Michael Thelin’s “Emelie” is destined to go down as one of the classic killer babysitter movies of its sub-genre. It’s a mix of “Inside” and “The Babadook” in where a young boy finds a purpose in having to save the lives of his brother and sister when their babysitter happens to a pure psychopath with her own ulterior motives. Sarah Bolgier is fantastic as young Anna, a replacement babysitter who takes over for the usual nanny of a very average and unsuspecting family. The brood she has to look over isn’t particularly interesting or special, and while Anna does look very harmless at first sight.
But soon she eventually begins to reveal something of a reptilian personality as she becomes more and more unhinged with every passing hour. Bolgier is wonderful at maintaining the uneasy smile that she wears throughout the film, as she learns a lot about the trio of children she’s watching, and begins devising her own plans for them that become increasingly disturbing. Thelin relies on mounting tension and pure suspense to bait the audience and keep them watching until the climax. We’re never quite sure what is happening with young Anna, and why she’s so aloof when the kids begin destroying the house, but it does lead in to something that’s so inherently demented and insane.
Thelin touches in to certain taboos exploring how utterly off the wall bonkers Anna tends to be, first seducing young Jacob in an incredibly uncomfortable bathroom scene. Just when you think Thelin can’t top that cringe inducing sequence, he just continues ratcheting up the gross out factor with one more disturbing sequence after another. While it may seem at first glance the shocks are there mainly to keep us squirming, a lot of the actions Anna takes really reflect her lack of sanity, and how far off the deep end she is. “Emelie” is a surefire slow boil thriller that culminates in to a very satisfying explosion that acts as a word of warning to parents on taking second and even third glances at who is caring for your children.
Featured on the Blu-Ray, there’s the thirteen minute “Making Of,” which features interviews with director Thelin, and writer Herbeck, along with the cast and the film’s producers. There’s the film’s original trailer clocking in at two minutes, and finally additional trailers, which aren’t really special features, but should give you an idea of other releases from the company.