30 May 2003 | Liza-19
A gripping thriller, but a flawed remake
I first caught this on television ten years ago and loved it - although in hindsight I was too young to watch it. It was a fantastic story, and very scary (especially if you're still at the age where you have babysitters!) Kim Myers turned in a wonderful performance as Nell. The character is definately a nut, but you do feel sorry for her. That's not an easy thing to pull off, and honestly the only other film I can think of that does accomplish this is Stephen King's Carrie. (Granted, Kim Myers is no Sissy Spacek, but she does a dang good job!)
I've noticed there are many reviewers here that ask the question "who would hire a babysitter that they've known for five minutes?" I'm sorry to have to say it, but several. I myself babysat all the time when I was in highschool, and often for complete strangers. I knew the children a lot better than I ever knew the parents, and the situation with Nell entering the hotel room for the first time is a scene that I've lived through hundreds of times. The parents, rushed to make an engagement see a clean-cut, respectable looking girl, and feel safe in entrusting their children to them. Talk about scary.
However, I have to say, this film does fall short from it's original. I didn't know this for years, but "The Sitter" is quite obviously a remake of Marilyn Monroe's "Don't Bother to Knock." As fond as I am of this version, I have to say Monroe's was ten times better. Richard Widmark and Anne Bancroft were fabulous supporting players and Marilyn gave a hugely understated performance. The supporting players in this fell short, and I thought the violence was overdone. This updated version is scary, but watch the original for a side of Monroe you've never seen.