23 September 2015

EMELIE (/Slash Filmfestival 2015)


USA, 2015
Director: Michael Thelin


"Emelie" is an incredibly stupid horror-thriller, that, like many other films at this year's /Slash, starts out absolutely terrific, but ends up so indescribably bonkers, it's hard to say anything positive about it. The movie takes place in the house of the Thompson family (obviously not to be confused with "The Thompons") where the new babysitter Emelie (a replacement for the regular one who couldn't make it) turns the three kids' supposed-to-be-fun evening into a nightmare.

The first half is just splendid, thanks to a wonderfully intriguing and brilliantly paced "Babysitter Wanted"-like set-up, a haunting performance by Sarah Bolger ("The Moth Diaries") that reminded me a bit of Isabelle Fuhrmann in "Orphan", three wonderfully natural and surprisingly non-annoying kids (stand-out: the adorable Thomas Bair), and a few hilariously nasty scenes where Emelie shows the kids their parents' sex tapes or force them to watch her feed a hamster
to a snake.

Then after the first half, the motivations behind the babysitter's behavior gets revealed and from one minute to another, the movie becomes so unbelievably stupid, it feels as if the second half was made by a completely different director. Horrid character decisions, even more horrid plot twists, stupidity all over the place, suspense quickly turning into tiring tediousness, the slightly over-the-top and slightly "Home Alone"-like finale is at times unintentionally ridiculous, at times indescribably frustrating and cringeworthy, and also annoyingly predictable. Anti-highlights: the WTF-car-crash, the completely pointless turning out of the lights and the headscratchingly dumb vomit-scene.

Not recommended. Watch "Babysitter Wanted", "The House of the Devil", "Halloween" or any other babysitter-themed horror film instead.

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