Writer: Daniel Farrands, Philip Nutman (Screenplay) Jack Ketchum (Novel)
Starring: William Atherton, Blythe Auffarth, Blanche Baker, Kevin Chamberlin, Daniel Manche, Madeline Taylor
Plot: When adult David (Atherton) starts looking back at his life he finds a picture from a time that haunts him every day. In the 1950s David (Manche) is just like any other kid playing with his friends, when he meets a young girl Meg (Auffarth) who has moved in with her cousin and Aunt Ruth (Baker) next door to David. What starts out looking like a potential young love story takes a very dark twist, when Ruth starts being abusive towards Meg. The abuse escalates to terrifying levels as the film goes on as more of the local children join Ruth in the torture of Meg.
Verdict: A coming of age tale that starts of like normal before turning into a disturbing tale of abuse.
Story: Many coming of age tales like Stand By Me and Hearts of Atlantis pull towards the heartbreak of an event this follows that to a much dark event. With our hero looking back and regretting a moment that defined who he has become. The story won’t be for the faint hearted but the story is very good. (8/10)
Actor Review: Blythe Auffarth – Meg the nice friendly girl next door who suffers horrific abuse through the film to protect her sister. Brilliant performance from the young actress showing real emotions to all the acts of torture she has to suffer. Watch out for this lady in the future. (9/10)
Actor Review: Blanche Baker – The twisted Aunt Ruth who sits around smoking and drinking with her pre teenage and teenage sons. She has hate for her two nieces and believes that all women should be treated similar to her boy’s tough love. Creates a terrifying character whose action are haunting another brilliant performance. (9/10)
Actor Review: Daniel Manche – David who befriends young Meg and starts to care about her but doesn’t know how to stop what the rest of the family do to her and is forced to watch. Good performance shows enough emotion without letting it look weak around the other boys. (8/10)
Director Review: Gregory Wilson – Very good directing creating some tense and disturbing scenes and mixing them wonderfully with emotional moments. (8/10)
Horror: What happens to Meg is truly horrific. (9/10)
Believability: Based on a true story even though it seems unbelievable. (9/10)
Chances of Tears: When older David reflects you may have a tear. (4/10)
Settings: Set in the 1950s the look of the surrounding area is very good and the dark dingy basement adds to the horrific nature of the film. (9/10)
Oscar Chances: No
Chances of Sequel: Nope
Suggestion: Coming of age tales are always suggestible and this is a much darker tale than anyone would be used to. Think Stand By Me with a disturbing twist. Saying that I would suggest this film as it does show how abuse in the 50s was bigger than we see now. Again this will be hard to watch for certain film fans so make sure you have an acceptance to the disturbing nature of the film. (Try It)
Best Part: The Reflection of David and what happened in his younger summer.
Worst Part: Some people would find the torture too much.
Favourite Quote: Adult David ‘The past catches up to you, whether you like it or not. It can be a gift or a curse if you let it.’
Trivia: Based on a true story.
Overall: Dark tale of growing up in the 1950s