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The Girl Next Door (2007)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 14,536 users   Metascore: 29/100
Reviews: 164 user | 74 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.

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(as Gregory M. Wilson)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Girl Next Door (2007)

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Cast

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
...
...
Tony
Greg Northrop ...
Police Officer #2 (as Gregory Northtrop)
...
Mr. Moran
Santo Silvestro ...
Ice Cream Vendor
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Storyline

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

Plot Keywords:

cellar | sister | memory | death | torture | See more »

Taglines:

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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Version of An American Crime (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Totally engrossing but painful to watch
29 August 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is an excellent film and therefore in some ways it is a pleasure to watch, but anyone who has seen it will know that it's effectiveness in fact makes it almost unbearable to watch.

The story revolves around two girls who have recently been orphaned and are sent to live with their aunt who has three young sons. She is a middle aged woman obsessed with feminine purity who sees the new arrivals as a potentially corrupting influence on the masculine world she presides over.

She actively encourages her sons to perpetrate more and more severe acts of bullying and sadism against the older girl who is eventually tied up in the basement and used as a play thing by all the neighbourhood children.

Only the boy who lives next door, who has become friends with the girl, has a growing sense of unease about the "games" which are taking a very sinister turn, yet he is powerless to change the course of events.

This film is very well written, directed and performed and is therefore a relentlessly depressing affair which is horribly painful to watch. The aunt is a very cold and manipulative figure whose brutality knows no bounds and her sons quickly warm to her ideals. Realising that they have a free reign under her they too become very savage. The culmination of the acts they perpetrate are some of the most shocking I have ever seen in cinema, all the more shocking because they are perpetrated by children, against another child, encouraged by their mother.

Truly gripping. Truly horrifying. Hard to watch and hard to look away.


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