Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 5 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

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  • Summary: Based on the best-selling novel by Jack Ketchum, this film deals with the fictionalized account of the 1965 true story of Sylvia Likens's brutal torture, rape and abuse in the basement of a family member's Indiana home. (Moderncine)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 5
  2. Negative: 3 out of 5
  1. 75
    Neither Ketchum nor the filmmakers take an exploitative approach to the material; their focus is the way the youngsters' petty cruelty erupts into murderous sadism.
  2. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    The result is a great-looking bore.
  3. Gregory M. Wilson, the film’s director, has made the kind of movie that makes you wish you could rinse your brain in bleach, to wash all traces of it from your memory.
  4. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Any resonance from that real-life atrocity gets smothered by a script that interlaces clichéd dialogue so tightly as to block out any glint of recognizable human behavior.
  5. 12
    If there is anything positive in The Girl Next Door, it is the brave performance by Auffarth, who is in her early 20s. Other than that, there's little reason to see the movie. Unless, of course, you get off on watching the sexual exploitation of underage girls.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 13
  2. Negative: 4 out of 13
  1. DougM.
    Jan 24, 2008
    This movie is not an easy one to watch, but it is just as gripping and disturbing as the book, and blance baker as ruth was phenomenal.
  2. JohnE.
    Nov 26, 2007
    Don't listen to stodgy critics - this film is a powerhouse on all levels. Terrifying and tragic, it sucker punches the viewer and leaves him with a film experience he'll never forget. Expand
  3. Jan 26, 2012
    This is a faithfull and solid adaption of Jack Ketchum's brutal masterpiece, which was based on a true story. Could be deeper, but satisfying nonetheless Not for the squeamish. Expand
  4. Jun 3, 2013
    A well-meaning movie with a message that got lost somewhere in the exploitative abuse, wooden performances, average script and poor character development. Blythe Auffarth doesn't make a very convincing 14 year old either. This movie would've been better served concentrating more on the characters and their motives and less on "gee, what can we do today to Meg!" Expand
  5. Nov 4, 2013
    "The Girl Next Door" was a horrifying movie to watch. The sadistic torture of a girl was truly just disturbing. But there's nothing quite interesting about the film other than what kind of torture they can do to the girl. There's not much reason to watch this movie and I won't recommend you to do so. Expand
  6. Feb 22, 2013
    Jack Ketchum's 1989 novel and the subsequent film are based on one of the most infamous sex crimes in American history. The crime was truly horrific, unfortunately the film is equally as bad. The story is about a young girl who is living with a relative for the summer, a twisted and evil relative, who not only abuses the girl, but allows the neighborhood children to take advantage of her as well. The story is more than a little disturbing, but it's made worse by a film that is ridiculously tedious and boring. This story was much too straight forward and simplistic to make for a good movie, especially when they're choosing to focus on the crime itself. The one bright spot in this movie is soap actor, Daniel Manche. I'd never even heard of him prior to this film, but he was really great. It's a shame this film was so bad and cost him the recognition he deserved, but this kid was on target and really displayed the emotions that the viewers were feeling. There is another film about this crime, which focuses specifically on the ensuing trial resulting from the crime. It's called An American Crime, and while I already know the outcome, I have to see it, because it stars one of my favorite actors, Jeremy Sumpter. I can only hope that that film is more interesting than this one was. Expand
  7. JoeF.
    Feb 21, 2008
    Irresponsibly exploitive and feebly made. Only harry potter abuses its child actors more.

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