Slated to strike DVD on December 4, 2007, "The Girl Next Door" raced to get out before "An American Crime," a film based on the very same true crime story. But "Girl" is itself based on Jack Ketchum's fictionalized novel based on the crime. It's arguably more of a horror movie than a crime movie. It was co-written by Daniel Farrands, who penned the script for "Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers." Needless to say, this is a big step up from that movie.
Set in 1950s suburbia (the actual crime took place in the 1960s), the film's protagonist is a boy whose adult self is remembering the events that unfolded. David (played by young Daniel Manche) is friends with a number of other boys in the neighborhood. The most popular mom in town lives next door is an alcoholic, Ruth (Blanche Baker), who has just gained custody of the two daughters of her late sister. The older sister Meg (Blythe Auffarth) is a beauty and David quickly develops a puppy love crush on her.
Over the weeks, he begins to notice Ruth abusing the daughters. Then, one day swings by their house to see Meg tied up and gagged in the basement, being taunted by the mother and her sons. Things get progressively worse from there with other children – boys and girls – invited over to torture the victim and the mother growing more or more of a mental case as the days progress.
Echoing similarities to 1970s fear films like "Last House on the Left" and "Candy Snatchers," "Girl Next Door" is even more chilling because it's based on a true story – and seems to be part of a wave of true-crime horror films hitting screens and DVD shelves in recent years. There's also a particularly disturbing "Lord of the Flies" element to it because it involves kids.
For a low-budget film, this features top-notch acting, excellent cinematography and dialogue that make the whole tale ring true. There was one unfortunate scene where a modern re-recorded cover of a 1950s rock tune is played, showing the film creaking under its budgetary limitations. Also, the end gets a tad sentimental.
All in all, however, "Girl Next Door" is a disturbing direct-to-DVD horror film – one that gained serious buzz when Stephen King recommended it: "The first authentically shocking American film I've seen since Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer over 20 years ago. If you are easily disturbed, you should not watch this movie. If, on the other hand, you are prepared for a long look into hell, suburban style, The Girl Next Door will not disappoint. This is the dark-side-of-the-moon version of Stand By Me."
An excellent excellent movie. It played at a film fest in San Jose recently, SiliCon. One of the few great movies that played it.
Posted by emily on February 14, 2008
This movie was very good from a cinematic viewpoint, the nostalgia is so realistic. The characters are realistic. It does get pretty sick though. I expected this to be a scary monster type of movie but it wasnt like that. Though it was scary in a much diffrent way. I was most impressed by the acting of Daniel Manche, he was the true highlight and the star of the movie.
This movie was shocking and still disturbs me... although I suppose that is its purpose.
Posted by Frankie B on May 13, 2008
For anyone who loves being the damsel in distress, Meg (Blythe Auffarth) is ONE LUCKY SOB! It's just too bad she passed on, because those are some kickin' memories to live with!!
Posted by Frankie B on May 13, 2008
Posted by Frankie B on May 27, 2008
I dont know how to delete prior messages however I'd like to apologize proactively -after reading on I did not realize that this was actual events and my heart goes out to all affected. My sympathies!
Posted by Herbertisgod on December 19, 2008
Frankie B, as a survivor of childhood physical and sexual abuse myself, it really disgusts me to see a post like yours. Having to live with those kind of memories is certainly not "kickin."
Posted by poon goon on May 13, 2009
ip to the nanny! schlop to the fanny! cheers and granny! yay yibble dibble, my niggizzle!!!!!!!! oop inny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by ASHLEY FUCKING PISSED OFF on April 19, 2010
THIS MOVIE IS THE SICKEST FUCKING MOVIE I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE FUCKING LIFE AND I WOULD BURN THE SHIT OUT OF EVERY MOTHER FUCKING COPY I COULD GET MY FUCKING HANDS ON IF I COULD! WHO EVER THE FUCK THOUHGT OF THIS SHIT IS ONE HELL OF A SICK FUCKER CAUSE THAT MOVIE IS TRASH! I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE PISSED OFF IN MY LIFE. EVERYBODY I KNOW THAT THAT HAS SEEN THAT MOVIE WAS PISSED AFTER. WHO THE FUCK COMES UP WITH THAT SHIT!! SICK FUCKING TWISTED MOTHER FUCKING MOVIE! :@:@:@
Posted by WOW on June 12, 2010
There's no need to insult your own intelligence online, "Ashley fucking pissed off" Oh sorry I forgot to put on my caps lock. This isn't the sick fantasy of a perverted writer. This is trying to convey the powerful true story of a girl who was brutally tortured to her death. THIS HAPPENED. It's supposed to make you mad because the person who thought it up actually lived.
Posted by ApplePie on October 5, 2010
Damn, this movie is truly twisted. If your looking for a good under the radar horror flick this halloween this movie is for you. Good old fashioned cunt burning and murder, based on actual events.
Rank this film on a '666 scale' of one to six (left to right). Based on 2434 votes.