Watched a DVD of The Girl Next Door last night. It was probably one of the most disturbing films I have ever watched. It was based on a novel by the American horror writer, Jack Ketchum, which was itself based on true events. It's the latter that most disturbs me. It's a sickeningly horrific account of a teenage girl's degradation, torture, rape and ultimately her death at the hands of her aunt, her sons and a group of local boys who the aunt seduces into being her accomplices. What perhaps disturbed me most was the worrying suspicion that the film-makers sometimes veered dangerously close to voyeurism, though perhaps that was unavoidable given the subject matter. It's not a film I would care to watch twice.
One of the worst aspects was that the one sympathetic character (other than the victim herself and her crippled younger sister), the film's narrator and one of the boy accomplices (albeit increasingly more unwilling) is helpless much of the time to help the victim.
I have never seen a film like this before. It is true life horror that affected me far more than anything fictitious.
I doubt I will ever wish to read the book it's based on, though this probably does a disservice to Jack Ketchum, I don't know. It's certainly not a film you can watch and forget afterwards.
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