The Girl Next Door (2007) Poster

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Like being burnt alive while brutalized to death.
nitzanhavoc6 December 2012
I consider myself a Horror freak. I'm pretty experienced with the genre, and I don't scare or shock easily. I've "survived" Martyrs, The Inside and Murder Set Pieces. This film squeezed my soul to the point of trauma.

The entire film is one long psychological torture, leaving the audience desperate, enraged, frustrated and helpless. It's been a while since I felt the urge to scream, pick up the computer screen and bash it to pieces. That was what I wanted to do to the characters of this film (except the one protagonist of course).

If you've ever thought a person could be cruel, abusive, and plain down right evil - The Girl Next Door will teach you that you haven't seen anything yet. There's barely any blood, and still - I have never, ever been more shocked and disturbed over a film. I'm a grown man, and I had to continuously remind myself that it was just a film and not real. Watching this makes you wanna curl inside yourself and cry like a child, or scream and go on a rampage.

This film is a proof that immense implication of violence always leaves a harder mark than graphic violence and gore. The script, the acting, the screenplay... all put together create a sick and traumatizing experience. The fact that this is based on a true story and real events - makes it even more shocking. Seriously, I need a hug right now.

I will never recommend this film to anyone, except people who have emotional problems, feel numb and unable to experience emotions. This film would make a dead body cry. One might be able to appreciate it as a film, but not enjoy it. I really hope there's a hell dark enough with sadistic enough eternal torture for those who committed the acts portrayed here.

First time I've rated a film 10.
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A Deeply Disturbing Tale of Truth
gavin694229 December 2007
Meg Loughlin's parents are dead, causing her and her sister to live with their aunt Ruth. Ruth is not like the other parents: she allows the neighborhood children to smoke and drink, and has an intense dislike for Meg -- for no real reason. After telling the police about mistreatment, Meg's punishment becomes more and more severe.

First, let me say that Blythe Auffarth (who plays Meg Loughlin) is an amazing actress. Some of the scenes in this film are truly awful -- not acted awful, mind you, but are just visually repellent. Most actresses would say no to the torture, rape and beatings contained in this film. And you cannot blame them. But Auffarth accepts the role and does an amazing job of being the normal "girl next door".

While watching this film, I told myself I had finally found the spiritual successor to "Last House on the Left" and my opinion remains the same. Like "Last House", this film is scary because of its realism. The events could actually happen to the victim, it's not just a psycho with an ax (which, while possible, is more fantasy than anything). Perhaps this film even trumps "Last House" in a way because the events really did happen, and actually happened worse than depicted here. The real girl, for example, also had to consume human waste, which is not shown here.

Making the film even more powerful is that we are shown the events from the point of view of the neighbor boy, who has a crush on Meg (despite being a few years younger). We watch them meet, become friends and then as events spin more and more out of control we see how completely helpless the boy is. While the boy is only mildly harmed in the film, it's an emotional roller coaster to be put in his shoes knowing everything that is happening and having nothing available to remedy it. The suffering he feels vicariously, we also feel vicariously. It's a pain train.

I cannot recommend this film for the squeamish. I was very uneasy watching it, making this film a member of a very exclusive list (with such others as "Kids"). Even those who enjoy seeing a film of slaughter (and sometimes I do) will be shocked in some way by this one. It's not your Jason or Freddy film, it's your sister or girlfriend really being kidnapped and there's nothing you can do about it. And yes, this really did happen and it can happen again.
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The Most Disturbing Movie You Will Ever See!!!
eltonpharoah20 April 2008
Either you will love this movie, or you will hate it. But either way, you will agree... this movie grabs a hold of you and it won't let go!

Regardless of what actually happened in real life, or was portrayed in the books... this movie provokes a strong emotion in you. And it takes you to a place you don't want to be. You will feel disgusted, sad, angry, sick, and that's just for starters.

Warning: This movie is not for the squeamish!!! For me personally, it made me feel helpless. Because you are sitting there watching the movie unfold, and you can't do anything to stop it. And that for me, was the worse feeling of all.

Technical aspects: The acting is great. The dialogue is obscene. The nudity and sexual situations are disgusting. But it brings a realism that could not be achieved otherwise!

