Saturday, April 23, 2016

EMELIE (2015) (Blu-ray Review)

EMELIE (2015)
Label: Dark Sky Films
Release Date: May 3rd 2016 
Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 82 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.40:1) 
Director: Michael 
Cast: Sarah Bolger, Joshua Rush, Carly Adams , Thomas Bair, Susan Pourfar, Chris Beetem

Synopsis: As their parents head out for a date in the city, the three young Thompson children – Jacob, Christopher, and Sally – immediately take to their new babysitter Anna (Sarah Bolger, Into the Badlands, Once Upon a Time), who seems like a dream come true: she’s sweet, fun, and lets them do things that break all of their parents’ rules. But as the night creeps along and Anna’s interactions with them take on a more sinister tone, the kids slowly realize that their caretaker may not be who she claims to be. Soon it’s up to big brother Jacob to protect his siblings from the increasingly nefarious intentions of a very disturbed woman whose weapon is trust, and whose target is innocence.

Husband and wife Joyce (Susan Pourfar) and Dan (Chris Beetem) are good parents who on the night of their anniversary set out to rekindle the romance with a dinner away from the kids, leaving their three young children at home with a new babysitter named Anna (Sarah Bolger), who they found in a pinch since their usual sitter had graduated from braces and is now a horny teen with a night life of her own. What we know right from the start is that the new sitter is not who she seems, her real name is Emelie and she has not ended up on this family's doorstep by accident this night, this is a babysitter with a dark and deadly secret. The three children are pre-teen Jacob (Joshua Rush), middle daughter Sally (Carly Adams) and the hyperactive youngest Christopher (Thomas Bair). Anna puts on a great show for the parents before they leave for the evening, setting them at ease with her charm and easy rapport with the kids, but once the parents are out of the home things begin to get weird, beginning with Jacob walking in on Anna in the bathroom where she is sitting on the toilet, asking the young boy to fetch her a tampon before inserting it in his presence, yeah, that's not right. 

That is just the beginning of the wrongness about to be unleashed upon this family over the course of a few hours, we still have some gun play, a night of amateur porn and kid abduction to deal with. The movie looks great, a stylishly shot thriller with a bold and enigmatic performance from Bolger as the bad babysitter who lights up the screen with her wrong ways. She at first wins over the kids with her anarchic to a degree, though she loses some faith when she encourages the kids to feed Sally's beloved pet hamster to Christopher's python, which is about the time the oldest of the children senses something is very off about the new babysitter, his new found strength is an annoyance to her and a cat and mouse game ensues as Christopher sets out to deprive the babysitter of what she is really after this night. 

The movie is creepy and tense with loads of atmosphere and a story that is well executed with no dead space, this is more thriller than horror movie but it is punctuated by some violence, for instance when the usual babysitter stops by and threatens to ruin things for the bad babysitter she is dispatched in a very violent way, which is good stuff. 

When you think about it there is not a lot new under the sun with Emelie (2015), we've seen similar stories in various iterations through the years but this won me over with style and performance, a solid cat and mouse babysitter thriller with a standout performance from Sarah Bolger that is both scary, seductive and intense, this one comes highly recommended. 4/5