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* {{Foreshadowing}}: During Rynn and Hallet's first scene together, he slaps her on the bottom when her back's turned. When she wheels on him, very obviously angry, he tries to laugh it off, saying "It's your birthday, I have to spank you!" [[spoiler: When Mario casually reveals to Rynn that Hallet is a pedophile, it's no surprise to the reader/watcher.]]

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* {{Foreshadowing}}: {{Foreshadowing}}:
**
During Rynn and Hallet's first scene together, encounter, he slaps her on the bottom when her back's back is turned. When she wheels on him, very obviously angry, he tries to laugh it off, saying "It's your birthday, I have to spank you!" [[spoiler: When Mario casually reveals to Rynn that Hallet is a pedophile, it's no surprise to the reader/watcher.]]


** When Mario [[spoiler: digs the grave and buries the bodies of Rynn's mother and Cora Hallet]], they have to do it during the weekly football game, since it's the only time they're guaranteed to have no witnesses. It starts pouring down with rain, but Mario has to keep going. Rynn sets up a hot bath for him, and he's already sneezing. He mentions having 'this damn cold' [[spoiler: after he poses as Lester Jacobs]]. He spends the last third of the movie [[PutOnABus in a hospital bed]] because it's developed into pneumonia.

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** When Mario [[spoiler: digs the grave and buries the bodies of Rynn's mother and Cora Hallet]], they have to do it during the weekly football game, since it's the only time they're guaranteed to have no witnesses. It starts pouring down with rain, but Mario has to keep going. Rynn sets up a hot bath for him, and he's already sneezing. He Then he mentions having 'this "this damn cold' cold" [[spoiler: after he poses as Lester Jacobs]]. He spends the last third of the movie [[PutOnABus in a hospital bed]] bed]], because it's developed into pneumonia.


Thirteen-year-old girl Rynn Jacobs (Foster) and her [[ReclusiveArtist reclusive poet]] father Lester live in a BigFancyHouse overlooking the ocean near the small village of Wells Harbor, Maine. Pretty soon, however, some of the townspeople--like [[NosyNeighbor nosy landlady Cora Hallet]] (Smith) and Cora's [[DirtyOldMan pervert son Frank]] (Sheen)--catch on that something strange is going on. Why is Lester Jacobs always busy when people come to call? Why does he allow his young daughter to speak so rudely to grown-ups and take care of the household bills? Why does Rynn always go into town alone, and why isn't she in school?

But when Cora finally demands some answers from Rynn, she unexpectedly goes missing.

Not long afterward, Rynn befriends Mario (Jacoby), [[StageMagician a teenage amateur magician]] who becomes her DisabledLoveInterest. Finally Rynn opens up to Mario about the secret of her reclusive father, her missing mother, and the disappearance of Cora Hallet. Mario offers his help to protect Rynn from Frank Hallet's continued lecherous interest, but when Mario falls ill and leaves Rynn all alone, Frank makes his move.

Rynn's not afraid. She knows how to take care of herself. She's been doing it for a long, long time.

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Thirteen-year-old girl Rynn Jacobs (Foster) and her [[ReclusiveArtist reclusive poet]] father Lester live in a BigFancyHouse overlooking the ocean near the small village of Wells Harbor, Maine. Pretty soon, Soon enough, however, some of the townspeople--like [[NosyNeighbor nosy landlady Cora Hallet]] (Smith) and Cora's [[DirtyOldMan pervert son Frank]] (Sheen)--catch on that something strange is going on. Why is Lester Jacobs always busy when people come to call? Why does he allow his young daughter to speak so rudely to grown-ups and take care of the household bills? Why does Rynn always go into town alone, and why isn't she in school?

But when Cora finally demands starts demanding some answers from Rynn, she unexpectedly goes missing.

Not long afterward, Rynn befriends Mario (Jacoby), [[StageMagician a teenage amateur magician]] who becomes her DisabledLoveInterest. Finally Finally, Rynn opens up to Mario about the secret secrets of her reclusive father, her missing mother, and the disappearance of Cora Hallet. Mario offers his to help to protect Rynn from Frank Hallet's continued lecherous interest, but when Mario he falls ill and leaves Rynn is left all alone, Frank makes his move.

