Monday, October 22, 2012

The Little Girl Who Lives down the Lane

This poster is pretty cool, except that it kind of gives away the entire movie (way to go, marketing team).  I have heard about this movie for years but only got around to seeing it today, and it's incredibly chilling.  Jodie Foster is a great actress, and she manages to drip with both innocence and menace in this movie, which is something that isn't easy to achieve.  The premise of this movie is that there is a young girl living in a big house and she seems to be all alone, though she insists that her father lives with her and that he's just out of the house every time anyone stops by.

The movie is populated with creepy, skeezy characters who wouldn't appear in a movie nowadays.  There's the pedophile neighbor played by Martin Sheen who takes great interest in this girl (when he praises her "pretty hair" I got chills), his mother who happens to be the landlady and also an insufferably bigoted WASP, the "little girl" herself who is worldly and wise beyond her years, her absentee eccentric poet father, and her distant abusive mother.  I feel bad for this kid having to eke out an existence in such an environment.  I don't blame her for being a cold and calculating smartass.  She had to be that way in order to survive.

There's not much gore here to speak of, but there are plenty of psychological thrills, at least for me.  I wasn't sure where this movie was heading, it had me so off-kilter with its skewed view of the world.  I never quite knew what to expect next.  I like movies that can do that to me, and it's impressive that this movie is still so effective after all these years.

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