Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

As a child, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane freaked me out.  It stars a young Jodie Foster (who considers it one of her worst films -- it's not as she has done far crappier stuff than this) and Martin Sheen as a pedophile.  Foster is hiding a secret and bumping people off with poison.  Sheen is trying to get into her pants.  He's creepy.  She's creepy.  The entire movie gave me chills.  (It came out in 1977 in America and I probably saw it a year or two later, so I was about nine when I first watched it.)

While hardly a classic, this Canadian film still delivers, though I am far less disturbed by it these days.  Since it was the 1970s, it's not surprising this film was made (and I could actually see it being remade now, though not well), it still seems like an anomaly of cinema.  Maybe it's because of Sheen, or a brief nude scene with Foster (well, really Foster's older sister in real life because Foster didn't want to appear nude in the movie), but watching the film always gives me the feeling that something is a little ... off.

Those expecting a full-on horror movie will be disappointed.  This is more of a psychological thriller (despite how it was marketed when it came out), and I will say that the subject matter makes it quite effective as such.  And despite Foster's misgivings about the film, I think that any kind of serious study of her career will find this to be one of her more compelling works.

At the very least it is world's better than Nell or Maverick.  


  1. you've got me intrigued. it's going on the the top.

  2. Let me know what you think. Sheen equals creepy.