Review #8: Emelie

There were a few movies about crazy and dangerous babysitters. Through those years they had different motives to be that weird girls, women who act like that. Movie which I’ll review right now was released in 2015.

Emelie is a first feature film made by Michael Thelin.

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The film tells a story of young marriage, who employ a girl for babysitting their kids. Sometime later, it’s coming out, that young girl isn’t who she said she is.The movie opens with the kidnapping. Emelie is main character, but when the audience first meets her, she’s introducing herself as Anna. As we find out later, this is because Anna is the name of the babysitter Emelie and her friend have kidnapped, so Emelie can sit for the Thompson children, Jacob (Joshua Rush), Sally (Carly Adams), and Christopher (Thomas Bair).

In a halfway through the movie the audience finally learns of Emelie’s motivations and it is only after that point that she really starts pushing towards her end game. Not coming to her reasons until that moment is fine, but not every action of hers seems like a way to achieve her goal.

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Emelie is done well enough for thriller/horror, but unfortunately does not completely deliver on its promising premise, mostly falling into cliches and predictability during the second half. It’s a small problem with this film, it’s much more interesting when audience doesn’t know where it is going or why this babysitter is deciding to do all those things. Legitimately insane people are always more fascinating when there seemingly is no rhyme to their reason, especially considering Sarah Bolger plays the role so convincingly. The answers we get are satisfying, allowing us to come to understand the character a little bit more.

The brightest part of the movie is previously mentioned, Sarah Bolger. Her character, however, isn’t given enough to do and isn’t allowed to pursue what she is given in smart enough ways. Bolger portrays this character that works so well in this movie. She doesn’t come off as completely insane and homicidal straight away. The performances by Carly Adams, Thomas Bair and Joshua Rush, who play the children, were also excellent. It can be tough to get realistic performances out of kids, but all three of them did a great job.

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I really enjoyed the first half of Emelie; it’s tense, and filled with unforgettable scenes and fantastic acting. Everything after the twist is completely opposite of that, and also highlights unforgivable flaws. Some elements could have been better exploited. It’s really enjoyable to watching Bolger revel in an artfully rendered looks-can-be-deceiving darkness. For sure this role will open many genre’s doors for her. Likewise, Bolger’s three co-stars all bring a realism to this movie that helps sell this situation.

I think director Michael Thelin should stay with this genre. Emelie is a refreshing, tense, slightly disturbing thriller that will most likely scare parents who employ babysitters than teenagers. As a debut, it’s really good, even if not everyone will enjoy this film. This movie really deserves attention.

 

6/10

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