51701Q5C6EL._SL160_Often I have found that the least fantastical GU stories are the most grim. Such is the case in The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, a 1976 film starring an extraordinary Jodi Foster as Rynn, age 13. Rynn is desperately trying to hide the fact that she is living in her house alone, lying about the whereabouts of her absent father (and there is initially no word on where her mother is, either). At the very beginning she is approached by the adversary, on Halloween – a pedophile neighbor who is immediately creepy. He keeps returning periodically, proving his power over her (in one particularly gruesome scene, he kills her pet hamster with a lit cigarette), being generally lecherous. Meanwhile, her landlady is potentially threatening to the solitary existence Rynn is trying to protect, and a friendly policeman may  help or could ruin everything.

Rynn’s only confidante is an older boy, Mario, who she quickly grows close to. She reveals the secret of her missing father, and several other secrets besides, and even though the truth paints a somewhat frightening picture of Rynn herself, Mario never wavers, and helps her. But in the final confrontation with the adversary, Mario is ill and Rynn must fend for herself. Fortunately, she is not afraid of getting her hands dirty.

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