Rynn's not afraid.afraid, though. She knows how to take care of herself. She's And she's been doing it for a long, long time.


The film was nominated for five UsefulNotes/{{Saturn Award}}s in 1978 and won two of them, Best Horror Film and Best Actress.

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The film was nominated for five UsefulNotes/{{Saturn Award}}s in 1978 and won two of them, Best Horror Film and Best Actress.
Actress (Foster).


* GenreSavvy: [[spoiler:Rynn is smart enough to subvert the PoisonedChaliceSwitcheroo, putting the potassium cyanide in her own tea and thus making sure that when the cups are switched her target drinks the poison instead of her.]] Either that or [[spoiler: [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation she's decided she'd rather kill herself than submit to being raped]] and Frank Hallet is undone by being WrongGenreSavvy]].

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* GenreSavvy: [[spoiler:Rynn is smart enough to subvert the PoisonedChaliceSwitcheroo, putting the potassium cyanide in her own tea and thus making sure that when the cups are switched her target drinks the poison instead of her.]] Either that or [[spoiler: [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation [[FateWorseThanDeath she's decided she'd rather kill herself than submit to being raped]] and Frank Hallet is undone by being WrongGenreSavvy]].


** Initially Rynn keeps the secret of her father's death to prevent both herself and her inheritance from falling into her mother's clutches (since the law would have automatically awarded both to Rynn's mother regardless of other circumstances). Up until that point, Rynn had committed no real crime other than failure to report her father's death. After her mother was no longer an issue, Rynn still had the problem of losing her independence and possibly all her money if she confessed what happened. She could either conceal her parents' deaths for three more years and enter adulthood with enough resources to put the past behind her, or she could admit what happened, spend the next three years suffering in foster homes (or longer, if she's sent to jail), and still end up with nothing. It could be argued that Rynn was fighting to preserve not her values but her entire future.

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** Initially Rynn keeps the secret of her father's death to prevent both herself and her inheritance from falling into her mother's clutches (since the law would have automatically awarded both to Rynn's mother regardless of other circumstances). Up until that point, Rynn had committed no real crime other than failure to report her father's death. After her mother was no longer an issue, Rynn still had the problem of losing her independence and possibly all her money if she confessed what happened. She could either conceal her parents' deaths for three more years and enter adulthood with enough resources to put the past behind her, or she could admit what happened, spend the next three years suffering in foster homes (or longer, if she's sent to jail), and still end up with nothing. It could be argued that Rynn was fighting not only to preserve not her values but her entire future.


Not long after, Rynn befriends Mario (Jacoby), [[StageMagician a teenage amateur magician]] who becomes her DisabledLoveInterest. Finally Rynn opens up to Mario about the secret of her reclusive father, her missing mother, and the disappearance of Cora Hallet. Mario offers his help to protect Rynn from Frank Hallet's continued lecherous interest, but when Mario falls ill and leaves Rynn all alone, Frank makes his move.

to:

Not long after, afterward, Rynn befriends Mario (Jacoby), [[StageMagician a teenage amateur magician]] who becomes her DisabledLoveInterest. Finally Rynn opens up to Mario about the secret of her reclusive father, her missing mother, and the disappearance of Cora Hallet. Mario offers his help to protect Rynn from Frank Hallet's continued lecherous interest, but when Mario falls ill and leaves Rynn all alone, Frank makes his move.


* {{Foreshadowing}}: During Rynn and Hallet's first scene together, he slaps her on the bottom when her back's turned. When she wheels on him, very obviously angry, he tries to laugh it off saying "It's your birthday, I have to spank you!" [[spoiler: When Mario casually reveals to Rynn that Hallet is a pedophile, it's no surprise to the reader/watcher.]]

to:

* {{Foreshadowing}}: During Rynn and Hallet's first scene together, he slaps her on the bottom when her back's turned. When she wheels on him, very obviously angry, he tries to laugh it off off, saying "It's your birthday, I have to spank you!" [[spoiler: When Mario casually reveals to Rynn that Hallet is a pedophile, it's no surprise to the reader/watcher.]]


* PutOnABus: In Officer Miglioriti's final scene, he tells Rynn he's accepted a job in another town (it's implied it's because he's fed up with the Hallet's and their ilk). And Mario ends up sick and unconscious in a hospital bed during the final third of the movie, leaving Rynn alone and with no allies during her final confrontation with Frank.

