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A Little Piece of Heaven is a 1991 made-for-TV movie starring Kirk Cameron as a farmer who drugs and kidnaps two children played by a young Jussie Smollet and Lacey Chabert to help on the farm and be playmates for his mentally handicapped sister.
Yes, you read that right. And no, this is not a horror movie. It's meant to be a heartwarming Christmas movie.
Will Loomis grew up on a pig farm with his adoptive parents and mentally challenged sister Violet. Their mother died some time ago, and their father kicks it around the beginning of the movie. Left on their own, Will must find a way to manage the farm and care for his sister. He first kidnaps a young boy named Salem from an orphanage, convincing him he died in a fire. Then he "rescues" an abused little girl by claiming she died of appendicitis. He pretends the farm and the Loomis home are Heaven, keeping the children completely isolated there.
Unfortunately, the authorities are catching wind of the missing kids and the goings-on at the farm, and Will must try to keep them from finding out.
The movie has been mocked and ripped to shreds by The Cinema Snob.
- Abusive Parents: Princess's mother is seen taking a book from her hands, ripping it up, then hitting her several times.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: As Will gets close to neighbor Carrie Lee, Violet gets angry and even has a meltdown over it. It would be justified if at that point Will was still the only person in her life, but at that point she's far from alone. Will even kidnapped a little girl for her to be friends with.
- The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Just barely averted with Salem. He raises several suspicions about Will's claim that he's dead and the farm is Heaven, but he still goes along with the whole scheme. Probably because in his mind at least he's got a home now even if he's being forced to work on a pig farm.
- Cut Himself Shaving: When Violet asks Princess where she got her bruises, Princess says "I live in a big house and I fell down the stairs" in a voice that suggests she's been made to recite those lines plenty of times before.
- Designated Hero: Will.
- Designated Villain: The authorities trying to shut down Will's little scheme.
- Does Not Like Men: A mild example. Violet demands Will find a girl for her to play with because she doesn't like Salem.
- Gaslighting: Will does this to the children he kidnaps, convincing them that they're dead and that the Loomis farm is Heaven. It doesn't hit the mark with Salem, though, as he raises suspicions about the whole situation more than once and doesn't seem surprised when Will finally tells the truth.
- Grammar Nazi: Will is seen pointedly correcting his sister's and later Salem's grammar throughout the film.
- Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The whole damn movie, really, but especially the idea that mentally handicapped siblings just need playmates instead of education and therapy to help them function in day to day life. Granted, they're poor and they just lost their parents, but surely the state would have done something to help? The 1990s weren't the perfect time for mental health treatment, but they were still a step up from tossing your disabled in the loony bin for shock therapy and straitjackets.
- Farm Boy: Will
- Happily Adopted: We don't get to see much of Will with his adoptive parents, but it can be assumed he was happy enough. Implied at the end with Princess and Salem.
- Idiot Plot: The protagonist, rather than hiring helpers for the farm, calling the police about Princess's abuse, and simply inviting kids over to spend time with his sister, resorts to kidnapping and lies.
- Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Violet, big time.
- Karma Houdini: Will suffers no legal repercussions for kidnapping children. Granted, Princess's real parents were abusive, but the smart thing to do would have been to call the police instead of spiriting her away in the night.
- Kindhearted Simpleton: Violet
- Lesser of Two Evils: Possibly how Salem sees being lied to and made to work on a hog farm. Will is a creep and a liar, but he seems to prefer his situation to living at an orphanage that was about to toss him out due to lack of funds.
- Will's kidnapping of Princess. Just barely. If nothing else he still treats her better than her mother did.
- Meaningful Rename: Princess's real name was Hazel before Will kidnapped her. She picked her own new name.
- Police Are Useless: Averted, the authorities know something is up and try to investigate the Loomis farm. Too bad the movie is on Will's side.
- Promotion to Parent: Will, after his adoptive father Cecil kicks the bucket.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: The audience is supposed to see Will as heroic for his actions.
- Ruptured Appendix: How Will tells Princess she died when he kidnaps her.
- The Skeptic: Salem is the only one who questions Will's little scheme, even as he goes along with it.
- Social Services Does Not Exist: Subverted. Will is the only one who believes this, since he kidnaps and gaslights Princess rather than calling social services about her abuse. However, when the kids go missing, the authorities are quick to get on the case, refusing to give up until they find them.
- Speech Impediment: Violet speaks very slowly and stumbles over her words.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: One reviewer notes that the creepier the movie gets, the more heartwarming the music becomes.
- Tampering with Food and Drink: Will puts tranquilizer pills into brownies and leaves them for the kids to eat so he can kidnap them.
- Teen Pregnancy: Will's mother was only thirteen when she had sex with his biological father and gave birth to Will.
- Token Black: Salem.
- True Companions: Will and Violet become this eventually with Salem and Hazel.
- Unishment: The judge "sentences" Will to open his home to the community at the end.
- Unusual Euphemism: Will's mother referred to having sex with an older man as "making grown-ups."
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: A polite way of looking at Will's kidnapping of Princess. Barely.