A not so innocent looking babysitter named Amber, played by Elyse DuFour of ‘The Walking Dead,‘ is on her way to her new gig sitting for Ted Hooper (Walz). Luckily for him, she can work on a moment’s notice and he needs someone tonight. He hires her, without checking her references, to come to his house and watch over his young son Kevin (Champion) and his new girlfriend’s son Ronnie (Bailey Campbell). The house is massive, out in the middle of nowhere, there’s little to no cell service and his address is 187. No thank you!! Based on all of that, you already know what kind of night they’re in for.
Anyway, Kevin is a loner who stays in his bedroom most of the time. Because of this, Ted has never been concerned that he’ll get himself into any serious trouble and tonight is no different. However, since Ted didn’t do his homework on who this Amber is, he’s leaving the boys and his home in the hands of someone who, along with several friends, plans on robbing him blind.
When we’re first introduced to Ted, we’re informed that he’s a Paranormal Investigator who keeps all of his relics behind a locked door. Enter the main reason things go awry, something not too well camouflaged. Of course, the first chance they get, the boys find the key to unlock the door and make their way inside. Since his mother died, Kevin has kept to himself that in his dreams he sees three witches that chase after him. He instinctively knows that it means certain death if they were to reach him. So far, he’s been able to escape their clutches because he’s helped by his mother. She’s always there to direct him on what to do which is to run and never look back. He’d do well to keep that advice in mind when awake, as well, especially since he has accidentally pulled the witches, known as The Three Mothers, from the dream world into the real one.
Without a doubt, you knew this would happen. While the boys are busy getting themselves into trouble, Amber meets nosey neighbor, Vincent (Ben Barlow). Though he has done nothing but annoy her, she goes to his house and gets some education on the occult. He tells her how all civilizations and cultures, especially the more devout, celebrate using rituals. He seems to know a lot about the subject so she tells him about the witches that Kevin has seen and that she saw, too, while looking through some of his skillfully created sketches. Being well-informed on the subject, he warns her that it’s almost the witching hour. The witching hour is midnight.
In the meantime, things have gotten terribly bad for poor Kevin. He finds them and tells Amber that one of her accomplices is possessed and tried to kill him by taking him to the witches. She ignores this, of course. Vincent not only believes him, but he wants to know more and more, especially after he sees Kevin’s sketches of the witches he’s been seeing. When Vincent sees them, he gets a book and reveals to Kevin who it is he’s been seeing. Kevin is surprised to hear that he’s finally believed and that the witches are well known in supernatural circles. Amber cringes when Vincent tells them that these particular witches like to bleed children to death because of what happened to them when they were alive.
Ted finally makes his way home. When he sees that there’s something wrong in his house he doesn’t react as a concerned father should. He seems delighted to see a bloody mess in his living room. Through his years of studying the peculiar and paranormal, he finally gets to see an event happen in his own house! He throws on a Go-Pro and attempts to capture raw footage for an audience he hopes will want to tune in.
I’ll wrap up by saying that the film is not as good as it could have been. The horror scenes, what few there are, are too dark to see. The main reason for this might be because the special effects aren’t very impressive. The characters aren’t at all likable, disturbing is a good word to use to describe them, which means you have no vested interest in the outcome of the film. And I must ask… are men truly so hypnotized by a breast that they don’t know when to escape a possibly dangerous situation?
Another moment I have to point out is that a woman licking a child’s tears and getting much more into it than she should, quick scene or not, is simply gross and unacceptable no matter the context.
Based on all of this, I can’t give it a very high score. I liked the trailer and expected more. It started slow so I kept thinking it would get better at some point. Sadly, I was wrong. However, if these filmmakers learn from their mistakes, they’ll improve. If you’re making your first film and this is what the product ended up being, I’d expect you to know that you still have a lot of work to do to reach your goal of making a feature film worth distribution. Abiel Bruhn and John Rocco, who both wrote and directed ‘The Night Sitter,’ can be proud that they finished a feature film because so many would-be filmmakers only dream of doing such a thing. Even so, I’m sure they realize they have a long way to go to arrive at the top of the filmmaking mountain. My advice to them is to strap those climbing boots on.
‘The Night Sitter,’ for all intense and purposes, steals from just about every indie or studio film that has come before it. That got old fast. There’s nothing new here; nothing to see. Don’t try to be like all the rest. Make something more unique and distinctive, something memorable, and your audience will be waiting for you.
The Night Sitter
Director Abiel Bruhn, John Rocco
Writers Abiel Bruhn, John Rocco
Stars Elyse Dufour, Jack Champion, Jermaine Rivers, Joe Walz and Amber Neukum
Running Time 1h 28m