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* PutOnABus: In Officer Miglioriti's final scene, he tells Rynn he's accepted a job in another town (it's implied it's because he's fed up with the Hallet's Hallets and their ilk). And Mario ends up sick and unconscious in a hospital bed during the final third of the movie, leaving Rynn alone and with no allies during her final confrontation with Frank.


* HorrorDoesntSettleForSimpleTuesday: Averted. It ''is'' a horror movie, and it starts on Halloween, which is also Rynn's thirteenth birthday. But nothing horrific actually happens (on screen anyway) until some time later.

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* HorrorDoesntSettleForSimpleTuesday: Averted. It ''is'' a sort of horror movie, and it starts on Halloween, which is also Rynn's thirteenth birthday. But nothing horrific actually happens (on screen anyway) until some time later.


* AdultsAreUseless: Officer Miglioriti is well-meaning, but rather clueless, and for obvious reasons Rynn is reticent to turn to a policeman for help. The other adults are either threats, like the Hallets and Rynn's mother, or dead, [[spoiler:like her father.]]

to:

* AdultsAreUseless: Officer Miglioriti is well-meaning, but rather clueless, and for obvious reasons Rynn is reticent to turn to a policeman for help. The other adults are either threats, like the Hallets and Rynn's mother, or dead, [[spoiler:like [[spoiler:dead, like her father.]]


* AdultsAreUseless: Officer Miglioriti is well-meaning, but rather clueless, and for obvious reasons Rynn is reticent to turn to a policeman for help. The other adults are either threats, like the Hallets and Rynn's mother, or dead, [[spiler:like her father]].

to:

* AdultsAreUseless: Officer Miglioriti is well-meaning, but rather clueless, and for obvious reasons Rynn is reticent to turn to a policeman for help. The other adults are either threats, like the Hallets and Rynn's mother, or dead, [[spiler:like [[spoiler:like her father]].father.]]



** Discussed by Mario when he confronts Frank Hallet. He openly declares that the police would thank him for killing a pedophile like Frank. [[spoiler: Frank gets his just deserts after [[HoistByHisOwnPetard trying to blackmail Rynn]] into a [[{{Squick}}sexual tryst]]]].

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** Discussed by Mario when he confronts Frank Hallet. He openly declares that the police would thank him for killing a pedophile like Frank. [[spoiler: Frank gets his just deserts after [[HoistByHisOwnPetard trying to blackmail Rynn]] into a [[{{Squick}}sexual tryst]]]].tryst]].]]


* AdultsAreUseless: Officer Miglioriti is well-meaning, but rather clueless, and for obvious reasons Rynn is reticent to turn to a policeman for help. The other adults are either threats, like the Hallets and Rynn's mother, or dead, like her father.

to:

* AdultsAreUseless: Officer Miglioriti is well-meaning, but rather clueless, and for obvious reasons Rynn is reticent to turn to a policeman for help. The other adults are either threats, like the Hallets and Rynn's mother, or dead, like [[spiler:like her father.father]].


* UsefulNotes/AllHallowsEve: Rynn first encounters Frank Hallet when he brings his kids to the house for trick-or-treating on Halloween night.

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* UsefulNotes/AllHallowsEve: Rynn first encounters Frank Hallet when he brings his kids step-kids to the house for trick-or-treating on Halloween night.



* DiesDifferentlyInAdaptation: [[spoiler:Cora Hallet. In the book, she suffocates when Rynn floods the basement with gas. In the film she accidentally knocks the bar holding the cellar door open loose, causing the cellar door to fall and give her a fatal head injury.]]

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* DiesDifferentlyInAdaptation: [[spoiler:Cora Hallet. In the book, she suffocates when Rynn floods the basement with gas. In the film she accidentally knocks away the bar holding the cellar door open loose, open, causing the cellar door to fall and give her a fatal head injury.]]

Added DiffLines:

* DiesDifferentlyInAdaptation: [[spoiler:Cora Hallet. In the book, she suffocates when Rynn floods the basement with gas. In the film she accidentally knocks the bar holding the cellar door open loose, causing the cellar door to fall and give her a fatal head injury.]]

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