Old-school. Nostalgic. Throwback. Words that are thrown around a lot in the world of independent cinema, but few movies actually hit the mark and hit it well. Filmed for Roller Disco Massacre, 79th & Broadway Entertainment and Pelican Films, John Rocco and Abiel Bruhn’s The Night Sitter is one of the few horror films to make this promise to fans and deliver on the goods. A Christmas themed tale of terror, The Night Sitter finds a young woman, a con artist by trade, who poses as a babysitter to steal pricey items from an occult enthusiast’s private home. While she and her associates scope out the house, the owner’s son is left unattended and he unwittingly summons a trio of witches that wreak havoc on the house and everyone inside. Now, friend or foe, everyone who’s still living must stand together to survive the night and send the sadistic witches back to the netherworld. Written and directed by John Rocco and Abiel Bruhn, The Night Sitter stars Elyse DuFour (Frankie on The Walking Dead), Jack Champion, Amber Neukum, Jermaine Rivers, J. Benedict Larmore, Ben Barlow, Baily Campbell, Joe Walz and Deanna Meske. Find this title produced by John Rocco and Cristian Quintero on DVD and digital starting August 6th 2019 courtesy of Uncork’d Entertainment.
I was expecting a slasher type of environment out of The Night Sitter, and I ended up with a supernatural story featuring a haunting and sporadic possessions all at the hands of three undead, diabolical witches. We need more movies like this, where witches are in your face evil instead of calculated and hiding in the shadows, because that’s how you dig deep into the realm of old-school nostalgia. Take the viewer back to a better time in independent film history and try to scare them with campy, tricky and often bloody shenanigans. Let the villains come after their victims and not the other way around. That’s what I loved the most about The Night Sitter. It was an onslaught of us vs them scenarios instead of the typical cat and mouse game interlaced with the current trend of jump scares. The best horror nostalgia you can give is unrelenting action and suspense, and a tad bit of material left to laugh at. While I should fail this movie for killing off the family dog (rest in peace, puppy), I’m happy to say that the feel of the movie was accurately matched by the picture quality and production support. Thanks to the cinematography by Scott G. Field and editing by Tristan Borys, The Night Sitter is packaged together nicely. Throw in a strand of Christmas lights, crystal clear camera work, a few filters for dramatic effect and this movie looks better than I expected, too.
I’m trying to look for something negative to say, but I’m struggling here. After my first two paragraphs, I’m still left with notes that are nothing but positive. The bedtime story was cute and spooky, and the kid’s were the perfect young adolescent targets. The occult shop built into the home owner’s study and the house in general was the perfect location for this story and helped to build the mood. Hey, you get one sex scene in this movie that reminded me of Night of the Demons for some reason, and the introduction of the friend group in this way was an easy way to bring in more action and bloodshed. The story would have been over much quicker if it was just the thief, the neighbor, and the two young boys. Throw in some incredible acting from the entire cast and The Night Sitter was a surprisingly great viewing experience. I feel like it would be a bigger hit on home media if it was released in the Fall instead of on August 6th 2019, but regardless of its big debut date, this is certainly a movie you don’t want to miss if you’re a fan of old school horror. Everything just fell into place so nicely that you’re left with a film that’s visual pleasing, terror quenching, goosebumps inducing and head nod approving from start to finish. Well done cast and crew.
Final Score: 8 out of 10.