Bottom line: This movie will give you a small taste of what it's like to be victimized, or be near someone that has. And it will force you to rethink everything you ever thought about in life! So be warned!!!
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Pushes it genre to the limit
gqviet51030 November 2007
Its been a really really long time since I seen a movie this intensely horrifying. This is the type of movie that starts off soft and ends at the climax, leaving viewers breathlessly shocked. I have never before seen children ages probably ranging between 8-13 commit the inhumane acts as seen in this movie. The boy children were given permission by their sick twisted foster mother to torture a beautiful innocent girl. As the torture worsen you feel more and more sympathy for the girl; this is what makes the movie excellent because it captures the audience in a very powerful way. To make this movie even more horrifying is realizing the movie is based on a true story. I would not recommend anyone to watch this movie before they go to bed because it will be hard to sleep having to think about the poor girl being tortured. I have a feeling this movie will be banned because its too explicit for the general public to watch.
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Kokcoldgirl5 July 2009
I was presented with this movie on the Chiller station. I was expecting Freddy Kruger-like horror. This was not that type of movie and I am upset that it was on this station even though it is one of the most horrifying movies out there. And it's based on true facts. Throughout this movie my thoughts kept going to the book "A Child Called It"--also true. I'm writing this at 4 a.m. because after watching this show, I can't sleep. Although I wouldn't have picked this show to watch, now that I have seen it I realize the importance of our world not EVER forgetting that this can and does happen. People know about it but don't want to admit it or "pry". Even though, in 2009, we'd like to believe the neighbors, CPS or the police would step in, I fear that is not the truth. This is an important movie and shouldn't be relegated to cable stations as a sensationalist movie.
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Months later I still cant get this out of my mind. Left me absolutely devastated and sickened
johnnyred-5800626 October 2020
I enjoy horror films and read an article on the 10 most brutal. This film was number 7. I knew nothing about it going in other then it's place on a list.

I am a 48 year old father of two. It has been several months since I have watched it and it continues to haunt my thoughts. I simply cannot get what I have seen out of my head. Then to learn this story was not only based on a real event but one which was much worse then what was depicted on screen sickened me to my core.

I have seen every terrorizing horrific gorefest movie out there and this one will likely remain in my head until the day I meet my maker. This is an extremely difficult piece of cinema to watch.

Credit is due to the young lady who played the main character. Even to act through those scenes must have been an unbelievable horrific experience. She did a phenomenal job.

I am disgusted that I watched this but happy that it gave a voice to a young girl named Sylvia Likens. A girl I never would have heard of otherwise. A girl who lived through a terrifying painful horrific life only to be freed by death. A girl who deserves to be remembered.

Rest in peace Sylvia
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Unflinchingly real ... a genre-redefining classic
panicprod6 December 2007
Directed by Gregory Wilson, and shot and produced by William Miller, Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door is a movie that few who've seen it will ever forget. Black-hole dark and beyond harrowing, it's nonetheless a carefully crafted work and also extraordinarily sensitive. In fact, if it's not strictly a horror film, then one can only conclude that it's the genre's loss. Jack Ketchum's novel, like much of his work, is based on compelling real-life events. In this instance the story draws upon a 1960s case of almost unspeakable child abuse—most of that abuse committed by other children under adult supervision. Ketchum, who is extremely proud of this film adaptation, speaks openly about production company Moderncine's initial pitch to him: "Let us make this movie before Hollywood does and ruins it." To bring The Girl Next Door to the screen, Moderncine enlisted some topnotch talent, including award-winning director Gregory Wilson, who here displays a tremendous talent working with actors, and veteran writers Philip Nutman and Daniel Farrands. Still, in a period when horror movies have repeatedly pushed, and even mangled, the envelope, this one derives most of its emotional shock not from graphic content but from the realistic and courageous presentation of a long-standing cultural taboo: on-screen violence to children. Unfortunately, it's all too easy for mainstream critics to shoot down this kind of movie by terming it "exploitative" when actually it's the opposite: a tragedy that immerses the audience in the misery of the real rather than promoting escapism with comfortable, and clichéd, lessons about violence and evil. After a successful theatrical run in New York early in the fall, The Girl Next Door is now available here on DVD. I urge you to see it. Like another powerful film released in 2007, Bug, it may hit too close to home to appeal to the typical horror fan. Indeed, it has a slightly different audience in mind: human beings.
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Watching is a must, just be ready to be kicked in the gut with feelings...
pormdumper3 December 2007
This movie disturbed me to my very core. The acting is superb. The plot is very engrossing. Everything about this movie screams unbelievably well done and the makers of it should be extremely proud. This is the first Horror / Thriller were I actually felt for the characters. This is certainly the best film in its genera. This is also the reason why I wouldn't recommend watching it to most people... Watching this gives you a feeling as if you just accidentally killed your pet (worse actually)... It is far more horrifying then anything I have ever seen and the script makes it come to life which makes it even more terrifying....

