Over break, I made it my personal mission to find the scariest horror movie that Netflix could instantly provide me. After sorting through ratings and topics, I decided on The Girl Next Door, a 2007 film directed by Gregory Wilson. I had no idea what to expect, but after finishing the movie, I could not sleep for two nights.
“Horror” is not the category that I would place this film in. Instead, maybe “highly disturbing physiological gore” would do. The film follows the lives two young girls who are sent to live with their Aunt Ruth because their parents died in a car accident. Aunt Ruth turns out to be OBSESSED with purity when it comes to the girls. She attacks the girls, calling them “sluts”, because the new generation (this is in the 50’s) is “impure”.
This idea of feminist purity leads her to let her sons do whatever they please with the girls. Aunt Ruth lives alone, because her husband cheated on her. The hatred for sexual young girls may stem from his actions. Her sons treat her as a Queen, and she has rule over the entire masculine household. The battle between the issue of femininity and masculinity domination does not last long, because in the end, the boys (and Ruth) take all power.
I suggest that if you have an interest in Women’s Studies that you watch the film, because it encapsulates a jaded old women’s control over two young girls, through her sons. This movie was based on the true story of the torture of Sylvia Likens. Do not watch it just because Saw didn’t scare you. The gruesome events that take place in the film will make your stomach churn.