27 user 29 critic

Gardens of the Night (2008)

R | | Drama | 21 November 2008 (USA)
2:19 | Trailer
After being abducted as children, and suffering years of abuse, a teenage boy and girl find themselves living on the street.


Damian Harris


Damian Harris
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Gillian Jacobs ... Leslie Anne Whitehead
John Malkovich ... Michael
Ryan Simpkins ... Young Leslie Anne Whitehead
Tom Arnold ... Alex
Kevin Zegers ... Frank
Jermaine Scooter Smith Jermaine Scooter Smith ... Young Donnie (as Jermaine 'Scooter' Smith)
Harold Perrineau ... Orlando
Jeremy Sisto ... Jimmy
Raynold Gideon ... Judge Feeney
Cornelia Guest ... Mrs. Feeney
Natalie May Natalie May ... Judge's Daughter
Ben Lin ... Pa
Alice Lo ... Ma
Evan Ross ... Donnie
Landall Goolsby ... Blackberry John


An 8-year-old girl is taken from her home and convinced that her family does not want her anymore. After enduring years of horror, she and her fellow victim are dumped by their capturers. Now, 17 years old and no one to turn to except each other, they do their best to survive life on the streets, until one day she finally accepts the help of a shelter counselor to find her way home. However, what she truly finds is the love of her life and that you can never go back. "Gardens of the Night", is a haunting, gritty and topical story which delves deep into the world of child abduction and where it often leads... for the "lucky ones." The writer/director, Damian Harris bases his story on the kids, counselors, cops and pimps he met during two years of research. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing content involving sexual exploitation of a child, language, sexual content and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Tom Arnold plays a child molester. In real life, Arnold is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. See more »


Young Leslie: [last lines - reading] "Come back", she whispered, "come back, for I love you. Come back again, by night or by day. This door is never shut to you." Mowgli's throat worked as though the cords in it were being pulled, and his voice seemed to be dragged from it as he answered, "I will surely come back."
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Good Things
Written by B. White
Performed by Gogogo Airheart
See more »

User Reviews

As a father, who obviously thinks his daughter is the sweetest, most beautiful, and innocent creature on this planet, I struggled to watch this
20 August 2017 | by brian-paroneSee all my reviews

I'm always looking for extreme and disturbing films. Disturbing film aficionados will know about 'A Serbian Film', 'Salo', 'Martyrs', 'Nekromantik', and the rest. Nothing has ever made me cringes much, or even ever stop watching a film....until this film. I didn't even think this was going to be a disturbing film. I knew is was a risqué topic but didn't think it would be the most disturbing film I've ever seen. I had to turn if off for a little bit. Just imaging my little girl in that situation broke my heart. I couldn't stop imaging it happening to my little girl and I felt so uneasy I had to turn it off twice and try to watch something else. So I turned it on and left it on. My objective is to install an appropriate level of fear in myself and think about what I can do to avoid this with my daughter and other children.

No film has ever stuck with me like this one. No film has ever given me such anxiety. No film has ever made me so uncomfortable and shocked at human behavior. I understand violence but, child exploitation is not something I understand at all. I am moved. I gave this film an 8. Not a 10 because I prefer films that make me feel good. Not a 1 because this is a hard subject done right and that doesn't take the topic over the line (i.e. no child nudity/sexual acts). It seriously does go to the edge though. Very wall thought out and directed. Was a tight rope to walk for the director.

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Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

21 November 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gardens of the Night See more »


Box Office


$2,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,072, 9 November 2008

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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