Two FBI agents attempt to clarify the murders occurring in a desolate region. They approach the witnesses of the latest incident with the help of the local police. All of them hide something and all have wildly different stories to tell.
Based on the Jack Ketchum novel of the same name, The Girl Next Door follows the unspeakable torture and abuses committed on a teenage girl in the care of her aunt...and the boys who witness and fail to report the crime.
Two best friends see their trip of a lifetime take a dark turn when one of them is struck by a mysterious affliction. Now, in a foreign land, they race to uncover the source before it consumes him completely.
Cab driver Bob lives a double life as a serial killer who abducts the young women he picks up and murders them at his house. But when he picks up Sarah Fittler and her nine-year-old son, Bob forces the boy to live with him as his personal slave. The boy, renamed "Rabbit" by Bob, grows up witnessing the suffering and death that Bob causes almost every day. As Rabbit becomes a man, Bob seeks to make him his protégé. Will Rabbit carry on the legacy?Written by
Michael Hallows Eve
The original script called for Bob to keep pieces of his victims in jars and cut off Rabbit's thumbs. When Jennifer Lynch took on the project, she did some re-writes to reduce the violent nature of the film. See more »
When Bob freaks out in his garage after having flashbacks, you can see a male crew member wearing a baseball cap in the side mirror of the taxi. See more »
[after Rabbit kicks him in the groin]
That is the last free shot that you will ever get.
See more »
The credits play over sounds of Rabbit in the house. There is no music. Among the sounds are what appear to be Rabbit cutting out an article for the scrapbook, exiting the garage, and leaving in the taxi cab. See more »
Bob (Vincent D'Onofrio), a cab-driving serial killer who stalks his prey on the city streets alongside his reluctant protégé Tim, who must make a life or death choice between following in Bob's footsteps or breaking free from his captor.
In the short time that Jennifer Lynch has been making her mark on cinema, I have grown to enjoy her style of film. At least, based on this one and her last effort, "Surveillance". I confess I am not familiar with "Boxing Helena". Her latest films are odd, but not absurd -- just odd enough to be unique and really draw people in by their novelty (a great quality to have). Here we have the serial killer story, but told in a very different way: through the eyes of a captive held for nine years. (Critics have said this idea was already presented in "Bereavement", but I would argue this is the better film.)
D'Onofrio gives a solid performance, one that may be among the best of his recent career. Trying to gauge his character is tough -- smart, stupid, slow? He is clearly clever enough to do what he does and get away with it, but his way of speaking clearly implies some sort of mental issues beyond the murderous intentions.
One could psychologically analyze Rabbit all day. He is the poster child for "learned helplessness", accepting defeat after years of beatings. Yet, he does not fit with the classic idea of Stockholm Syndrome -- he accepts Bob as his master, but only grudgingly so. And there could also be talk of nature versus nurture. Certainly, Bob is "nurturing" Rabbit to become a killer -- but will he accept it?
My friend and horror adviser, Aaron Christensen, had what he calls a violent, visceral reaction to this film and even had the urge to punch director Lynch in the face (particularly after she explained that the film was intended as a message against child abuse). For him, there is too much of a need for suspension of disbelief and this story could only exist in a "fairy tale" world. We are in disagreement. I have no opinion on the child abuse claim (though it seems rather strange), but I approach all horror films from the point of view of a fairy tale, more or less. Sure, this film was presented as more real than, say, "Nightmare on Elm Street", but I saw little need to pick out the plot holes -- some being so obvious that pointing them out is hardly a mental challenge (such as why Rabbit never escapes).
You may agree or disagree on the greatness of this film, or even have no strong reaction at all. I would be curious to hear more thoughts from people... I did not realize this film would be a conversation piece, but apparently it is.
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