Babysitter Wanted (2008)
Once upon a time there was a young, virginal Catholic girl named Angie Albright. When she was eighteen years old, the time came for her to leave home and go to College where she was forced to share accomodation with a slutty stoner chick and had to take a job babysitting out in the sticks just to make ends meet. To make matters worse the family she’s babysitting for are creepy as hell, she may or may not have acquired a stalker and the local sheriff looks an awful lot like that dude from House Of 1000 Corpses. What’s a girl to do?
Babysitter Wanted would have been a really good film if it had been made a decade or two ago. Since no-one has bothered to invent a time machine yet, we’ll have to make do with it now and as it stands, it’s just not a great movie. Barnes and Manasseri seem to think they’ve made an original and brilliant film but the sad fact is that most of it has a very familiar feel and the whole affair is just a little too derivative.
It starts out well enough and for the first half an hour I thought it was an honest, albeit yawn-inducing, 70’s throwback but once you get to the halfway mark, the tone changes completely and therein lies the problem. It soon becomes apparent that the writer/director team tried to lull the audience into a false sense of security before pulling the rug out from under them and shoving them headlong into scarier, more intelligent second half. Except it didn’t quite work out like that. The ‘big reveal’ is obvious from a mile off and as such, is a disappointment, especially given that the people behind the film were aiming for something controversial and fresh. It’s been done many times before and more importantly, it’s been done with much more verve and panache and far more originality that it pales in comparison to superior films of the same ilk. It certainly seems as though the makers are labouring under delusions of grandeur and while they’ve tried, the end result just doesn’t whet the appetite in the way they’d no doubt hoped it would.
Each twist and turn never manages to segue to the next act as seamlessly as it could and what we’re left with is quite a disjointed film. The dark humour present in the second half feels out of place and falls flat; dejected, and the last scene feels ‘tacked-on’ but also a little too knowing and smug.
For a horror film that sells itself on ‘shock’ factor there is almost no blood or gore and what little there is doesn’t make an ounce of sense. Why, when a girl is hanged upside down and drained of blood, does she bleed so damn much when cut afterward? Boning up on some basics of human biology and logical thinking would have made such scenes less bang-your-head-against-a-wall annoying and resulted in a more watchable flick. Unfortunately, for a film that promised so much, it delivered a paltry hour and a half of boredom and trite stereotypes.