The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is a 1976 cross-genre film directed by Nicolas Gessner and starring Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen, Alexis Smith, Mort Shuman, and Scott Jacoby. It was a co-production of Canada and France and written by Laird Koenig, based on his 1974 novel of the same title.


On Halloween in the seaside town of Wells Harbor, Maine, Rynn Jacobs is celebrating her thirteenth birthday alone in her father Lester's house. Lester was a poet and the two recently moved from England, where he leased the house for three years. Frank Hallet, the adult son of landlady Cora Hallet, visits and makes sexual advances toward Rynn. Cora Hallet later arrives at the house, searching for Rynn's father. Rynn claims he is in New York and taunts the landlady about her son. The situation becomes more tense when Mrs. Hallet insists on retrieving her jelly glasses from the cellar. Rynn steadfastly refuses to let her into the cellar, and Mrs. Hallet leaves. She returns later and ignoring Rynn's warnings, opens the trap door to go into the cellar. Suddenly terrified by something she sees, Mrs. Hallet attempts to flee, but accidentally knocks down the cellar door support, fatally hitting her head on the door.