The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

When Pippi Longstocking Met Norman Bates

Forward/Forewarn:  2016 has been one shitshow of a year.  It’s not even over yet, and I’m fucking done.  I quite honestly can’t take hearing anything else about Donald Trump, and he hasn’t even been inaugurated yet.  So, in an attempt to distract myself from my boring research papers and the shitshow happening back home in the USA, I have been distracting myself with newly added Netflix features.  So, I’m probably going to write shit about films I watch and the observations I make.  

I (repeatedly) tell people that I live under a rock.  I do.  And I live under said rock, mostly, because I think a lot of stuff is terrible/dumb.  Like, someone was talking to me about Vanderpump Rules the other day, and I didn’t know what the hell they were talking about.  Then, after googling it, I wish I still didn’t.

Their response to my Vanderpump feelings was…

when pippi longstocking met norman bates
Photo credit: Bravo/Google

I’ve been called worse.

Anyhoo, this isn’t a post about that annoying and vapid shit.

It is a post about how I managed to live 36 years and not watch the film The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane starring a young Jodie Foster.

All I kept thinking while watching this movie was, ‘this is the story of Pippi Longstocking meets Norman Bates’.

Jodie Foster plays Rynn, (which is SO creepy because some of my friends called me “Rin” and “Rinny”), a thirteen (or fourteen) year old eccentric girl living in a New England house with her father – who is ‘seemingly’ never there.

During the first 45 minutes of the film, viewers don’t know what the fuck is going on with Rynn.  She continuously tells people (including a young Martin Sheen playing a paedophile) that her father (a published poet) is either ‘in the study/asleep/or with his publisher in NYC’.

(Spoiler:  Rynn’s dad is dead.)  

All hell breaks loose when Rynn’s crotchety landlady (and mother of creepy Martin Sheen), Mrs Hallet, shows up and demands to speak to her father.  She makes several attempts to outsmart Rynn and divulge the fact that she knows she is living on her own and up to something.

On her final attempt, Mrs Hallet finds an awful truth in the basement, slips, hits her head, and becomes the SECOND corpse in the cellar.  The other one being Rynn’s estranged mother whom her father instructed her to poison and kill as per his dying wish/instruction (which we find out later.)

Rynn then makes friends with the nephew of the town’s most incompetent officer, a local magician named Mario.

Fun fact:  The actor who played Mario, Scott Jacoby, is the dude who played Dorthy Zbornak’s son on several episodes of The Golden Girls.  

when pippi longstocking met norman bates
Photo credit: IMDB/Google

Mario isn’t even slightly concerned that he has befriended a bordering on serial killer and even participates in cleaning up her crimes.  I mean, we learn that she has done all of this for what she believes to be the right reasons. Rynn isn’t a bad girl.  She is an eccentric girl who is a victim of a custody battle between dysfunctional people.

The crotchety old landlady, a known bitch about town, was just collateral damage.

Hollywood often makes children look evil, creepy, and downright demonic at times.  Just think about the number of films dedicated to hoards of adult-slaying children living among cornfields.

So what the hell does this movie, or main character have in common with Pippi Longstocking?  Much like Pippi Longstocking, Rynn is a strong young lady who has been empowered by her father.  Maybe she didn’t have a shitload of gold, a pet monkey, or wash her floors by skating on brushes, but Rynn and Pippi are sisters from another mister.

They both know how to get shit done.

Both Pippi and Rynn were able to  Kevin McCallister a few people throughout their adventures, because seriously, adults can be meddling assholes sometimes.

when pippi longstocking met norman bates
Photo credit: Google

And as we’ve witnessed over the past year, most adults cannot be entrusted with important, life-altering decisions.

Okay, but the what the hell does this movie, or the main character have in common with Norman Bates?  Rynn murders her mother with a poisonous chemical.   Rynn learned how to preserve the body of her dead mother  (she looked it up at the library, duh.)  She also had a somewhat unconventional relationship with her father in which he kept her isolated from school and socialisation while also convincing her not to trust outsiders, including her mother whom he instructed her to kill.

Sure, Rynn doesn’t dress up like her father or throw her voice to carry on conversations with her dissociative personalities, but even still, she is not like other thirteen-year-old girls.  The last similarity between Rynn Jacobs and Norman Bates is the impression we get that she will continue to “remove” any adult who stands to threaten her independence.  In the final scene of the film, Frank Hallet (the pedo son of her crotchety landlady) creeps out from hiding in the cellar to tell Rynn that he found evidence that she killed his mother.  He offers to stay quiet in exchange for dominance over her to which her response was to poison his tea and kill him.

when pippi longstocking met norman bates
“Cheers, fuckface.” Photo credit: Google

Spoiler again:  This is how the film ends.

It’s not like Rynn stabbed the guy in the shower while wearing one of those glasses, nose, and moustache masks, or anything.  But we also don’t get to know Rynn as an adult. She’s bound to be a bit imbalanced after the turn of events.

Pippi Longstocking could bench press a horse and turn herself into a propeller, but she didn’t kill anyone.  She was excellent at outsmarting grown-ups.

Norman Bates could make a killer cup of tea but also killed people.  He was excellent at preserving the remains for future lunch dates.

In conclusion, I didn’t go to film school.

Clearly.

Have you seen this film?  Were you a Pippi Longstocking fan?  I used to follow the girl who played Pippi in the newer movie from the 80’s, but her political views on Twitter were horrible, so I had to unfollow.  

Also, I hate social media.  

newsignature