If you are looking for a horror movie and don't have heart problem then watching it should be a priority just expect to feel horrible afterwards...

I can't believe this managed to get R rated in USA... I guess it is true that there are no censors for movies anymore...
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A different kind of video nasty... and not pleasant
wbafanclub1228 November 2007
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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Reduces the Likens case to no more than a lurid snuff film
bob_meg8 May 2011
If you're interested in this story from a crime perspective, do yourself a favor and rent "American Crime" instead. You get A-list actors like Catherine Keener and Ellen Page, a believable story arc and progression, and character back-stories and motivations.

If you're interested in seeing just scene after scene of graphic torture and are just one sick f*ck, then this is the version for you. Truly, "The Girl Next Door" is as tawdry as its peek-a-boo title and poster art.

First of all, the plot device of David (and that's all he is) is pointless and manipulative. There's no need for this character to be in this story except to make you squirm and feel implicit guilt (you're watching it too...deep!). Secondly, the acting is marginal and clichéd. Thirdly, and worst, is the ridiculously fast progression to the torture and rape scenes which linger to the point of being fetishistic.

The way this rendition plays out (no pun intended) is the very definition of snuff: the killing of someone to derive a sexual response. This goes beyond documentary, beyond mere exposition. It's just offensive.

I give it three stars merely because yes, it's an important story to tell and yes, it is harsh because the crimes were harsh. But harsh and perverted are just not the same thing. Not at all.
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Not what you might expect
richardslily16 July 2018
I found this film in a list of best torture films. I love saw and hostel and was hoping for this kind of thing. It's a slow burner at first, it sets the scene for over half an hour and I began thinking am I watching the right film? But when it starts it REALLY starts. I could say a lot about this film, like how the main guy could have done a lot more to help the situation. But I won't say much because I want you to watch it knowing and expecting nothing like I did. What I will say though, is I actually cried at this film. And I don't think I've ever done that in a horror film before. Enjoy!
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christee-4261412 March 2020
I hated this movie! I know this story has to be told because it happens more than we would like to think. My problem with this movie is they glorify the torture that this girl goes through and to be honest this should have never been made into a movie. This should be a documentary of the real failure of CPS, government, and every citizen not saying anything when they see abuse. This story happened 50 years ago but look at Gabriel Hernandez who suffered the same fate, we have to stand up for children because nobody else will. This should also be a wake up call on the justice system, the people that perpetrated these disgusting acts of torture that lead to this girls death were all released from jail serving the minimum sentence.
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Disgusting Celebration of Depravity
meanieman17 December 2019
I accidentally clicked on this title thinking it was American Crime starring Ellen Page and a whole roster of real, quality actors. When I realized I did not recognize one person, and the "storyline" was just torture,fast forwarded to the end. Was expecting a courtroom scene or credits referencing the real life case. That did not happen, because this movie is based on someone's fiction.

Although this movie came out around the same time as American Crime, there was zero reason to make this film except to hide perversion in plain sight. Who submitted all the 10-star reviews? Someone paid? Someone sending a dogwhistle to other maps types? Maybe someone trying to trick a naive viewer into watching something unwatchable and disturbing? Because there is nothing "entertaining" in this film, and no message or moral lesson to learn. If you like to watch children being mutilated and abused, please seek therapy. Today.
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Very harrowing, but well-made movie reminiscent of "River's Edge"
lazarillo10 November 2007
This is a very harrowing movie based on a true story from 1958 of an adopted teenage girl who is kept tied-up in a basement and horribly physically and sexually abused by her male cousins and other neighborhood kids, all under the orchestration of her very insane woman-hating aunt.

