Monday, October 22, 2018

Chills & Thrills: Emelie (2016)

Movie Name/Year: Emelie (2016)
Tagline: The babysitter is here.
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Length: 82 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production Companies: Uncorked Productions, Sandbar Pictures, ULTRAMEDIA, Priority Pictures, Abandon Features
Producers: Roxanne Fie Anderson, Robert Beaumont, Robyn K. Bennett, Andrew Corkin, Lizzie Friedman, Richard Raymond, Harry Herbeck, Karen Lauder, Greg Little, Bryan Reisberg, Elizabeth Stillwell
Director: Michael Thelin
Writers: Richard Raymond, Harry Herbeck, Michael Thelin
Actors: Sarah Bolger, Joshua Rush, Carly Adams, Thomas Bair, Susan Pourfar, Chris Beetem, Randi Langdon, Dante Hoagland

Blurb from Netflix: She's cool, she's fun and she's on time. She's a babysitting dream come true ... until the nightmare begins.

Cat's Point of View: 

When I first watched the trailer for this movie while we were working on the Top 20 for March of 2016, I remember feeling a pulse-pounding dread. The core of this movie is certainly one of the worst nightmare scenarios a parent could experience. Funny enough, Selina and I both listed this as our #12 entry on that month’s list.

The very idea of a babysitter, such as this one portrayed by Sarah Bolger (As Cool As I Am, The Lazarus Effect, Mayans M.C.), gives me the heebie-jeebies. It hits particularly close to home since my husband and I had to cut ties with a sitter once because of a combination of a bad gut feeling and some really questionable decision-making on her part.  Bullet dodged.

Unfortunately for the kids in this movie, there was no way to evade.

The film is definitely a solid thriller, but it doesn’t quite feel like it really completes the horror recipe. There are plenty of horrific moments, however. It adds up to something more psychological rather than a bloody gorefest.

I can’t say that I was satisfied with the way things played out. I’m not even talking about how the movie literally ended. There are just so many unanswered questions. Quite a few of them boil down to an essential plea of ‘why?’ The core motivation for events becomes clear but there’s still so many dots that were left unconnected. Perhaps that sense of randomness is part of the psychological mind-screw that the film is going for.

I was actually surprised to learn that this was the first mainstream release film project for director Michael Thelin (Shinedown: Madness from Washington State, The Live Room, Paper Towns Live Event Concert). His body of work has generally been related to the music industry covering live events, music videos, and the like. He does have one other movie release, but it was intentionally released straight to DVD – it’s even in the title: All Time Low: Straight to DVD (2010). Of course, the movie is about a band so that makes Emelie decidedly the first project that doesn’t revolve around such things.

I’m curious how much input a director has with the musical selection for the final credits. My interest in the topic was piqued after discovering Thelin’s background. The song that was chosen just adds a final unsettling bit of icing on the cake. In the context of the movie, the cover of “One Way or Another” performed by Until The Ribbon Breaks left me with a delightfully creepy feeling.

Even though I wasn’t buying everything that this movie was selling, it was still an engrossing thrill ride that gave me heart palpitations at every turn. I think parents, especially, will feel the full effect of the horrifying events – but it’s definitely not a requirement to enjoy this movie. One thing to also keep in mind is that, like most horror movies, this is probably not the best to watch with small children. The official rating status is ‘Unrated,’ but Netflix appropriately gave it the TV-MA stamp on the listing.

Speech Available: English, Spanish
Subtitles Available: English [CC], Spanish

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 88%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 41%
Metascore - 62/100
Metacritic User Score – 6.6/10
IMDB Score – 5.4/10

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3.5/5

Movie Trailer:

No comments:

Post a Comment