When a young couple’s regular babysitter is unable to watch their brood, she gives a recommendation for a friend who is available to sit. But what they do not realize is that the replacement sitter is a bit eccentric and has some unorthodox ideas about child care. What ensues is an all out war between the babysitter and the babysat.
Surprisingly, I don’t really have a strong opinion, one way or the other on Emilie. I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it. I found it to be painfully average. I wasn’t glued to my screen while watching it but I wasn’t bored to tears, either. For me, the film is demonstrative of absolute mediocrity.
The performances are about average. Sarah Bolger (The Lazarus Effect) is not bad as the titular character. She is even genuinely scary at times. But I didn’t fully buy into her as her character. She never really had me fully convinced that she was as evil as she’s made out to be. The child actors do a reasonable job of acting afraid of her but, again, their performances are nothing astounding.
Thelin co-penned the screenplay with Rich Herbeck. And I have the same problem with the script that I do with every other aspect of the film. It just feels uninspired and as if I’ve seen it one-hundred times before. It’s not that the film is terrible. I just didn’t find it to be a particularly original concept, it doesn’t really ever break the mold. And while that can be OK if a film stands out in other ways, Emile does not make up for its lack of originality elsewhere.
I’ve seen a lot of positive reviews for this film and I’m sure that some horror fans will find a lot to like about it. If you don’t mind seeing a variety of elements that have been done before cobbled together to make a new story, you may actually enjoy this one. However, it did not resonate with me. I watched it last week and it barely left an impression. In a month, I’ll have forgotten almost everything about it.
If its body count you seek, you will likely be disappointed. The death toll in Emelie is pretty low. Thelin attempted the slow burn approach with most of the scares being of the psychological variety. But by the time the conclusion came around, I had become somewhat apathetic. Also, the finale isn’t that inspired. It shifts into a higher gear than the preceding 60-minutes but it never got me to the point where I was fully invested.
The film’s home video release doesn’t offer a great deal in the way of special features. But it’s not entirely bare bone. Included are a theatrical trailer and a making of featurette. Emelie is now available on DVD and Blu-ray from Dark Sky.
WICKED RATING: [usr=4]
Director(s): Michael Thelin
Writer(s): Michael Thelin, Rich Herbeck
Stars: Sarah Bolger, Thomas Bair, Randi Langdon, Carly Adams, Elizabeth Jayne
Release: May 3, 2016
Studio/ Production Co: Dark Sky
Sub-Genre: Psychological Thriller