Christmas Horror Movie Review: The Night Sitter (2018)

Possibly going unnoticed upon release due to the humongous success of Netlix’s The Babysitter the year before, The Night Sitter is a festive-themed comedy horror film released in 2018. Directed by Abiel Bruhn and John Rocco. It stars Elyse Dufour, Jack Champion, Jermaine Rivers, Amber Neukum, J. Benedict Larmore, Ben Barlow, Bailey Campbell, Joe Walz, Deanna Meske and Manny Sandow.

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There are two types of festive horror movies. One that puts the Christmas holiday front and centre like a gaudily decorated Christmas tree and normally has story directly related to the time of the year. The other merely uses Christmas as backdrop. It feels festive and looks festive but if it was set in the Summer, it wouldn’t change the story much. The Night Sitter is the latter.

Amber (Elyse Dufour) is going to be babysitting Kevin (Jack Champion) and Ronnie (Bailey Campbell). The former is a quiet boy, still reeling from the death of his mother and disconnected from his father. It’s him who is leaving Kevin with Amber for the night as he is going out on a date with a neighbour. The latter of the two kids is her son and he is loud, obnoxious and hilarious. Seriously, Ronnie is the best thing in this film.

That’s a lot to handle but Amber doesn’t care as she has an ulterior motive for being there. She, along with some friends who arrive later, are planning to rob the house.

The groups interest lies behind a locked door where the dad keeps his collection of occult items (he is a hack paranormal investigator) but Ronnie is also interested in what is in there. It’s with his encouragement that Kevin gets access and the pair accidently summon a trio of witches. Witches that have been trapped for a long time and now want revenge.

Cue a bloody battle, some great comedy moments and characters that grow to be quite likable.

The Night Sitter has some big problems. All mainly to do with the story and one plot development that can best be described as baffling. Seriously, this ‘twist’ at the end is so bad and so stupid it almost ruins the entire movie.

It’s such a pity, as there was something far simpler the movie could have gone for instead.

The other big problem is the witches, The Three Mothers, who are a confusing bunch. Their motivations are difficult to pin down at first but worse than that, is the lack of rules that seem to apply to them. To make a villain or villains enjoyable to watch, you need to set them some parameters so we know what they can do and can’t. The Night Sitter struggles to do this and frustrates because of it.


That aside, this is an enjoyable comedy horror romp with some wonderful homages to 80’s horror. The colours, the effects, the cliched characters… this is stuff that works in the movie’s favour. Mainly because the focus is put on Amber, her growth (Elyse Dufour is great) and eventual desire to protect Kevin no matter what. She has great chemistry with Jack Champion’s Kevin and their bond is what holds the movie together.

It feels like a throwback horror but without being in your face about it. The blend of festiveness, comedy and horror works, and it just about manages to not slip into overtly silly territory. There’s a lot to enjoy here, just set your expectations low.


  • Carl Fisher

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The Night Sitter (2018)
  • The Final Score - 6/10
User Review
8.69/10 (7 votes)