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The Night Sitter Main

The Night Sitter Movie Review

Written by Stuart D. Monroe

Released by Uncork’d Entertainment

the night sitter large

Written and directed by Abiel Bruhn and John Rocco
2018, 88 minutes, Not Rated
Released on August 6th, 2019

Elyse Dufour as Amber
Jack Champion as Kevin
Jermaine Rivers as Rod
Amber Neukum as Lindsey
Bailey Campbell as Ronnie
Joe Walz as Ted Hooper
J. Benedict Larmore as Martin
Ben Barlow as Vincent

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I’m pretty sure that I speak for the “average horror fan” (whatever that means) when I say that one big way to score points right off the bat is to have no pretensions, no misdirection, no artsy aspirations, no big trick. Simply present a concept…it doesn’t even have to be original, for fuck’s sake!...and deliver on it.

That’s the perfect cue for The Night Sitter, a movie with zero issues being exactly as advertised.

Amber (Elyse Dufour; The Walking Dead) is looking to make a little extra scratch on the babysitting scene. She’ll be watching young Kevin Hooper (Jack Champion; the upcoming Avatar 2) and his potential soon-to-be stepbrother, Ronnie (Bailey Campbell). Ted Hooper (Joe Walz) is a paranormal investigator and occult nut with a locked room at the end of the hall where he keeps his creepy collection (perfectly safe). He’s also rich, and that’s the real reason Amber chose him: she’s going to rob him and be gone by the time he comes back. Once the kids are asleep, she calls over her friends to rip the place off, but she doesn’t realize that the boys have gotten into Dad’s assortment of evil oddities and released a trio of evil witches known as The Three Mothers. Can anyone survive this night of terror?

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There’s just enough time spent getting to know the solid cast of characters that you have a feel for who they are, though a few more minutes of motivational exposition might have cleared up the murky waters of some backstory (namely Amber). It’s not a killer, but it wouldn’t have hurt, as this is clearly Amber’s movie. She’s a classic beauty, sure, but it’s not really that (though it doesn’t hurt). Her performance is the most natural and nuanced of the entire film, which makes it practically beg for more history. A small shame, but it’s worth noting.

The color palette is wholly unoriginal and perfectly okay for all that. It’s a clear nod to Dario Argento’s Suspiria or Deep Red, soaked in garish reds, deep blues, and eerie greens. The visual style vacillates somewhere between those aforementioned films and Creepshow, pairing effectively with the synth-heavy, ‘80s-inspired soundtrack. While not exactly a “style versus substance” type of film, The Night Sitter is one hundred percent committed to maintaining a visual style. It even works as a Christmas film without being married to the theme. Kudos!

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The first hour serves as a setup phase that keeps a fairly even balance between the horror and the comedy. It’s light on scares and relatively bloodless. Once the claret begins to flow, however, The Night Sitter pulls no punches in the gore department. A particularly nice head smashing and stab through the back of the head and out of the mouth are highlights. For a smaller budget film, there’s no giveaway on the SFX side.

Again, you’ll love the lack of pretension or trickery with this fun and entertaining bit of lighter horror fare. Both the trailer and the film itself promise a movie that will keep you in the action while not being accused of venturing anywhere near hardcore horror. Rob Zombie it ain’t, but The Night Sitter has the vibe of being the love child of an Argento style and a Stranger Things sense of fun, a bit of a throwback to that kind of horror flick that doesn’t require expositional voiceover or logical justification.

Horror can still be fun, right?

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Movie: 2.5 Star Rating Cover
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About The Author
Stuart D. Monroe
Staff Reviewer - USA
Stuart D. Monroe is a man of many faces – father, husband, movie reviewer, published author of short horror, unsuccessful screenwriter (for now), rabid Clemson Tiger, Southern gentleman, and one hell of a model American who goes by the handle "Big Daddy Stu" or "Sir". He's also highly disturbed and wears that fact like a badge of honor. He is a lover of all things horror with a particular taste for the fare of the Italians and the British. He sometimes gets aroused watching the hardcore stuff, but doesn't bother worrying about whether he was a serial killer in a past life as worrying is for the weak. He was raised in the video stores of the '80s and '90s. The movie theater is his cathedral. He worships H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Clive Barker. When he writes, he listens obsessively to either classical music or the works of Goblin to stimulate the neural pathways. His favorite movie is Dawn of the Dead. His favorite book is IT. His favorite TV show is LOST.
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