This movie is definitely hard to watch (it prompted at least one walk-out at the midnight film festival showing I attended), but it's nowhere as graphic as it COULD be given the subject matter, and it doesn't revel in the abuse and degradation of the girl like many of these kind of movies tend to (think "I Spit on Your Grave" and some of the recent so-called "torture porn."). It also has a strong moral center in the form of the pubescent boy next door who befriends the girl and becomes increasing disturbed by what is happening to her, but is unable to tell the authorities or even his clueless parents out of loyalty to his friends. This kind of helpless but moral hero is actually a lot more realistic than the usual avenging Rambo type in typical Hollywood movies (which ought to be called "revenge porn", and are even more dangerous than legitimate "torture porn" because they create the kind of dangerous fantasies that lead entire countries to blunder into places like Vietnam or Iraq). In that respect, it kind of reminded me of one of my favorite all-time movies, "River's Edge", which is also very disturbing, but ultimately very morally uplifting in a human (rather than revenge fantasy) way.

The acting by all involved is excellent and the directing more than adequate. Some may fault the movie for not having an obvious "message", but SFW. Don't see this if you're easily offended, but I would recommend it to anyone willing to give it a chance.
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Production excellent; content disturbing.
samberdina17 June 2014
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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comments(girl next door)
christytinajeanette-130 July 2008
I was totally disturbed by this movie.I haven't been to get it out of my mind. I am scared for life. I even have been crying for this young girl who it happened to. I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone. And I can't understand why the cops or anybody else didn't do anything. I cannot understand this at all. The whole thing could have been prevented. I truly believe this. It shouldn't have been made. And I do hope my comment is posted. This is a sick film about innocence lost.I truly feel for this young girl. And my heart goes out to her. Even though it happened a long time ago.I wasn't even around then. I still have a heart for people, especially young children. I have two myself.
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This is just Wrong!
boss_man3328 July 2008
This movie in my opinion should be banned I have never said that about anything.... This is the most f#cked up and twisted movie I've ever seen. Child abuse and torture to the max, not what i wanted to see in a movie. I hope to never see a movie like this again. Yes this $h!t happens but there are ways of making the movie a little more watcher friendly.... My feonsay actually phoned the movie store that we rented to tell them about our displeasure in the movie. We should have been at least warned that the content in this movie was not scary but disturbing at many levels. I could not even finish the movie as I was so disgusted. I would like to thank you for reading this and this is my warning to ya all before you go out and rent it thinking that its going to be a really good horror movie because its not....
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Slow and cruel.
blueangelical25 February 2021
Absolutely no need for the first or last bit. Should have just been about the middle bit, didn't need to u Clyde the older bloke telling the story. Pointless

Really cruel and torture of a child. Slow, very slow throughout then cruel bits. Didn't really like it, makes you feel uncomfortable.
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Based on what happened in real life to Sylvia Likens
tinkerbell147921 February 2021
This is a very sad and horrifying movie, it's based on the true story of Sylvia Likens. What was done to Sylvia by Gertrude Baniszewski and her kids was absolutely disgusting. This movie is hard to watch, and is uncomfortable to watch at times. I'm glad they made a movie about poor Sylvia and what happened to her. I find a lot of movies about true crime can be ok, but you don't get the true representation of the crimes. This movie didn't shy away from what truly happened to Sylvia and what that monster of a woman did to her. If you have read or seen anything about the story of Sylvia Likens and you're interested in it, then I think you will like this movie. It really is a great movie!
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johnamacher1 March 2010
Never have I been so disgusted that Hollywood would put out such foul material. Although I have never read Jack Ketchum the idea of even writing or filming a story of this nature is revolting!

Torture against children is a serious and horrible issue that should be made aware of but this movie is beyond educating people about abuse.

But the most upsetting thing in this film is the fact that children were used in the film doing and saying things that no parent should allow.

Unfortunately money seemed more enticing to the parents which is an abuse itself! How any person could even let their child pretend to abuse another child in this way is disgusting!!! I will make a habit of never watching Gregory Wilson's movies in the future seeing that I could not finish this one!
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jordilynn13 October 2017
This is the most horrific movie I have ever seen. My stomach was in knots the entire time and I couldn't finish it. I don't know why this movie was made, but anyone who enjoys it is disturbed. It is well-made and intriguing, but it gets dark very fast. Save yourself the heartache and don't watch it. It will pull you in and then you may not be able to look away and you'll be haunted by it forever.
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Not the worst movie ever made . . .BUT
GimpsPig17 October 2008
I must admit firstly that it IS rare that a novel makes it to the screen in such unfiltered form as far as dialog and plot goes. Pretty much point for point this movie hits all the most important events and spoken lines from Jack Ketchum's novel, a liberally fictional telling of this true story.

