Tuesday, October 27, 2020

mum's the word.


It's day 27 of 31 days of horror and I've suddenly realized that I've not covered any babysitters in peril yet.

Actually I've not covered any babysitters in anything for years.

Tho' I've always said I'd make an exception for Nancy Loomis in Halloween.

Or just Nancy Loomis in general if I'm honest.

Loomis....no reason other than she's absolutely lovely.

Babysitter Wanted (2008).

Dir: Jonas Barnes and Michael Manasseri.
Cast: Sarah Thompson, Matt Dallas, Bill Moseley, Bruce Thomas, Nana Visitor, Monty Bane and Kai Caster.


The sensibly shoed and incredibly cute Christian college newbie Angie Albright (Thompson from teevee's Angel) is leaving home - and her God bothering mum - for the first time ever in order to study art history at the community college in the next town.

Excitedly setting off on her long car journey to freedom she's soon hit by a wave of disappointment when upon arriving at her new digs she discovers that her roommate is a short-skirted stoner, the floor is covered in a scary mix of egg, sweat and semen stains and that someone has sold her bed.

Oh and less importantly local girls have been going missing.

But at least she still has the Lord.

And a really peachy bum if I'm totally honest so it's not all bad.

She might be sleeping now but just wait till the communion starts.

After a long hard chat to Jesus, our holy heroine decides to get a job to pay for a new bed and lo and behold there just happens to be a babysitting position advertised on the college notice board.

What are the chances eh?

Unfortunately tho' Angie can't get to excited seeing as it appears that she's being stalked around campus by a tall woolly hatted man in scruffy work boots with an uncanny (and frankly unnerving) ability to make art history slide show pictures appear on his face at random.

Which if nothing else should secure him a spot on the Britain's Got Talent finals.

Or at the very least in your mums bed.

Tho' just being male with a pulse should do that.

At least that's what your Uncle Ted said.

Laugh now!

Luckily she's got a new friend to chat to about it, the cool Catholic hunk Rick (Kyle XY star and former 80's super soap Dallas) whom she keeps bumping into around campus.

When he's not skulking around confessional boxes that is.

After a quick phone call and a couple of Hail Mary's Angie drives out to meet the couple in need of a sitter; the farm-working and plaid loving Stanton's (Birds of Prey's Batman himself Thomas and Dead Zone regular, one-time Ms. USA and former Bond Dalton) along with their girlie haired cowboy obsessed son, the monosyllabic Sam (pretty lipped Caster best known for Children of the Corn: Genesis, tho' that isn't really his fault).

Chatting to Mrs Stanton whilst enjoying a glass of homemade lemonade, Angie weighs up the pros and cons of the job (Pros: it pays well, cons: Sam's a freak and the house is in the middle of nowhere) before deciding to take it.

I mean what's the worse thing that could happen?

"You're my favourite Deputy....of love!"

On returning to her room Angie's mood is dampened a little when she finds someone has helpfully stuck pictures of the missing local girls to her dorm door leaving her no choice but to whine at Rick (who just happened to be passing) for a bit before heading to see the local sheriff (genre god Moseley in a scene stealing cameo) who assures her that everything is fine.

But if by some strange quirk of fate a mad mentalist does try to kill her he suggests that she should call him.

Which is nice.

The Amanda Knox bikestand was sure to be a big hit this coming Christmas.

The babysitting day soon comes around and wouldn't you know it Angie's car has broken down but never fear as Jack of all trades Rick is here to save the day, not only offering to spend his Saturday night fiddling with her tubes and pumping her engine but also promising to take her over to the Stanton's house too.

Obviously this does mean that if there is someone stalking our gospel lovin' gal and he does strike tonight that she's stuck in the middle of nowhere alone.

Well alone apart from sinister Sam who just happens to be the freakiest movie child this side of Tommy in Manhattan Baby.

I mean not content with wandering silently round the house like some mini Woody sex doll the little sod insists on eating only raw meat.

Without a fork.

How common.

"Hey kids! Let's round up a posse and have ourselves a spit roast!"

Everything is going smoothly (well for about 10 minutes, the movie's not that long, it only feels it) until Angie begins to hear noises from upstairs and banging at the front door.

Luckily the suspense is soon broken by Sam who wakes up mumbling "I'm hungry" before helping himself to some of the aforementioned meaty bits left in a bowl by the door before promptly running away leaving an oh so slightly panicking Angie torn between trying to find him, cleaning up the blood from the kitchen floor and avoiding the big bald fucker with the knife who's suddenly appeared from nowhere and is currently skulking about the porch.

Kids eh?

So who is the mysterious stalker?

Will Rick fix Angie's car?

And what has Sam been asked to "keep under his hat?"

From the former personal assistant to Neal H. Moritz on such hits as Fast & The Furious, SWAT and 2 Fast 2 Furious via a breakthru performance as the scary Irish Henchman in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, writer/director Jonas Barnes and fresh-faced actor turned director Michael Manasseri comes this charming if lightweight addition to the babysitter botherer genre.

And frankly it's not too shady at all.

Suffering somewhat from being released around the same time as Ti West's modern day classic The House of The Devil, Babysitter Wanted, after a fairly serious pre-credit murder plays out the rest of the plot with a slightly more tongue in cheek feel, more Tales of The Unexpected than Hammer House of Horror with it's heady mix of horror clichés and instantly recognizable ciphers, all lovingly crafted into an obvious homage to a genre the pair obviously love.

Either that or I'm getting to a point where I've watched so much shite this month that as soon as something non offensive and halfway decent comes along I'm that relieved that I try to marry it.

Only time, and my analyst truly knows the answer to that.

How I met your mother.

Yes I know bits of it made no sense and it's about 20 minutes too long but it's heart was in the right place.

Plus it boasts a really good cast, led by the yummily librarian-like Sarah Thompson; all big eyes and tight sweaters whilst both Bruce Thomas and Kristen Dalton are equally as lovable as the friendly farm folk in need of a sitter for scary Sam.

Thompson: luscious librarian love.

Which brings me to Kai Caster, who with the face of an angel, the lips of a Parisian whore and the haircut of '80's horror legend Giovanni Frezza was always destined to go far.

Tho' he'd have probably gone even further than American Horror Story, The Baxters and A Girl Named Jo if his folks had kept their food bins at the bottom of the yard locked.

It's inoffensive, it's harmless and it features Bill Moseley in a rare 'nice guy' role and a bowl haired wee boy chewing lumps of flesh like his life depended on it.

You could do worse.

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