Hey gang, Valkor here. And I'm back with another MediaView treat to whet your Halloween palette. This round we're checking out “The Night Sitter” and it's a horror with something of an 80s flavor to it that's a little on the cheesy side, but still worth checking out. Oh yea, expect some spoilers.
The Night Sitter puts the spotlight on Amber (Elyse Dufour), a thief who weasels her way into a babysitter gig at the home of Ted Hooper (Joe Walz), who's also a paranormal investigator looking to kick off a new television series. Amber is in charge of watching Ted's kid Kevin (Jack Champion) and the child of Ted's date Ronnie (Bailey Campbell). Now, Ted keeps the door to his office locked, which Amber believes holds valuables worth stealing. But during a game of "Hide and Seek", Ronnie, who happens to have the key to Ted's secret room unlocks the door. And while he and Kevin look over all of Ted's unusual artifacts, Kevin cuts his finger on an old book. This event causes three witches to spring out, which will ultimately make for one murderous night – especially for the boys as the witches have a taste for young flesh. Toss in Amber's cohorts who were supposed to be helping her rob the place, and a nosy neighbor, who is also a paranormal expert and you have all the makings of an evening where it's not about how they'll survive the night... but who.
I said The Night Sitter has something of an 80s horror flair to it because it combines plenty of practical effects, some over-the-top acting and a spooky soundtrack that makes this film squeamishly fun to watch. I was kind of expecting something like “Adventures in Babysitting” meets “Home Alone”, but what we end up with is just as good. And I'll tell you all about it in the TOV Breakdown.
The Night Sitter is 87 minutes of cheesy, horrific fun that takes some time to get in to, but when the hacking and slashing goes down – hoooooo boy! It really goes down! I thought the plot was fairly decent, though it can be a bit spotty in some areas (more on that in the next section). However, it's the horror bits that truly shine! Especially the last 20 minutes or so as it's a roller coaster of gore and fun that'll have you cringing with fright. What I especially enjoyed about the film is that twist of an ending. It wasn't a jaw-dropping moment, but I was stunned nonetheless when it happened. Finally, I thought the acting held up pretty well, with Elyse Dufour as the film's standout. She's amazing as being the thief, who ultimately redeems herself. I also loved the over-the-top performance of Amber Neukum's witch possessed Lindsey, who adds to all the fun and cheesiness to the film. And I'm not gonna lie... I kind of wish there was a bit more of her. In the end, I didn't expect to like The Night Sitter as much as I did. But I did enjoy it and I think it's worth checking out.
The first 40 minutes of the film is a bit of a mess with the combination of setting up the main plot along with adding in a bunch of new characters into the mix. That doesn't make the film “unwatchable”, but things do drag a bit before the real action kicks in. My next issue would be Vincent – I'm not a fan. I didn't hate the character, but he came across as a little too convenient. Fortunately (unfortunately), his character doesn't make it to the end, but I kind of wish his demise came sooner in the film (too harsh?).
The Night Sitter is available now on Digital and DVD. And while the film isn't perfect, it does have some redeeming qualities that make it worth checking out. So, if you're looking for a fun flick to add to your Halloween film rotation, then consider giving this one a shot. I'd recommend it. So, out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving The Night Sitter 3.5 stars.