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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 17,282 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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the backyard tent scene where the boys are looking at the Playboy magazine, they refer to 1950's actress and pinup girl Carroll Baker, the real-life mother of actress Blanche Baker, who portrays Ruth Chandler in this movie. See more »


When David goes to talk to his Father at work. There are several Liquor Bottles sitting on the Bar that had UPC symbols on them. UPC symbols didn't come out until the late 70's or very early 80's. The story takes place in 1958 way before UPC symbols existed. 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 Cinema Snob: Mother's Day (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

WOW! What a powerful punch this one packs!
26 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Before I get into the film let me briefly surmise the actual case that this film is based on. Firstly, the actual case of Sylvia Likens was in reality much more brutal than this movie portrays. If you can try for a moment to wrap your mind around that fact than you can begin to fathom the unbelievable torture that this young woman actually endured. The actual case took place in the 1960s but for some odd reason this story is set in the 1950s this is where the confusion begins. Also, in the actual case, Sylvia was not raped nor was she forced to suffer the final indignity that the character in this movie does. That aside, this is a shockingly brutal and powerful film...yes the acting is stiff but I do believe that this was intentional in order to reflect the times. This film is a period piece and should be taken as such. When you take a look at the cast and realize the caliber of actors/actresses in this film anyone can easily see that these are not bad actors. Much of the brutality in this film is implied violence rather than in your face blood and guts. There are cut-aways during some of the more intense moments of the torture scenes but in many ways this makes things even worse! In this sense, this is genius film making. It makes the viewer believe that they have seen something much more horrific than they actually have, not to say that this makes the images seen in this film any less disturbing. A friend of mine who watched this film with me told me that he was unable to sleep for the rest of the night because of this film...and we're talking about a grown man in his late thirties! That's the sort of impact a film like this has. I am looking forward to "An American Crime" which is based on the court transcripts of the actual case and should adhere more to the facts but nonetheless "The Girl Next Door" is a film that punches you in the gut and refuses to relinquish it's grip on your senses.

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