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Review: THE NIGHT SITTER (2019)

Let’s get this out of the way right from the start. The poster claims this is “From the creator of FINAL DESTINATION”. Technically it’s true, Jeffrey Reddick was involved, but just as an executive producer. The Night Sitter is the creative work of writer/directors, Abiel Bruhn, and John Rocco.

Getting to the actual plot, Amber (Elyse Dufour, The Walking Dead, Siren) is posing as a babysitter to loot the home of paranormal expert Ted Hooper (Joe Walz, Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire). She’s especially interested in the artifacts locked in his office. However, the two kids she’s sitting, Ted’s son Kevin (Jack Champion) and his date’s boy Ronnie (Bailey Campbell) have their eyes on the office too. Being young boys, they, of course, want to play with the artifacts.

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It’s no surprise when Kevin gets a paper cut and bleeds on a tome called The Three Mothers. The book soaks up the blood and the titular witches are released. Now the kids will have to team up with Amber and her accomplices if any of them want to survive the night.

As you may have guessed from the name of the book, The Night Sitter pays homage to Dario Argento and his trilogy of the same name. The Christmas setting even gives an excuse for some of the Suspiria styled lighting.

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Unfortunately, it takes until the 45-minute mark for the witches to show up and The Night Sitter only runs 87 minutes including credits. The film does pick up quickly after that, but the damage has been done. The violence also lacks Argento’s flair for going absurdly over the top. Ironically, the best death is taken from an Italian horror film, but it’s Fulci’s The House By The Cemetery. The kills are rendered with satisfyingly bloody practical effects, though a couple are fairly hard to see.

While it’s certainly better than Wicked Witches, the other recent witchcraft film we recently reviewed, The Night Sitter still falls short of the mark. However, as the first feature from Bruhn and Rocco, it shows a lot of promise, especially visually.

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What they need to do is work on their writing. The Night Sitter needed to get to the point a little quicker and make some of its characters a bit more likeable. Even Amber spends most of the film with a personality as ugly as her looks are pretty.

Worth a watch if you don’t expect too much, The Night Sitter will be available August 6 on DVD and VOD from Uncork’d Entertainment. You can stay updated via the film’s Facebook page.

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