Directed by Michael Thelin
After their regular babysitter Maggie can’t make it, the Thompson family turns to her friend Anna to supervise their children while the parents go out to celebrate their anniversary. At first Anna seems like a dream come true to the kids, allowing them to eat extra cookies and play with things that are usually off-limits, but as her behavior becomes increasingly odd, the kids soon find out that her intentions are dark and twisted, and she is not who she seems to be.
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★★★½ review by Brandon Hart on Letterboxd
As much a throwback to pulpy 90's thrillers as it is a stylistic and atmospheric take on maturity's looming approach with the tension of a slackless elevator cable.
So essentially it's a coming-of-age story about an 11 year-old boy who faces off against his psychotic babysitter.
And it's an intricate work of horror filmmaking.
★★★½ review by Gramercy Riff on Letterboxd
There's something wrong with the babysitter! True that. She's way too nice, letting the kids eat, drink and do all they want, but the way she looks at the oldest boy from the moment they meet.. That's inappropriate. And she doesn't stop there. Sarah Bolger is creepy as hell as Anna and the kids, well, as long as they don't really have to act, they act like kids. It makes Emelie an unsettling and tension filled experience right from the start, one that taps into one of those basic fears. Someone messing with innocent kids, who can barely defend themselves. Too bad some of the writing is a little too obvious.
Especially the bedtime story, which turns out to be a simple way of revealing what's going on with Anna. Not a very smart move either, since the mystery surrounding her was also one of the reasons why it got off to such a compelling start. It's not completely downhill after that, but it becomes more of an ordinary home invasion-like thriller. With certain qualities though. It stays a bit too tame to really grab you by the throat, but things do get ugly and Thelin's use of lighting and sound gives it something extra. Enough to keep it going as far as I'm concerned. Emelie deserves more praise than it gets.
★★★½ review by Serge (Hunter) The Movie Guy on Letterboxd
Hoop-Tober Marathon 2018
Film 1: Emelie (2015)
"Don't be sorry. Everyone dies at some point."
I’ll keep this short and simple. The performances are overall pretty solid. The girl who played Emelie is a solid B/B+ level crazy.
This wasn’t really scary, but it really gets under your skin. There were a few times where I was shocked with what was happening. It just made me really uncomfortable. The tampon scene, the hamster scene, and the movie time scene. I wish I could get those out of my mind.
The ending was a letdown. It could have been so much more, but it’s just okay.
It’s a nice, uncomfortable movie with cool eerie stuff happening.
★★★★ review by Lee Morgan on Letterboxd
Bloody loved this thoroughly enjoyable and highly effective little shocker with a brilliant central performance by Sarah Bolger.
★★★½ review by Michael's Cinema Paradiso on Letterboxd
Afterthoughts: Wow, I'm pleasantly surprised by this. I was just scrolling through the horror section on the Sky Movies app and chose this for its short length.
I honestly thought it'd be alright, at best, but I actually found it rather good.
The general sense of foreboding and eeriness is established early on and sustained for much of the film. Though things heat up, it's actually the scenes when things start to get a little strange (I rephrase that, VERY inappropriate) that have you seriously disconcerted and worried about where they're going, and are therefore the most memorable and well-executed.
The acting from Sarah Bolger, who plays the titular creepy babysitter, is strong, and so too are the children's performances. It's refreshing to see a young woman cast in this type of horror thriller, as opposed to the more stereotypical male antagonist.
This is like a weird, messed up version of Room, and I will admit, I'd sooner pick this over that film any day of the week (despite Room being a superior film).
I'm so relieved the creators didn't opt for an orchestral score, because the more understated and atmospheric one used keeps the film from feeling melodramatic and heightens the tension.
There's a hell of a lot of unanswered questions too, which I always find to be a good thing, leaving much to ponder afterwards.
Although it kinda loses momentum towards the end and feels somewhat anticlimactic, Emelie is a well-crafted and tense thriller, with a scenario that is enough to scare the heebie jeebies out of parents just with the very mention of such a thought.
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