Reviewed by Johnny Butane
Starring Sarah Thompson, Matt Dallas, Bruce Thomas, Bill Moseley, Kai Caster
Directed by Jonas Barnes & Michael Manasseri
Moving to a new town to start college is never easy, especially if you’re a girl. Moreso if you’re a devout Christian girl who thinks Jesus is the bee’s knees and everyone should be nice to one another. Yeah, that’s a good way to get eaten alive in college.
Luckily for Angie, the lead in Babysitter Wanted, she moves away from her mother (also a devout Christian) to go to a community college, one that apparently has dorms on campus! First I’ve heard of it, but then I don’t get out much.
That bit of logical misstep has nothing to do with the overall plot of Babysitter Wanted, I just wanted to point it out cause I thought it was amusing.
What the film is about is Angie answering the titular ad and meeting a nice, clean cut looking family; Mom, Dad and son Sam. Mom and Dad have monthly farmer meetings (they’re out in the middle of nowhere, you see) so they need someone to watch over young Sam while they’re out. He’s really not any trouble; he has a very specific diet and an affinity for one certain cowboy hat, which he allegedly never takes off.
Angie’s first night on the job starts off normally enough; food, popcorn, reading. But pretty soon the obligatory spooky phone calls start coming in and she’s freaked out. This heightened state of freakness is exacerbated by the gigantic, scared behemoth who makes it a point to get in the house at any cost. Angie does her best to avoid him while trying to get Sam out of the house, but there’s a helluva lot more going on than meets the eye.
Go ahead, read other reviews of this movie if you want but let me warn you; the surprise will be ruined if you do. I promise to give nothing more away about the plot other than what you just read, which is such a small piece of what Babysitter Wanted is about that it barely counts as a plot synopsis.
What I will tell you about Babysitter Wanted, however, is that it most likely will not go where you think it’s going, it’s smart and has some great performances. The dad, played by Bruce Thomas, especially does a great job with the role he’s given which at first doesn’t seem like much but you’ll soon realize is a lot meatier than expected. Some pun intended…
Speaking of meat, there are some really nasty, painful-sounding gore moments in here for those of you who look for such things. The great thing about the particular scene I refer to is that it’s the only real instance throughout, at least the only one that hits the level of intensity this one does, and is all the more shocking and stomach-churning because of it. And it goes on longer than you’ll likely be comfortable with, unless you’re really into such things.
I have to admit, I was surprised on a few levels by how good Babysitter Wanted is; my only gripe is I really don’t think they took the core concept far enough. It felt like they had this great idea for a different kind of babysitter scenario but didn’t know where to go with it past the initial reveal. I won’t say more than that because I really don’t want ruin it for you.
Still, it’s refreshingly different even if it doesn’t go as far as it could, and for both that and some stellar performances, it deserves a second look. No word on when it’ll be out, as you can tell by the box art Lionsgate has a hold of it, but be sure to check it out when it does get released. You will dig!
4 out of 5
Discuss Babysitter Wanted in the Dread Central forums!