Monday, April 5, 2010

My Year in Disturbing Film: Week 14 - Still Truckin'

My year in disturbing film is my weekly column where I devote a few paragraphs to the most fucked up films ever made. Each week I plan on subjecting myself to the most horrific and mentally damaging imagery my mind can handle. I can't promise you this won't be the week I wind up in the hospital...

HERE is a reminder about my rating system for these films

Hmmm so what torment is in store for me this week...

The Girl Next Door – pray it’s not you

What’s the movie about?
Based on a true story of a girl taken in by a relative after her parents are killed in an accident. It’s a fairly straight forward plot, the real guts of the film revolve around what happens to said girl once she gets to the relatives house and this of course begs the question…

David and happier times

Is the film disturbing?
Oh there’s little doubt about that! The story opens with a man named David, after he witnesses a man get hit by a car and almost die he starts thinking about life and death. It reminds him of an incident that happened to him in his youth. Meg and her younger sister have already had a pretty rough life. Their parents have died and now they have to go live with their auntie Ruth. Ruth makes it abundantly clear right from the beginning that she doesn’t like them. She insists that Meg is putting on weight and she shouldn’t be eating anything and her sister should learn to be useful, despite having braces on her legs and needs crutches to walk.

Ruth - Loving Matron

Ruth punishes the girls needlessly and ruthlessly. She beats the sister with a toilet brush after Meg hits one of her four obnoxious, perverted, demented kids for grabbing her boob during an impromptu tickle session. Things finally come to a head though and Meg finds herself tied up in the basement. She lets her boys loose on Meg and before long Meg is stripped, gagged and blindfolded. This would have been bad enough it this is where it ended, but it just gets worse. Meg is systematically beaten to a pulp, tortured and raped. Mostly by Ruth’s shitbox progeny, but the local neighborhood kids get involved as well (both the boys and some of the girls). All the while Ruth explains her sexist theories about why girls are shit and how they’re all whores and worthless. A very model of a modern mother, don’t you think?

They're a good bunch of really

Seeing as the entire story is told from David’s point of view, he’s present for all the atrocities. He’s also the only one who tried to help her during the entire ordeal. It’s pretty apparent that David is a nice guy; he’s the only nice guy in this thing aside from the cop who eventually helps them at the end. Also David is subjected to witness some of the most violent acts he will likely ever see in his life. The worst of which involves watching Meg getting branded with the words “I fuck, fuck me” and having a blowtorch taken to her most private of areas.

She still has clothes, so this must be early in the film

This is not an easy film to sit through, I can deal with rape and I can deal with torture so to speak, but what I always have the hardest time with (and I find this fascinating since I had never noticed this before I started this little experiment) watching a beautiful young lady turned from sweet and innocent to winding up a shell of her former self (and in this case, her untimely death). It’s just incredibly sad and no one should have to go through that. This is one of the few films on my list that touched me on a deeper level and definitely disturbed me to no end. I remember having the images in The Girl Next Door stick with me for quite some time after viewing the first time and I suspect the same will occur this time around. Though I do recommend it, I will say be weary. It’s not a film for the faint of heart.


5 ruined childhoods out of 5

Disturbitude: 9, though I doubt the filmmakers started out with the idea of putting people in the hospital with this one it’s a deeply disturbing story that may just succeed, even if unintentional.

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