THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVES DOWN THE LANE (1976)

jodiefosterlittlegirllane

Elizabeth (spoilers!)

So, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is pretty weird, but not really in the way I expected. If you read the description on Netflix or the taglines of the poster, you know the gist is that Rynn (Jodie Foster) is a 13 year old girl who lives alone and has something up with her cellar. So, I was expecting the whole movie to pretty much be about Rynn being crazy and either keeping her parents locked up in the cellar or just killing people and keeping the bodies in the cellar, with the climax of the movie discovering exactly what was going on down there. But that’s really not what the movie is about.

From the first scene of the movie, it’s clear that the main conflict isn’t that Rynn is crazy/possibly a killer, it’s that she lives alone and is getting stalked by a super creep pedophile, Frank (Martin Sheen). I wasn’t really expecting that. Frank is the son of Mrs. Hallet (Alexis Smith), who owns the house that Rynn, and presumably her father, are renting. So in the small town that they live in, everyone apparently knows that Mrs. Hallet is awful but she’s too rich for anyone to do anything, and subsequently everyone knows that Frank is a pedophile but the cops can’t do anything because of his rich mother. So Mrs. Hallet sucks and constantly barges in on Rynn’s house (although to be fair, Rynn never seems to keep the door locked until the end of the movie for some reason) and is suspicious that Rynn’s father isn’t actually there. Rynn also desperately tries to keep Mrs. Hallet out of the cellar, but once Mrs. Hallet finally breaks through and gets down there, she screams and on her way back up from the cellar, the door hits her on the head, pushing her down the stairs and killing her. While trying to figure out how to get rid of Mrs. Hallet’s car, Rynn meets Mario (Scott Jacoby, who I thought looked distractingly like Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig). Once they meet, the plot takes another unexpected turn. Rynn tells Mario everything: what happened to her father (he died of an illness), what happened to her mother (Rynn unknowingly poisoned her per her father’s instructions), what happened to Mrs. Hallet, and what she’s done with all the bodies (in the cellar, obviously). So Mario helps her bury the bodies and now that we all know that Rynn isn’t totally crazy, and we know what’s happened to all the missing characters, the movie then becomes about A.) Rynn and Mario falling in love, B.) Mario helping Rynn keep everything a secret, C.) Rynn trying not to get raped/possibly murdered by Frank.

It’s WEIRD. It works, though. Like with Spring Breakers, this is another rare case where I’ve found that the movie is nothing like what I thought it would be, but it ends up being a good thing.

Also, just be warned that’s there’s a scene of animal abuse that I thought was really disturbing and sort of messed me up. So just be aware of that . . .

Christopher

I was expecting to have to trudge through this movie. But this movie ended up being pretty weird in a great way. There was some pedophilia stuff in it but nothing too crazy and the pedophile was Martin Sheen so it wasn’t that uncomfortable since I like him. Also, there is a scene where the 13 year old Jodie Foster gets naked but Elizabeth looked it up and it was a body double, luckily. So those are the weird things about the movie but the cool things are that Jodie Foster plays a 13 year old girl that drives this movie with her superb acting. The story is basically a what’s real, what’s not kind of thing and Foster plays her part with such a straight face so convincingly, you can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next. I mean for the most part the story is basically straight forward but the journey to get there is bizarre.

This is on Netflix and I highly recommend you watch it!
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