Pacing is important. Whether you’re talking about basketball, relationships, or in this case horror, pacing is one of the more important elements that dictates the kind of effect an action has. In the horror genre, a lot of films fall into the trap of blowing you away in the first five minutes and boring you to death through the rest of the picture, because they have no sense of, you guessed it, pacing. Fortunately, the team behind The Sitter found a way to nail the film without making this mistake.
The Sitter follows the small family of Tommy, his mother, and father. Just after Tommy’s mother hires a sitter to watch over the young child so she can go out for a night and unwind things take a turn for the worst. Any parent’s worst nightmare unfolds moments after leaving a flustered babysitter, Megan, in charge of the young Tommy.
Directed by Edward Harvey of Enigmatic Productions, The Sitter is a much more nuanced film than some of the promotional material or subject matter would suggest. Rather than bludgeoning you over the head with the horror of the situation, this film calmly sets the table for you and dines at the other side of it, only to reveal after the meal has ended that your turkey was laced with poison. A big part of this film’s success was its ability to build this sense of terror slowly but surely, and then climax at the very end without it feeling obvious. At no point did they ever give too much away. Another huge part of the terror of this film comes from the cinematography of Chris Newman. The color throughout the whole film is more Candyland than it is The Walking Dead, and yet this only makes it that much more terrifying, as the sweet exterior rots throughout the course of the film to show the true nature of what lies beneath the service. It also doesn’t hurt to have an editor who takes advantage of his control over the timing and execution of this film in Edward Harvey. All in all this film made me sick, in the best possible way.
The Sitter stars Noah Leggott, Chloe Oxley, Katie Louise McMillan, and Kieron Brook. Riddled with hidden secrets throughout, the short was originally created for the 24-hour film festival and was re-cut for a festival run. We will keep you updated when the film becomes viewable by the public. In the meantime check out the teaser below.