In the horror genre, the stalked babysitter really deserves a sub genre of its own. It started with Carpenters ‘Halloween’ in 1979, and babysitters have been in peril ever since. I actually enjoy the babysitter horror film, the prank phone calls, the scary noises, and the twist. You sort of know what you’re going to get, but it’s still fun to watch. In 2009 we had the very clever ‘House of the Devil’ which also saw a babysitter in peril, and ‘Babysitter Wanted’ is actually quite similar in a lot of ways, except it moves a lot faster and was made in 2008.
The film is surprisingly low budget, and I say that, because you’d never guess it was low budget. It has a certain Hollywood vibe to it. Directed by Jonas Barnes & Michael Manasseri and written by Jonas Barnes, there’s nothing really original here, despite it being quite an enjoyable watch.
PLOT: A new life is starting for Angie (played by Sarah Thompson), who’s leaving the embrace of her religious mother for college. On arrival, she soon discovers her new room mate doesn’t even have a bed for her and so she needs some money. She applies for a babysitting job and at the same time becomes aware that someone is following her. Then, she finds herself on a remote farm in the middle of nowhere (not a clever move) before the Stanton (Bruce Thomas and Kristen Dalton) family and their creepy little boy.
What’s good about this movie is that the film makers actually take the time to develop Angie’s character. She also meets boyfriend material in Matt Dallas from ‘Kyle XY.’ The characters relationships are all fleshed out nicely. Sarah Thompson is good at handling the lead role as well, even if she does come out with a few cheesy one liners toward the end of the film.
All the babysitter in peril stereotypes are here, we have the creepy phone calls, the annoying kid who keeps hiding, the strange noises, and the creepy stalker guy. The film actually utilizes all of these to its advantage though, and it was actually quite tense and creepy until a ridiculous twist 45 minutes in. It’s sort of so silly; it spoils what could’ve been a very good paint by numbers horror, which was relying on fear and the building of tension. So, after the twist, the movie then turns into Angie (Sarah Thompson) fighting for her life.
There is a bit of gore, but nothing that the poster would have you believe, and it’s pretty much over before it starts. The film luckily relies on tension and scares. Some viewers may like the twist, I’ve known quite a few people who thought the twist was actually good. So, I suppose it depends on your outlook. The movie is quite good for a one off watch, but I certainly wouldn’t sit through it again.
The actors in the movie are all very good, and Sarah Thompson does a good job throughout considering she’s in practically every scene. Matt Dallas is good as her love interest, and they convey a good blossoming romance. Bruce Thomas as a horror veteran puts in an okay, if over the top, bit of acting.
The film is quite scary and tense, certainly up until the twist, and then it turns into more of a fight for survival horror action movie. Entertaining enough horror, but nothing new.
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