THE NIGHT SITTER / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: ABIEL BRUHN, JOHN ROCCO / SCREENPLAY: ABIEL BRUHN, JOHN ROCCO / STARRING: ELYSE DUFOUR, JACK CHAMPION, JERMAINE RIVERS, AMBER NEUKUM, JOE WALZ, BAILEY CAMPBELL / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
A routine job for "Amber" (Elyse Dufour), a babysitter with an ulterior motive, becomes a nightmare when a trio of Witches is unleashed in this giallo inspired horror comedy; The Night Sitter.
From the opening segment alone, with its rock/synth score and neon-soaked visuals, it's definitely clear to see that Dario Argento, king of Giallo, was an inspiration for Directors Abiel Bruhn and Job Rocco. The story follows "Amber", a new-to-the-neighbourhood gal who is trying to make ends meet by babysitting. Her first job is to look after Kevin (Jack Champion), the son of paranormal investigator Ted Hooper who specifically mentions that his office is OUT OF BOUNDS - a rule we know as an audience know will most certainly be broken. When Ted adds his hot dates' son Ronnie (Bailey Campbell) into the mix, the two boys become too much for "Amber" to handle when they unwittingly Evil Dead three witches, known as "The Three Mothers", out of a book and a bloodbath ensues.
Whereas The Night Sitter fails to live up to the superiority of its peers such as Netflix's The Babysitter in terms of pure insanity and twisted genius, it surpasses all of its competitors in the cinematography and directing categories. For an independent film, the attention to detail in creating an atmosphere and making the most of what the filmmakers have at their disposal has to be commended. As previously mentioned, the majority of scenes are bathed in a blue, red or purple neon glow which harkens back to the Argento classics - with one scene in particular showing two doorways, one with the room a welcoming blue colour representing safety and the other with a menacing red colour representing potential and certain danger - touches which make a hell of a difference.
The Night Sitter also utilises a vast variety of practical effects which, once again, brings to mind classic horror films like The Evil Dead. This choice is one that may have been mainly down to budgeting but in the long run, helps out the narrative immensely. As the characters; including "Amber"s stereotypical friends; begin to fall to the might of the witches, the audience is greeted with some great gore from slashed throats to fingers in the eyes - the blood never lets up.
However, with all the positives of a good looking film that is a testament to independent filmmaking, there is, unfortunately, something lacking. "Amber"s motives are weak but serve a purpose to the story and the "comedy" element of the film never seems to find its stride but the prospect and groundwork were most definitely present - but as a reasonably entertaining 90-minute paranormal slasher, The Night Sitter is ultimately worth a watch as a late night romp.