The Girl Next Door

This post will be a bit different today.  I am going to give you a movie review.

WARNING:  May contain triggers.

I got home from work last night, and my husband told me about a movie he had watched earlier in the day that was suggested by Netflix.  He said it was one of the most heartbreaking movies he had ever watched.

The Girl Next Door is inspired by the true story of Sylvia Likens who was tortured to death by the woman in charge of her care and children from the neighborhood.  It is such a tragic story, but a reminder that these things have and do happen.

The movie made me cry and will haunt me forever.  It was probably not something I should have watched by myself, but my husband had to work last night, and I couldn’t wait.

The character of Ruth has to be the most misogynistic woman I have ever seen portrayed before.  She clearly hated women and hated being a woman, and took that out on poor Meg and her sister Susan.  She taught her sons that women are only good for one thing, and if you are nice to a woman, she will give you whatever you want.

Meg and Susan’s parents were killed in a car accident, and were forced to go live with Ruth who was their aunt.  Ruth clearly resented the fact that she had to have these girls in her house and outright hated the both of them.  There was an incident which led to Ruth giving Susan 20 lashings for something she wasn’t apart of.  Meg contacted a police officer, but ultimately, nothing was done.

This is what prompted the torture and sexual abuse of Meg.  She was tied up in the basement and Ruth, her sons and other children from the neighborhood beat her, burned her, and eventually raped her.  There was one particular scene that I won’t mention here simply because it was so brutal that I got nauseous.

There obviously was no happy ending here, but it really touched my soul.  I felt her pain, even though I had never been hurt that grievously.  As a survivor, I was able to put myself in her shoes and feel what they were doing to her.  I’m not sure whether I am glad I watched it or not, but it was incredibly well done and felt real.  If you are disturbed or trigger easily, I wouldn’t recommend watching it.  It really is dark, disturbing and haunting.

I’ll never watch it again, but I’ll never forget it either.


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