Welcome to the Dollhouse is a 1995 film by Todd Solondz. It stars Heather Matarazzo in her breakout role, as well as being Solondz's breakout movie as a director.Dawn Wiener (Heather Matarazzo) is an unpopular, unattractive seventh grader whose family treats her as just as much of an outcast. She has great difficulty making friends and is almost always the target of cruel and isolating behavior from her peers. At home, she is the least favorite of the three Wiener children, a fact that is often exploited by her younger tutu-wearing sister Missy (the apple of their parents' eye) in order to get her in trouble. Dawn goes through life in a quiet and awkward state of mind.One day, Dawn's older brother Mark brings over a high school senior named Steve Rodgers to tutor him in exchange for Steve playing in Mark's band. Upon meeting, Dawn becomes infatuated with the older boy and develops a crush on him. Things get even more complicated for her as one of her classmates Brandon antagonizes her more and more, mostly because he has feelings for her.Not to be confused with the TV series Dollhouse.
Black Comedy Rape: A number of examples.Brandon arranges ahead of time that he was going to rape Dawn and they reschedule when it doesn't work out the first time. He doesn't actually go through with it.
Missy is kidnapped by a pedophile neighbor. He doesn't seem to have done anything to her, however, beyond filming her pirouette in her tutu.
Mary Ellen Moriarity, a girl who spoke at Dawn's school about the dangers of talking to strangers, was kidnapped while memorizing her lines for "Hello Dolly." It is also hinted that she may have been raped.
Butt Monkey: Dawn is a rather dark, humorous example. Extreme is not strong enough a word.
Cant Get Away With Nuthin: Unlike her tormenters, Dawn pays dearly the few times she tries to fight back, as when she gets in trouble with the principal for hitting a teacher with a spitball meant for Brandon. Her odious mother actually tells her that she has no right to fight back.
Comedic Creepy Pedophile: The obese neighbor who kidnaps Missy and films her twirling in her tutu, but does nothing more. (Far from being traumatized, Missy was happy because she was allowed to gorge on junk food and watch whatever she liked on TV). He is said to have played Santa Claus for the neighborhood children, a possible shout-out to John Wayne Gacy.
Shaggy Dog Story: Despite all her trials and tribulations, Dawns' situation has not improved by the end of the movie. She's just as miserable as she was before.
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: When you take the sequel into account. Dawn's life did not improve once she finally grew up and got out of the hellish neighborhood. She gained weight, got pregnant, and committed suicide.