Welcome back to this week’s installment of #HauntLife. Today, I am going to review the horror short, The Babysitter, from writer/director Nick Sicurella. Since it is a short, I am going to give a full spoiler of the entire film, so be aware!
I am a huge fan of short horror films, especially now that I am dad. I know other working dads can relate. You work all day, then come home and become dad/husband. And if you have a side business like me, the subdivision of time is hard to manage. I step into the door, and my little girl comes running to me, happy to see dad. Then the Misses greets me with all sorts of news about her day. I sit down to unwind, but if I touch the remote, one of the two is not going to be happy. Either Mom was watching Grey’s Anatomy or Nashville or something, or baby girl was watching Teen Titans Go or Paw Patrol for the millionth time. So, dad gets in his easy chair and starts surfing for a movie to watch, but between chores, taking care of the second business, and, well, being dad, finding two hours a night is not really possible. Thus, being able to be entertained in short order is highly desirable.
I was made aware of The Babysitter by the head Zombie, here, at Zombies In My Blog. I usually am pretty caught up on shorts like this, but for some reason, The Babysitter eluded me. Like I mentioned, short films fit perfectly into my schedule. So, I felt incredibly stunned that he was able to find something that I had never seen. I immediately had to remedy this problem.
The Babysitter is set on Halloween night, 2015. A husband and wife decide to go out for the night, and hire a young girl to watch their child. After being assured that she knows how to handle this adventure in babysitting, the couple head out for the night. After turning on the alarms and checking all the doors, the sitter decides to turn her attention to the home theater. While nothing “scary” (unless you count The Sound of Music as frightening), her attention is taken by a life-sized clown prop standing in the living room. Slightly unsettled, the babysitter heads upstairs to check on the little one, who attempts to scare the sitter with a well-timed pop scare. Putting her back to bed, our sitter goes back downstairs. Since there are no good films in the house, the babysitter calls her clients to see if she can rent a film on demand. Once given the go ahead, she then asks if she can cover up the clown. Her heart stops as she is informed they do not have a clown statue. Turning around, she finds the clown staring back at her with human eyes. Before she can do anything, he attacks and murders her in cold blood. Upstairs, the little girl can do nothing but look on in sheer terror as the clown enters her bedroom and the door closes. Post credits, a Missing Child poster is seen, featuring the little girl.
It’s easy to see where this film gets its inspirations. This film is based almost entirely off the urban legend The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs that dates back to the 1960s. In the legend, the sitter is called by a man repeatedly asking her to check on the children. After calling the phone company, she finds out that the calls are coming from inside the house. There are many horror films that follow this same storyline. The Babysitter definitely has the same vibe as Scream and When a Stranger Calls, both of which are excellent horror films.
The cinematography is very good for a short film. The quality is that of something you would see from a major motion-picture production. The ambiance given by the sound and lighting was perfect. The acting was on point, as I felt myself dragged into the film and felt the tension building throughout, the special effects could use a little work, as the attack by the clown was not a bloody as one would think, in a butchering the likes that she took.
I give this film a solid five out of five stars. If you are like me and looking for some great scares on the scale of Lights Out and Zombie City (yes, I am plugging my own short film), then The Babysitter will fit the bill. I hope Nick Sicurella will make more horror films, maybe featuring more urban legends, ’cause he 100 percent has a grasp on how to make excellent films in that genre.