Directed by directing team Abiel Bruhn and John Rocco, The Night Sitter is their latest Christmas-set venture. The pair have previously worked within short films and always seem to find a way to include the festive period within their work. With The Night Sitter, as with all good Christmas films, the holiday is merely a backdrop to proceedings.
The main story focuses in on Amber (played by The Walking Dead‘s Elyse Dufour) a young woman on her way to a night babysitting. That’s not her only plan for the night though, as she actually is set to rob the house because the family are pretty rich. What she fails to prepare for is a trio of witches that arrive to spoil the night. Brought forth accidentally by her charge, and his dad’s occult collection, the pair must form an unlikely alliance to save themselves from the evil coven.
Though Christmas isn’t rammed down the throat, The Night Sitter certainly utilises festive elements in an interesting way. The easiest identifier is the lighting. Almost much every scene is bathed in Christmas fairy light red, green or blue. It’s a subtle nod to the season, and the colours enhance the action rather than detract from it.
In terms of plot, The Night Sitter is a little out there. It starts out really well, but around the halfway point, gets a little bit too silly. It’s a comedy horror that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but by the end, events have spiralled to such a point that it’s hard to keep track. The other issue is the witches; it’s really important for movie audiences that their monsters follow a specific set of rules. Rules that set out the parameters of what the monster can and can’t do. In the case of vampires for example, most films stick to the rule that they can’t go into the sunlight, but there are no such rules with the Three Mothers as they are known. The rules of what they can and can’t do changes the further along we get, and it’s just a little too confusing.
What saves The Night Sitter is the relationship between Amber and young Kevin (Jack Champion). Initially frosty, the two warm to one another and Amber forms a very maternal bond with him. It’s a touching undercurrent, and one highlights that strong bonds can be formed in the strangest of situations.
A visually thoughtful film, let down by a few plot niggles, The Night Sitter is nonetheless an entertaining Yuletide comedy horror
The Night Sitter is available to own on Digital HD.
This review first appeared on THN.