SPOILERS!!! If you haven’t seen it and want to, don’t read any further.
An 11-year-old boy genius named Henry Carpenter, and his younger brother, Peter, are raised by their single mother, Susan, a waitress who is working on writing children’s picture books. Henry has used his intellect to invest successfully in the stock market, building up a very substantial nest egg for his family. Henry and Susan both like their next-door neighbor (and Henry’s classmate), Christina, who has recently become sad.
Henry realizes that Christina is being abused by her stepfather, Glenn, the local police commissioner. Henry reports the abuse to the authorities, but Glenn has connections throughout the local government, and Henry is unable to get the authorities or the school to launch a serious investigation that would protect Christina.
Henry decides to come up with his own plan to rescue Christina; but after having a seizure and being diagnosed with a brain tumor, he passes away. Henry does, however, leave behind a “fail proof” plan to kill off Glenn in a red notebook he leaves behind.
This notebook, along with a cassette tape, tells Susan – step by step – how she can kill Glenn, get away with his murder, rescue Christina and get custody of her afterward.
Susan reads the notebook and after going through the same disappointing steps as Henry has in reporting the abuse, realizes she has to follow through with the plan. She gets all the way up to having Glenn in her scope and can’t pull the trigger. Instead, she confronts the man and tells him she knows what he’s doing, she has proof and she is going to take him down. He scoffs at the idea; because of who he is and she stands firm.
Her “alibi” is the kid’s talent competition at school, where both Peter and Christina perform. While watching Christina perform a heartbreaking dance, the Principal finally sees what Henry has been telling her all along and calls the authorities. As the police come to arrest Glenn, he takes the cowards way out and kills himself instead of facing up to what he has done to an 11-year-old girl. Susan does get to adopt Christina in the end.
My 17-year-old son & I watched this movie and I wish I had brought more tissues with me. The abuse and Henry’s death about kill me in the tears department. We discuss the film on our way to Chili’s to get dinner.
Personally, I would have taken the shot. Even though I know this is morally wrong, even though I would question my Salvation in Christ, I would have taken the shot. To me, this man is a monster and I would become judge, jury and executioner, especially if I were emotionally involved. I’d also try harder with authorities before even thinking of executing such a plan. I’m just glad this was fiction.
My son lost all respect for Susan when she bailed on the plan. Didn’t matter that it ended up okay in the end, he thought she should have finished the plan. “What if Glen didn’t kill himself and he made Susan lose Peter or made her life hell?” was his reasoning. I can understand.
For me, monsters like that need to be executed. They do not rehabilitate. They do not repent and they do not change. These predators just find another way to offend and are better off dead. I’m talking about grown men who prey on little girls and boys. Children who cannot consent to being molested. The children who can’t defend themselves against this type of cruelty. Men or women who use children for sexual gratification have something wrong with them, in my mind, and deserve the death penalty. Even if chemically castrated, you can’t stop the thoughts and the numerous other ways they can still abuse a child.
In this day and age, children are forced to grow up way to soon as it is. It is heartbreaking that so many fall through the cracks as it is. Children are precious. I spent the first 8 years of my sons life protecting him from his father and I still didn’t do enough. I know if he molested my son, I would have killed him. I am only grateful we escaped with our lives and are free. His father is deceased now and we no longer live in fear.