about. Abuse and torture happen. Fact. What this film managed to do for me is to take both subjects and ram them down my throat at a more than uncomfortable rate. And that is the story line. No humour. No romance as such and no happiness. For me this was not entertainment. I guess some people will enjoy this film, in the same way that people like to rubber neck at accidents when they drive past. The publicity will make this film popular and it will no doubt develop a form of notoriety that clockwork orange and the exorcist enjoyed twenty years ago. But for me. I will not be watching it again as I would not be able to get anything positive out of it.

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This film truly should not have been made Zeego
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