15 February 2011 | Leofwine_draca
Haven't we been here before?
Here's an amusingly derivative psycho-thriller that acts as if all the other psychological thrillers in this genre don't exist. The template for this one, surprise surprise, is THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, but it doesn't even manage to be the first film about a psychotic babysitter – THE SITTER was already made at the beginning of the sub-genre, back in 1991, and Alicia Silverstone had a stab as a babysitter/temptress later in that decade.
This turns out to be completely predictable and routine, although it is more watchable than some dogs the genre throws up. Russell Mulcahy, once one of Hollywood's hottest directors after HIGHLANDER, invests this with a little more style than the usual journeyman types and the pacing is pretty much spot on. Horror fans are advised to ignore the routine script and enjoy the silly murder sequences, which are quite strong for a television movie. Garden murders, bathtub murders, a staircase set-piece inspired by THE OMEN and a decent wheelchair stunt; it's all present here, as well as the over-the-top climax complete with pulled-out phone cords, duct-taped victims, carving knives and the like.
None of the characters elicit much sympathy, particularly in the case of Gail O'Grady who comes across as a bit of a bimbo as the mother. It's incredible how nobody ever suspects the angelic babysitter and becomes a bit irritating. William Moses, once the young upstanding hero of PERRY MASON, is bland as the nice-guy father. The sitter herself, Mariana Klaveno, is hopeless when she tries to do menacing, so the filmmakers wisely focus on her sexuality instead and I found her fairly effective as the teenage temptress. Still, this definitely falls into the so-bad-it's-good category, so only fans of bad movies need bother applying.