No, this film lacks something else entirely. It's called personality. Reading the novel, I felt the environment become darker and dirtier, more angry. I could actually envision the characters get grimier and more erratic. This emotional life of the environs and physical descent of the persons are not nearly as prominent as should have been in the film version. As a result, the aesthetics of this adaptation end up being nothing short of stagnant.

And "stagnant" is just one of the "s" words that can be used to describe the acting. Only Blythe Auffarth's performance as Meg, victim extraordinaire, deserves any praise at all. Although, even here I'm referring to the fact that she's really quite good at screaming, crying and drooling, but not actually delivering any of the few lines required of her.

If you've read the book, go into the movie expecting a relatively direct transfer only minus the feeling. Do not expect any further shock value as most of the deeds described in text already made you feel dirty for reading it in the first place, and rightly so, can't be depicted on film. Most importantly, no further meaning or insight to the human condition can be gleaned from the movie that wasn't blatantly obvious in the book.

If you haven't read the book, however, then it is possible you may still find yourself squirming in your seat a bit as the subject matter is pretty f-ing disturbing no matter how you tell it. Even so, I recommend just getting yourself a copy of Ketchum's novel and leaving it at that.
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pointless to watch
brianmason8661 February 2015
The plot is centered on torture porn and works in a story line for the mere purpose of a setting for the torture porn.

reasons why its torture porn

1. bad acting 2. excessive, detailed sexual torture that could have just been implied other ways (if you want torture porn, direct torture porn, not a "film"; then you don't have to cut out anything!) 3. The entire plot centers around the sexual torture 4. nothing authentic or interesting about the plot or any of the characters 5. sloppily edited and cut 6. The few emotional parts are there for reasons I don't even want to get into they're so pathetically put together.

This movie wanted you to think it was torture porn. To exploit a horrific true story in this way for a pitiful profit is mind boggling. This is not horror. I was not scared once. I did not have any emotional reaction other than disgust because I felt like my intelligence was insulted. If you want to make porn, make porn, don't try to sell it as horror or an indie film and definitely don't base your porn after a real life tragedy.
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A disgustingly, sadistic piece of well-made garbage
jboyaquar16 December 2007
After a few years when most cinefiles have had the opportunity to view this perverse (Eli Roth, James Wan, Leigh Wannell should bow to this landmark exploitative realist torture porn exercise)freak show, Blanche Baker's performance as the ringleader of some of the most demented and cruel forms of abuse ever depicted on celluloid. Perfectly cast, this once attractive woman has given into her bitterness and misogynistic hatred. (Did I miss any allusions of her hubby(ies) leaving her for other women?) Any vespice of decency has evaporated. Her skin grows more ragged, pale and lined with each cigarette that mephistocoleanly cascades around her heavily made up face. What makes her so mezmerizing is her command of both language and seductive techniques. The children, some of which are devious to be begin with, fall to Ruth's most primitive primeval desires. Although the film respects its victims to never display any of the sexual abuse on-screen, Ruth's permanent content smile serves the salacious quotient. Oh my, and her voice is god-awful pleasant, delicious - akin to a ripe deep red strawberry sliding down your throat. Although heavy-handed (and apparently not historcially accurate) the movie's visual style impressively mocks the pure, clean-living images usually associated with white-bread 1950's Americana. Outside the cemetery-grey basement, the colors are bright, sunny and filled with the promise of budding adolescence. As to keep the audience horrifyingly subjected to Ruth's hold over the children, certain logical problems of prevention - aka either the children or the system preventing Ruth from caring for so many children - arose. Also, the forment of jealousy inside Ruth over Meg's burgeoning good looks, and other situational contexts are dismissed for intimacy concerns. Ummm...not really sure what the bookended present-day scenes served outside to add some fatuous symbolism. The end credits score should have haunted me more.
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The worst movie i have ever seen
pantelislelekas23 February 2013
In my opinion, the sickest movie i have ever seen. I wonder who gave approval for this movie? They have just filmed a girl being tormented with the most outrageous ways. The movie has nothing to offer to any of you; it's as simple as that..probably the longest 91 minutes in my whole life.. I consider that it might be a real story, but sometimes it's better such stories to be kept away from theaters!! I know that this is not an actual review, but the purpose of my writing is to prevent some of you from watching this film! It ruined my day! The worst thing, which absolutely confuses me is the unbelievably high rating the movie has received! Please put some thought before you decide to watch this.
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