Gardens of the Night Reviews
Simpkins is really a perfect little girl who is abducted. Her kidnappers convince her that her parents do not want her. Not the hardest thing, I imagine, to do to an eight year old. Smith is also in the house, and both are subjected to various sexual crimes.
Fast forward many years later, Simpkins has grown into Jacobs, really a gorgeous girl. Smith has grown into Ross. The duo has stayed together despite hardships, and both are involved in the sex trade.
I like these movies because they make it clear: bad acts do not necessarily constitute bad people. Had the little girl grown up at home, her life would be completely different. Same for the boy. Unfortunately, we live in a society far too stupid to see this, so we further the problems that could probably be fixed with a little patience and love (and probably a lot less money than to let the problems go).
It's a tough watch. The movie making process is criticized by some but I often pay more attention to story. The first half with the young kids is hard because Simpkins is so adorable and because the subject of the early scenes is pretty awful. Later, Jacobs is so pretty that you really want to like her and pull for her, and Ross is convincing as this good-at-the-core kid who really cares for her, but because of their situations, they continue making bad decisions. Even at the end, it's tough to imagine having to undo so many years of abuse. The saddest part of it all is that this goes on every day. Or even worse, that little is done about it.
"Gardens of the Night" is for those courageous who enjoy a gut-wrenching, challenging film.
The actors did an amazing job bringing this script to life. The two children, Rayn Simpkins and Jermaine Scooter Smith, who play the young Leslie and Donnie really showed the pain that children who have dealt with this probably felt.
Every parent should watch this. Even if you aren't a parent, you probably should. It will make you think twice about what to do if you see a sad child, who doesn't seem like he/she belongs with that adult, looking at you with helpless eyes.