- Catharsis Factor: Watching Mario giving Frank Hallet what-for via his Sword Cane is very satisfying to watch indeed.
- Harsher in Hindsight : The film begins with Rynn walking alone on a deserted beach. At first, it seems to establish her as solitary and independent. Later in the film, we learn that her terminally-ill father committed suicide by voluntarily drowning in the sea.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- This isn't the first time Jodie Foster and Martin Sheen appeared on film together. They would appear in Siesta a decade later in 1987.
- Speaking of the Sheens, Jodie would appear with Martin's son Charlie Sheen in the 1990 film Catchfire.
- In the original novel the movie was based on, Rynn sees a Disney movie in a theater. This movie was released the same year as the first version of Freaky Friday, which also starred Jodie Foster.
- Jerkass Woobie: Rynn has no problem killing to keep her independent lifestyle, but consider the fact that this whole scheme was kind of forced on her by her father and mind you he was one of three people in the world note who actually care about her. It's no wonder she was so determined to honor his wish; given her alternative solution to living alone would have been to live with her mother, one could see why she'd pick the former. Even with her mother "missing", if Rynn's living alone is discovered she'd probably be thrown into the foster care system, which had an even worse reputation during The '70s than now. Adding also to the harassment she receives from the Hallets and that her relationship with the boy she loves is always going to have to be secret, (or at least for the next three years or so) you just want to give the poor girl a hug and stat! The scene where she talks to an unconscious Mario in hospital is positively gut-wrenching.
- Narm: On occasion, the soundtrack breaks out in a funky "wakka-chikka" soundtrack better suited to a cop drama than a low-key thriller. It becomes even more glaring since the rest of the soundtrack consists of classical pieces and melancholy cello solos.
- Values Dissonance:
- Frank Hallet is depicted as a pedophile and this is known in most of the town. It would be hard to picture Frank living openly in the town in the 21st century with both society having a harsher attitude towards pedophiles and because of harsher laws against them too like the sex offender registry.
- In a slightly-less-egregious example, Rynn and Mario offer Officer Miglioriti some wine, jovially noting that it's okay because he's off-duty while not remarking that they're sending him off to drive after drinking.note Not to mention he just leaves a pair of very young, unsupervised teens with an open bottle of wine.
- The Woobie: Mario. Having your disability thrown into your face repeatedly is bad enough, but to have it happen when you're trying to protect your troubled girlfriend from her would-be rapist is downright depressing. Not to mention why he's crippled:Mario: Polio shotsRynn (puzzled): Polio shots?Mario (matter-of-factly): I have so many brothers and sisters my mother forgot who did and who didn't get them.
YMMV / The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane