Monday, March 4, 2024


My son asked if I wanted to watch a movie with him. As a teenager, he still does not want to do much stuff with me so I jumped at the chance. He picked a Lifetime movie of all things. The movie was called  Girl In The Basement. It originally aired on Lifetime, but it was streaming on Hulu. Based on the infamous true story of Elisabeth Fritzl, who was locked up and abused for 24 years (from 1984 to 2008) by her father Josef in Amstetten (Austria). In these years of imprisonment she was mother of seven children as result of the abuses.

Judd Nelson, of  The Breakfast Club fame, headlined the movie as the evil father. Joely Fisher, half sister of Carrie Fisher, played his clueless wife. The real story of the crime of Josef Fritzl is more horrid than this cheap imitation. Here the american version, for america has no cases like this within its borders. Here the ceiling in the basement is high and room plentiful. It's still horrific but read up about the case for a true perspective on the horrors of this man.

Performance wise, it's a tv movie but better than most but still has a certain sheen to proceedings even through the dirtiness of matters. Judd is very good in the controlling role but I can't help but think, the way this is handled to sanitise for the American market cheapens the horrors from Austria. Even though this was a sanitized Lifetime version, I still found some parts difficult to watch. Any normal father of children, would have a difficult time.

So of the acting is weak, and this was a strange movie for a first time director Elizabeth Rohm to direct, and it shows. However, Judd Nelson really does a great job as the evil father, and Stefanie Scott is exceptional as the imprisoned and abused daughter. It's not a bad movie, but it is pretty far away from a great movie. After you watch this movie, research the true case. I believe there are some documentaries out there. You will be truly horrified...

MY RATING: 6 out of 10

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