06th Sep2018

Frightfest 2018: ‘The Night Sitter’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Elyse Dufour, Jack Champion, Jermaine Rivers, Amber Neukum, J. Benedict Larmore, Ben Barlow, Bailey Campbell, Joe Walz, Deanna Meske, Manny Sandow, Luna Devika, Victoria Graham | Written and Directed by Abiel Bruhn, John Rocco

night-sitter-poster

This is somehow the third Christmas horror movie I have reviewed for Nerdly and watched this year. A fact that is only surprising because I will only watch Christmas movies during November and December. And November is only included because I have too many holiday-themed films to great through in just one month!

My love for these films just come from my love of Christmas in general. At the risk of lots of horror fans groaning, I prefer it to Halloween! I think because as a child Halloween was nothing to me, I was way too scared to ‘Trick or Treat’ and I watched horror movies all year round so that time wasn’t any more special. Christmas on the other hand was the most exciting time of the year. I decorated, bought and received lots of presents, had a big dinner with family and listened to music I wouldn’t listen to at any other time. So if it’s connected to Christmas I will watch a romantic comedy, a kids film with muppets, strange films aliens and Santa or a man turning into a snowman or even a movie about a child buying his mum shoes! So when it comes to my favourite genre of film (horror) crossing over with my second favourite (Christmas), I just can’t get enough of it!

Which leads us to The Night Sitter. Not the most festive of titles but from the off set we see decorations and lights all over the house in which ninety percent of the film is set. A babysitter looks after two children (about eleven years old or so)in what seems like a normal house, except the father’s (who happens to be a paranormal investigator) study which is locked and we are constantly told that no-one can go in there! Fortunately one of the kids is desperate to get in there – the babysitter is more concerned with robbing the place – and what the kids discover in there opens up a whole host of creepy goings-on.

Now, as a Christmas movie I was disappointed that the death scenes weren’t connected to the season (I want baubles in eyes, icicles piercing skin or at least a killing Santa!) and neither is the music heavily-influenced by the festivities, which is always a disappointment. That said, these two parts (the deaths and music) of The Night Sitter are its best bits. The deaths are brilliantly, and surprisingly gory, whereas the score switches from a very good original creepy score that adds some great atmosphere to a currently very trendy synth-horror score. The synth score seems to be used in every other genre movie t the moment but I can’t say I’m bored of it and it works here very well.

Elyse Dufour is a good choice for the lead. She’s likeable enough for the most part, despite trying to rob the house, she does show some kind of sympathy for the son and she seems very confident with the character. Joe Walz as the father is also very enjoyable, in particular when he plays up to the ‘TV star’part of the character.

As a Christmas movie I was a little disappointed with The Night Sitter but as a standalone horror movie it’s a highly entertaining and original movie to watch every December.

**** 4/5

The Night Sitter screened at Arrow Video Frightfest on Sunday August 27th.

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