Sporting an eerie, black and white psychological thriller aesthetic, The Babysitter, written and directed by Greg Klepper, gives off an uneven assortment of retro terror vibes. A mentally unhinged young woman named Katie short on cash takes a babysitting job recommended from a friend. The offer seems too good to be true, but the wealthy family offering the position is very convincing.
The retro vibe the film gives off is clearly sourced at its early film inspirations but settles more into the B-movie subgenre. Katie’s mentally instability lays a typical groundwork for the story, as far as, determining what’s real around her. Usually, this can be executed with genuine scares involved, but The Babysitter doesn’t do much with it. A lot of the time you feel lost in what’s actually happening, and all you have to go on is the camera shifting and focusing in and out on the same three rooms in the house.
“The offer seems too good to be true, but the wealthy family offering the position is very convincing…”
The dialogue is right out of witty horror films of the same kind and typically flow pretty well. Alessandra Assante is the star of the film, and gives a little more significance to the character of Katie, but can’t do much when it all boils down to her fighting against her thoughts, when in actuality, there’s a real enemy out to get her. Until later in the film, you’re led to believe that she’s maybe just going crazy, but the idea of that isn’t really believable in the first place, since her only mental breakdowns you actually see on screen, are during her time at the house. Other than a couple of lines exchanged with her mother, you’re supposed to guess the level of intensity of her breakdown from something that happened before these events. Sure, you can do this in a film, and it’ll work, but in a thriller where over half the film is her dealing with an external enemy that we know is there but she doesn’t fully realize, it just makes the entire experience boring to watch.
The antagonists of the film have somewhat clear motives, but the script does little to decipher exactly what the purpose of choosing Katie really is. It almost feels like they weren’t sure with what to resolve the film within the end, and just wanted a surprise twist to give the idea of a weird profundity in evil and greed. But, the entire ending just falls on its face, leaving more questions than answers.
The Babysitter ultimately leaves little to set itself apart from its predecessor’s predictability and settles for a half hour of redundancy.
The Babysitter (2016) Written and directed by Greg Klepper. Starring
5 out of 10