Summer, 1958. David, a 12-year-old boy living in the American suburbs, occupies his free time hanging around with three brothers living in a neighbouring house. When the trio of brothers learn that their recently orphaned cousins will be coming to live with them, they secretly hope that the prettier of the two girls will enlighten them about the mysteries of the human female. Given her beauty and charm, itís only natural that the young girl would attract the attention of a group of boys on the threshold of manhood. Surprisingly, though, the person who reacts most strongly to the arrival of the comely teenager is her aunt Ruth, who seems to take perverse pleasure in humiliating the pretty teenager she has adopted, in full view of her three sons and of course David. Anytime the opportunity presents itself, she leaps to insult the girl and even goes so far as to hit her. But what begins as conventional if rather excessive domestic discipline rapidly becomes monstrous and sadistic torture. Discovering that his three friends have begun participating in the horrific acts of their mother, David comes to the realization that only he is in a position to save the poor girl from the clutches of her family.
If youíre still reeling from The Lost, presented last year at Fantasia, prepare yourself for an even more concussive shock, care of this new adaptation of the famous novel by Jack Ketchum. As with Chris Sivertsonís film, The Girl Next Door is inspired by a deeply disturbing true story, committing to film one of the most horrifying crimes in American history. Itís impossible to remain indifferent when confronted with this veritable descent into hell, one in which the images of raw violence pale next to the powerful psychological charge of the work. Itís also impossible not to seethe at Blanche Bakerís turn in the role of Aunt Ruth, one of the most gripping performances seen in an American film in a long, long time. To borrow the words of David, looking back from adulthood Ė- if you think you know what pain is, damn, you donít know nothing!
—Simon LaperriŤre (translated by Rupert Bottenberg)
WORLD PREMIERE Hosted by Director GREGORY WILSON and producer ANDREW VAN DEN HOUTEN
Director: Gregory Wilson
Screenplay: Daniel Farrands, Philip Nutman, from Jack Ketchum
Cast: Blythe Auffarth
Graham Patrick Martin
Benjamin Ross Kaplan
Producers: William M. Miller, Andrew van den Houten
Distributor: Modern Cinť
2006 | 32 min