EMELIE, the new naughty-babysitter film, is exemplary: so initially everyday, then suddenly creepy and frightening, that it takes your breath away. If only the remainder of this movie followed suit. We learn the result of this opening scene during the fraught finale, and it brings us back again to that fine beginning. Most of what lies in between, how-ever, offers a second-rate, occasionally ridiculous, children-in-peril scenario in which a highly unhinged young woman and her barely-seen accomplice spend an evening increasingly terrorizing three kids.
Joshua Rush as the eldest, Carly Adams as his sister, and especially Thomas Bair as the youngest (shown below, left) -- to Sarah Bolger (shown above and below, right) as the title character, who proves properly sweet-then-scary in what is, truth-be-told, by now a fairly standard characterization.
Ultramedia and Dark Sky Films and running a thankfully short 77 minutes plus credits -- opens this Friday, March 4, in New York City at the Cinema Village and in Los Angeles at the Arena Cinema. If you're not near either big city but have a hankering for the transgressive, don't worry: Emelie's simultaneously available via VOD.