Babysitter Wanted (2008) - Lets start by saying I thought this film was decent but there were a few things that leave that nagging feeling it could have been better. The pre-credits scene showing the tied up girl with markings on her like you would see on a pig showing the different cuts of meat really blew a lot of what could have been revelation in this film. Instead of letting the audience grow to learn what is to come for characters we get this, then we are suppose to anticipate that fate coming back to the main character. Afraid though it should have been left unsaid and then when we saw it for the first time it would have more impact. That opening scene in which the music was a big driver was disappointing too much mood music and too much reveal all for a tone setting scene that really is not necessary and probably works against the film making everything that happened in that scene have to be explained later in a monologue that then too seems out of place.
The very first scene in the protagonists home we establish that the main character Angie Albright (Sarah Thompson) is a very good girl, she and her mother kneel in front of the home alter praying for her safety as she prepares to head off to school. Community College is such a scary place and she the good Christian girl meets her druggie roommate to set her out of place, to make the character uncomfortable and to establish she is not a girl of means and will have to find some kind of work to make this whole college thing happen. It also gives her a reason to meet her love interest in the film, Rick (Matt Dallas) who scares her by accident while she is on the payphone outside calling home to pretend everything is alright. I guess all that praying and good girl stuff goes out the window when you want to not have your Mom worry so you lie to her. Kids today! The fact that both of these actors are way past their college years is not so strange in Hollywood where often the teens in teen movies are late into their twenties. Here though they are in the early thirties playing 18 and 19 there is something not really right about that. Sarah Thompson I remember as Eve on the television show Angel how she ended up in this role must be a story. Not that she is not young looking but she is like 32 years old.
When she takes a number from the babysitter wanted sign on the school billboard there is a strange scarred guy (Monty Bane)watching her from the distance, we know this because besides seeing him the music gets very menacing queuing us that we should worry for poor Angie. In fact the music by Kurt Oldman is one of the larger problems with this film, it is too overstated, more like you would get on a video game to create mood than on a film where is should be an accompaniment. I got the feeling that Kurt didn't trust the film he was seeing to have the tension and shock it needed so he created a score to compensate for it. Unfortunately it is so over bearing at times, often giving away the action or creating its own moments instead of trusting the film that it was a distraction. It is also a dark movie, meaning the lighting is purposefully set low, it ads to the mood I suppose but make sure you watch this on a large decent quality television to really be able to see what is going on.
Angie is followed by scarred guy for a good deal of time while she heads out to the isolated farm to meet the Stanton Family, Jim Stanton (Bruce Thomas) doing his best Bruce Campbell, its strange I said it out loud and then on researching the actor I see that he played in Army of Darkness as one of the mini Ash characters. He was a fine enough actor but I kept thinking of the Bruce Campbell whenever he was on the screen. Violet Stanton (Kristin Dalton) and son Sam (Kai Caster) who always wears that cute little cowboy outfit and does not say much. They seem like a nice enough family and Angie takes the babysitting job. Thus the setup is done and the film actually starts and we learn that all the religious crap from the beginning actually plays a role in the outcome although a tangential one. Violet shows Angie that little Sam is on a special diet so if he wants a snack it should come from the marked containers. Since we were bludgeoned by the opening scene we can guess what the special diet is can't we? So is the point since we know and Angie doesn't that it should create a negative feeling in us, or anticipation that OOH Boy when she find out she is going to be appalled. No because when she finds out she is watching a young woman being quartered and sliced and diced and that trumps the feeling she may have had about Sam's dietary uniqueness.
The recap on the Netflix envelope gives away the part of the movie plot as the night of baby sitting goes horribly wrong. The scarred guy plays "When a Stranger Calls" and eventually gets into the house. This part of the film Angie does a lot of things right, she has been in contact with her boyfriend and he is on the way. She has been in touch with the police and the chief is coming out to have a look around. She just is too far out there in farm country for them to arrive in time to help with the scarred guy. When Angie gets the drop on him she quickly discovers that her nightmare has just begun. Paraphrasing but that is the idea and what takes place. I don't know what the message of this film is other than hey be careful taking baby sitting jobs they can be at the devils house and then all kinds of bad shit can happen. People aren't who they seem to be and the story ramps up big time with some gruesome violence and a less than satisfying ending. Overall this film sort of works although this viewer would prefer the much better and slow burn "House of the Devil" these kind of opinions though are really about style preferences, this one could be just what you are looking for. There are some plot points in that I am not sharing here, so that anyone who wishes to see this won't have it spoiled by me. It has more action and gore and really if you are a lazy viewer the music will tell you every emotion that is required for each scene, you really won't have to decide for yourself if you are scared. Its that what we all really want?
Rating (4.9) So close! in the Zombiegrrlz system Rent it! but be warned.