Friday, April 23, 2010

The Girl Next Door (2007)

The Girl Next Door

An absolutely devastating film adapted from Jack Ketchum's book. Based on true events and set in a small New Jersey town in 1958. It centers around Meg and her sister who, after their parents die in a car crash, have to live with their aunt and three cousins. Meg meets the boy next door Dave and befriends him. Aunt Ruth believes that Meg is becoming a tramp and punishes Meg's sister for it. Things get out of control and Meg ends up getting tied up in the basement.

What makes the film so distrubing beyond the sadistic violence is the sense of morals going around. Aunt Ruth is so firm in her beliefs and her 3 children are basically brainwashed and under her control. The one character that the film allows people to cling onto as a protagonist is a boy named David. But even then it's hard to root for him as he does not tell anyone what is going on. It's maddening but also smart in that it's not giving you an easy out.

Say that David's parents were responsible enough to not let him hang around Ruth's house after seeing Ruth handing out beers to her kids. There is a huge narrative theme going on in this film about adults not caring.There is not a single redeemable adult in this movie.

After seeing this film, I look at the Saw films or the Hostel films the same way I think of the Friday the 13th films. They are just horror movies with some gory scenes in it and a villian. This film is not gory at all. It's ideas of abuse are far more terrifying than anything presented in the Hostel and Saw films. It definately needs to be watched by horror fans who are wanting to discover something truly terrifying.


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