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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Girl in the Closet 2023 * * * Stars


2023's Girl in the Closet has to be called Girl in the Closet because 2021's Girl in the Basement was already taken. If you watch the movie, the girl persona in question is definitely kept in the basement, with a couple of other victims, held against her will, and with almost no bare necessities. Why you ask? Because the antagonists are "monsters" (as one character says), in it for the money, and living off the benefit checks of these young teenagers who rarely see the outside world. "Closet" is based on true events. OK I'll bite. If there's any non-fiction to it all, well it's a pretty forlorn world we live in.

Shot in Atlanta, Georgia with pretty decent production values considering that the sparse set locations almost evanesce as you take in a viewing, Girl in the Closet is a disturbing film made more disturbing by the fact that its premised discernment has almost no filter. I blame Lifetime but at the same time I don't because "Closet" is effective at what it sets out to be in terms of commercialized fluff that is normally reserved for PBS. Human trafficking, kidnapping, torment, psychogenic damage, and malnourishment oh my!

So yeah, Girl in the Closet is a cinematic train wreck you could look away from but can't. Lifetime Television knows this and they push the proverbial envelope of good vs evil as far as they wanna take it. Just because a pic has a milder form of violence and the absence of coarse language doesn't mean it can't chill you to the bone. With performances from Tami Roman, Stevie Braggs Jr, and Willie Raysor that rise above the standard for TV movie swipe, Girl in the Closet reminds any Lifetime connoisseur that manipulation and low budget sterility can still render you moreish. "Closet" augers.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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