Perhaps you’re on your way to school. Or maybe you’re going to the corner store to buy a yummy snack.
This nice gentleman comes toward you. Maybe he is your neighbor, or maybe you have never seen him.
He asks you to help him find his dog or carry his groceries. And you do. Because your mother said it’s good to help others, so momentarily you forget that she also said not to talk to strangers.
He seems nice. He even offers to buy you a treat in return for your favor. It’s the sweetest milkshake you’ve ever tasted. If only you could keep your eyes open a bit longer, just to have another sip.
You wake up in a strange place. You’re told your parents did not want you, and now you have a new family. You need to trust your new family and do as they say or they will leave you, just like Mommy did.
That is what director Damian Harris did. The result is Gardens of the Night, a moving film about abducted and abused children.
It tells the story of young Leslie (Ryan Simpkins), abducted at the age of eight and missing ever since. Now living in the cold streets of San Diego with her only friend, Donnie (Evan Ross), to trust, much older Leslie (Gillian Jacobs) needs to decide whether she can ever break free of her past and her abductor’s lies. Or will she succumb and become him?
John Malkovich, Tom Arnold, Kevin Zegers and Jeremy Sisto also star.
Gardens of the Night is currently in select theaters.