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I remember reading Wikipedia articles about the Sylvia Likens case a lot when I was younger, so when I heard there was a movie on it, I found myself compelled to watch it. It's no surprise that this movie is extremely dark, with very little in the way of comedy and lighthearted moments, and considering the subject matter, there's no way they'd be able to slide those in without ruining the whole movie's tone. Personally, despite how angsty and dark it was, I actually liked it. All of the actors nailed their roles to a T, the cinematography and the direction were very well done, and the movie didn't try to bowdlerize or overly sensationalize the original events in any way, something more movies really need to learn to do.
However, I do find the movie suffers from quite a bit of Soundtrack Dissonance. When the kids are shown torturing Sylvia, many scenes are set to weirdly upbeat, cheesy songs. I don't know the songs' titles nor their singers, but I felt they were really out of place and hurt the dark, morose, hopeless atmosphere the movie was going for. I mean, where those really necessary? I felt like more somber music, or no music at all, might have been better choices for that particular scene. I did like that they didn't try to make Gertrude out to be some monster, that she was just a woman who was bogged down and drained dry by not only the insane amount of kids she had, but her poverty and the circumstances that led to and exacerbated it, though the movie also makes it clear that her actions are deplorable and should not be excused in any way whatsoever. No Draco in Leather Pants here!
Needless to say, this movie is dark. It's not for the faint of heart, as it's literally just watching terrible people needlessly torture a poor girl for asinine reasons beyond anyone's control. And keep in mind, this is based on a true story. So if you want to watch something that'll genuinely terrify you and make you hate humanity, definitely check this one out, because sometimes, the truth is scarier and more terrifying than fiction.
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