Not just another babysitter torture porn

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With the cover options they had, I can’t understand why the creators of Babysitter Wanted went with the one on the left, which makes it look like a torture porn in which buxom young beauties get strapped up, stripped down, and slaughtered. Okay. I guess that answers my question.

Babysitter Wanted is anything but that. Of course, you wouldn’t know by the opening scene, which shows a young chick tied up, her body marked like a piece of beef, and a hammer aimed at her head….

Yep. Gotta pull in modern horror fans. But Babysitter Wanted is more in keeping with modern throwbacks to 70s and 80s horror. I’ve even seen it rightfully compared to Ti West’s style of film-making and also called a blatant rip off of Ti West’s The House of the Devil. Unfortunately for those who thrill in writing off any director who isn’t a major player in the horror industry, Babysitter Wanted was released a year before Ti West’s film.

I love The House of the Devil, but in the end, Babysitter Wanted is better paced. It also goes in a completely different direction. The setup is kind of the same. A college chick takes a job as a babysitter at an isolated farmhouse. But before she can even start work, she begins to see a mysterious man who seems to be following her around campus.

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Disturbed by this and the fact that there was a post about a missing female student on the same board from which she scored her babysitting gig, she goes to the police. This time, Bill Moseley is playing a good guy. He’s the local sheriff. Of course he can’t help our main girl right now because nothing has happened yet.

But man does it ever happen once she gets to the first night of sitting. Her car breaks down so her new friend, the adorable Matt Dallas (of Kyle XY), drops her off.

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Once alone with the creepy boy for whom she’s babysitting, she starts to get prank calls. She hears noises in the large house. And then the fricking doorknob rattles.

Holy crap the first half of Babysitter Wanted is heart-in-your-throat material. Everything is done right: setup shots, camera angles, lighting, musical cues (except one absurd one when she reaches for a tea mug). This is old school babysitter all alone amazingness. Think of the When a Stranger Calls days. The entire movie could have gone along this route, but then it would have been considered…a rip off.

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So…whammo! The plot takes a total twist and the tone of the film completely changes. There’s no seeing this coming at almost exactly the halfway point. Dark humor and some sadistic scenes of gore are added to the mix. It’s equally as entertaining as the first half, but it’s essentially a different movie starring the same main character.

Even if the turn seems jarring, it’s impossible to deny that it is a wild and unexpected ride. I am really shocked that Babysitter Wanted hasn’t gotten a lot more attention or a serious following. While there’s room left open for a sequel, I really hope it never happens. It’s pretty perfect as a standalone film.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES.

I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.

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