19 December 2014

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)
90 min.
Directed by Nicholas Gessner.
With Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen, Alexis Smith, Scott Jacoby, Mort Shuman.
Jodie Foster stars in this eerie Canadian thriller.

Thirteen year old Rynn (Foster) is an intelligent, articulate - but strange - young girl.

She and her father move to a small rural town, where Rynn's father can focus on his career in poetry with proper solitude.

Only problem is: no one has seen Rynn's father since they've moved into the town.

And oddly enough, the girl won't let anyone near their fruit cellar.

What on earth could be hidden there? What horrifying secrets could little Rynn possibly be hiding?

Little Girl is very stagy, but it works; it's nicely understated, full of well-timed surprises, and most importantly boasts excellent performances from its entire cast.

Having just completed Taxi Driver (1976), it's no surprise that Foster is wonderful here. But Scott Jacoby (also quite good in Bad Ronald) is equally terrific as Rynn's young magician boyfriend who proves her kindred spirit.

Martin Sheen delivers an icy performance as a menacing pedophile who's stalking Rynn...and who figures out the secret she's been keeping.

Suspenseful and effective throughout, Little Girl is an unfaltering thriller that hinges completely on Foster's controlled performance.

Seek out this offbeat and underrecognized gem.

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