The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is one of those fucked up movies like Birth, The Professional, Bastard out of Carolina, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song and anything with Dakota Fanning in it that seems to have been made by pedophiles.
In The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, a 13 year old girl (Jodie Foster, who looked 10 at the time but was actually 14), lives alone in a house where she had been living with her father who had a terminal illness. Knowing he was going to die, he came up with a plan for how she could live alone for three years. He paid the lease on the house for three years and then walked out and never returned. He also didn’t want her mother to get custody of her so he told her to put some white powder (which turned out to be cyanide) in her mother’s drink if she finds her. Her mother did indeed find her and she put the cyanide in her tea and served the tea along with almond cookies. So when her mother commented on the almond taste of the tea, she blamed it on the cookies. She killed her mother and put her body in the cellar, keeping the body preserved with things you can put on them she discovered from library books. There is a pedophile (Martin Sheen) who is constantly after the young girl. His mother leased the house to the girl and her father. The mother is a high class bitch who barges in and bosses the girl around. She insisted on going into the cellar. When she did, she saw the dead body of the girl’s mother, screamed and tried to leave the cellar. In doing so, she accidentally hit her head, fell down the stairs and died. So now there are two bodies in the cellar. When trying to get rid of the woman’s car, she meets a boy who walks with a limp who looks to be about 16. He helps her get rid of the car and the two of them become friends then lovers (that’s right). He lies for her and helps her bury the bodies under a tree in the yard while it was cold and raining. He eventually gets pneumonia. Oh yeah and at some point the pedophile killed the girl’s hamster. Then there is a bunch of nonsensical stuff and basically, while the boy was in the hospital the pedophile has snuck in an hid in the cellar. He thinks he knows the girl has killed his mother and someone else and basically tells her, she’s going to be his mistress (yeah an effin 13 year old!) to keep him from telling. So she makes him some tea with the cyanide in it and kills him.
Alright, where to begin. First of all, I was absolutely sick of people just barging into this young girl’s house. Perhaps that is the feeling the director wanted viewers to experience. It felt as if anyone who felt like it would just walk into this girl’s house. It did give you a sense of this child’s powerlessness; which I guess is what The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is about; however bizarre and stupid a tale it is.
The things that really bothered me the most are the scenes with the pedophile and this young girl murdering people and becoming a predator for the sake of “freedom” or for any reason for that matter. I’ll touch more upon these topics in my post about predatory filmmaking.
There was a scene in The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane where the young girl gets completely nude. I remember thinking to myself “I seriously hope that was Jodie Foster’s adult sister”. It turns out, it was in fact her sister because Jodie Foster refused to be nude and had to put up a fuss about not doing it. I find it disturbing that a child had to stand her ground with grown ass adults about not wanting to be nude on film. Imagine if she wasn’t as strong a child as she was? Or if she was so disillusioned about fame that she thought it was a good idea at the time? Jodie Foster’s older sister was also used as a body double in Taxi Driver. I was bothered by the young girl having sex with the boy because of her age. Teenagers have sex, bottom line so I’m not going to trip too much on that. But she was too young, period. And she had no parents so to me, it felt even more wrong because she had no guidance and despite how intelligent she was, she was still a very young person. Apparently Jodie Foster had a problem with this as well but the director wouldn’t budge.
What I did find interesting was seeing Jodie Foster as a young person. It’s just amazing that the actress she was then is the same that she is now. Her acting style never changed. I guess it shouldn’t since what she was doing was working so well. It was also interesting to see Veronica Cartwright as a 12 year old in The Birds (1963) for the same reason. I remembered her only from the movie Alien (1979). The same for the Lawrence brothers (The two oldest were in the movie Pulse (1988) I watched the other day); very cute.
The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane’s plot was pretty boring and well… stupid actually. The young girl lied so much you couldn’t really believe the story about the dad or the mother. Even if it were true, it is the most ridiculous plan a grown man could have come up with for this child. Jodie Foster was also wearing this really hideous wig the whole time as well. *Smile*