Movie Number- 85
Title– The Girl Next Door (2007)
Branden’s Rating– 6 out of 10
Bridgette’s Rating– 7 out of 10
Average Rating– 6.5
Netflix Rating– 3 Stars
Comments– If you follow my twitter updates, you might have noticed that I just finished reading this book, and that I really liked it. I thought Ketchum’s writing style was excellent even if the story told was beyond belief terrible. This is the movie adaptation to the book, and one that Ketchum himself supports, so I had pretty high hopes. Unfortunately, the terrible acting of the main women and the unpolished acting of the children really hurt this movie for me. But, because the story remains, it is a great adaptation of a novel, and Ketchum’s voice of the character’s are still present, I couldn’t possibly rank this any lower than a 6.
The Girl Next Door is about just what the title implies. Davy, the main character (and the first person narrator in the book) is now in his fifties, but he looks back and tells us about his home street in the 1950’s, and about Meg and Susan, two girls who came to live with Ruth and her sons (Davy’s friends) in the house next door to him. Ruth is a terrible women, it turns out, and Meg is eventually tortured by Ruth, Donny, Woofer, Willie, (her sons) and some of the neighborhood kids. Davy sees this torture, but doesn’t do anything to stop it (the reasons why are explained much better in the book than in the movie) until it gets really, really bad. This movie is disturbing, but the book is even worse. As is usually the case, the book proves to be much better than the movie, but if you’re someone who wants a quick fix on the story, the movie is true enough (for the most part) to the book. I still recommend reading through the book (it took me only 72-hours to complete it, and it was worth it if you can stomach it). The movie, like the book, is not for everyone, and know that it deals with a very difficult subject (child abuse) and is extremely graphic. The scariest part of the whole thing? This is based on a true story (**LINK CONTAINS POSSIBLE SPOILERS**). Memorable-Good.
Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.