In a quiet suburban town in the summer of 1958, two recently orphaned sisters, Meg and disabled Susan are placed in the care of their mentally unstable aunt Ruth. But Ruth's depraved sense of discipline will soon lead to unspeakable acts of abuse and torture that involve her young sons, Willie, Ralphie, and Donny the neighborhood children, and one 12-year-old boy, David whose life will be changed forever.
Jack Ketchum chose to write the book from the first person perspective of the neighbor because the real case had some things he was mortified with that he didn't want to include. See more »
When David is talking to his father about when it's okay to hit a girl, his father sets three bottles of alcohol out on the bar. There's a close-up as David stands at the bar and, when the camera pans out, the three bottles are gone without David having moved to put them away. See more »
[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.
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I think this is the most disturbing film I've ever seen. I'm a horror film buff and thought I had seen it all, from indie chillers to Asian horror. But never has a film scraped my core like this one. I wouldn't call it "entertaining". But I guess I felt like I had to see it through. Most of the direct abuse is implied and described, which is a method that only adds to the horrifying emotions that result. I believe that the liberties taken in movies when dealing with true crime almost force people to feel what they should be feeling upon learning about such events. It's unfortunate that people skim the news with little emotion. Production, writing, acting and directing are superb in making this story real. Knowing that such an event really took place made it hurt so much more. I actually took an Alka-Seltzer after watching. Please don't let the kids watch.
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