Sunday, June 19, 2011

Jack Ketchum's the Girl Next Door (2007)

Based on the Jack Ketchum novel of the same name, The Girl Next Door follows the unspeakable torture and abuses committed on a teenage girl in the care of her aunt...and the boys who witness and fail to report the crime. (Imdb rating 6.9)

The title of this blog 'The Sick, the Strange and the Awful' is somewhat of a misnomer. In reality, the percentages aren't equal; the 'Awful' is a full 70% of the blog's content, 'Strange' is 25%, and 'Sick' is only about 5%. Even then, the 'sick' usually has no effect on me. Hey, it's only a movie!

I'll come right out and say it; I could only watch the first hour of The Girl Next Door, fast forwarding through the rest. I think I'm jaded more than most, I've seen quite a few disturbing movies in my time, but nothing hit me quite as hard as this did. This is a foul, foul movie.

I can hear some pseudo-gorehounds and other people intrigued by just how repulsive and vicious I'm making this movie sound. It is all of that, but somehow, it only has an R rating in America, the same as the Hangover, which is staggering. I think what makes it truly heinous is the lack of distance between what is happening on screen and what could happen in real life. As it should, because it *did* happen in real life, in Indiana in the 60s.

The real events are almost worse than the movie (real life was far more drawn out, but missing some of the more shocking parts of the movie). I'm glad I didn't know it was real beforehand, it would have only made the hit harder. The subtle way the film introduces the later appalling behaviour is also extremely effective. There are just little things at the start, the aunt flippantly giving the neighborhood kids beer, one of her sons killing earthworms by dumping them on an anthill etc, but they snowball quickly.

I'm being nice by not showing you anything

I'm still making some of you want to watch The Girl Next Door, and some of you will. Just heed my warning, that this movie isn't for any but the hardiest souls. The Girl Next Door is easily the hardest movie I've ever had to watch. I think I'll calm myself down by watching Cannibal Holocaust or Muzan E.

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