Saturday, May 6, 2017

Emelie



***½

At the heart of Emelie is the ultimate terror of hiring the wrong babysitter, borne out of false pretense. “Anna” appears to be an ideal replacement for the missing babysitter who didn’t show up for an innocuous reason later explained in this rapid chatterbox style. Within a few minutes the usual babysitter is dead and the current psycho in charge plots to get rid of her body. Describing herself as “cracked” after a “bedtime story” to the middle child, Christopher, “Anna” explains her loss of a child and the escape with her “skinny hyena” (the father and twisted boyfriend she texts throughout, planning to capture Christopher, her “new cubbie”) with new identities. Assuming the name of a woman she kills, her mate takes the car and watches the couple whose children Emelie babysits while the plot to secure Christopher takes shape throughout the night. Mommy and Daddy enjoy an anniversary supper out while the “skinny hyena” eyeballs them from the stolen car outside. Emelie, meanwhile, misbehaves in ways that would probably leave many a parent quite squirmy.

Emeilie considers herself the Mama bear, even using mommy when trying to lure away their father’s gun from Christopher! During the course of the film before Maggie (Elizabeth Jayne) intrudes upon her plans, throwing a monkey wrench into Emelie’s kidnapping of Christopher, we see the disturbing aspects of the title character’s personality unfold, the curtain gradually unfurled until the monster behind it is in full view. Emelie, upon first meeting her, doesn’t show any real signs of disturbia. She doesn’t appear to be riddled with psychosis. The signs of someone seriously unsettled don’t slap the father (Chris Beetem) in the face nor does it rattle open to the mother (Susan Pourfar). She just looks like this fresh-faced, easily accessible, cool, and friendly young woman without any flashing lights that would indicate lunatic so the parents aren’t too concerned about who they are leaving their children with. When Daddy and “Anna” arrive home, she immediately gains trust from Christopher and Sally (Thomas Bair and Carly Adams), still kiddies with energy and spirit to spare. This night out is much deserved and Mommy and Daddy are glad to have a babysitter available to give them the chance for a breather. If only it wasn’t this babysitter.

Jacob (Joshua Rush) is that eleven year old kid with certain rebellious tendencies. He fusses with his siblings and is a bit difficult at times. He’s nearing that age of a teenager where listening to his parents, being obedient, and responsibly agreeing to do as he’s told become tested and tried…it takes extra effort and a raised vocal pitch to get results. Emelie, when the parents leave, assuages Jacob’s yearnings for being naughtier than usual. Allowing him to see her in the bathroom during a menstrual episode, asking Jacob to get her a tampon, Emelie unveils that dark side soon to become full bloom crazy. The “movie time” where Emelie finds a sex tape of their parents, expecting the kids to watch! Her feeding Sally’s pet hamster to Jacob’s python (!) while the kids are forced to watch (Sally’s face is held by Emelie forward to the snake case until she bites her hand to get away!). The Maggie assault. Cutting off the electricity to the house. Yelling at the kids. Slapping Jacob for challenging her. Ordering the children to remain silent when Maggie shows up. Emelie’s cool wears off and what lies behind the falsehoods of her faux identity puts those kids in serious danger. Christopher is the goal while the other two are objects in her way. To Jacob’s credit, he meets a friend in a treehouse the two frequent, communicating to each other often via walkie talkies. If he hadn’t, Emelie would have suffocated him with a pillow.

Easily, to me, the most haunting scene is the changing of hands with the gun. Emelie knows of the gun and has its case on the bed. Leaving it carelessly (but purposely) on the bed, soon Sally and Jacob are talking about it. By this point, Emelie has proven to be quite disturbed. Jacob points the gun at her with Emelie encouraging him to shoot…until Christopher arrives upsetting this whole situation. Then Christopher has the gun, pointing it at Emelie, in the make-believe mindset of being the hero while she was the villain. That is when Emelie proves to be damn near fearless. Or maybe Emelie just doesn’t give a fuck. To stare down a gun aimed right between her eyes, held by a child who doesn’t know better, it does speak volumes about Emelie’s state of mind. Her face doesn’t show any terror. The face doesn’t reveal a lot of anything unless she’s challenged. When challenged, that dark side doesn’t just wave hello but gives out a primal scream.






I have noticed this described as a slow burn. I guess that is as apt a way of putting a label to it as anything else. It is like the python, though. It coils you tightly within its lean running time of 80 minutes. Emelie watches the parents leave and sets her plot in motion. Wearing that mask until the father and mother move on their merry way, Anna is a persona that fades until only Emelie remains. How she watches attentively and excitedly as the python kills and eats the hamster, and later quite caught up in the sex tape as the kids are left so uncomfortable (and why wouldn’t they be???), Emelie tells us through such behavior that any form of decency/normalcy was missing. Missing is the realization that showing kids the horrible deeds committed by her would leave scars and impact their lives forever. So the film, in 80 minutes, does all this.

The film has this allure to it. Faces often captured in their most open moments, even when trying to hide how they feel, the camera is inquisitive to get what it can. Michael Thelin has many credits tied to musical acts and MTV/YouTube. A camera willing to bandy about instead of rest fixed on ongoing story is a style quite common today. The steadicam (oxymoron) method employed here and the typical editing procedure where action is always moving with little room to relax, perhaps the use of “slow burn” isn’t quite as apt a description as first thought. The story maybe is that, but the style of the film resists slow burn’s attachment of methodical lethargy. Thelin’s aesthetic doesn’t bother me, though. I like a long pan, don’t get me wrong, but not everyone has to do that. Some just want to get on with it. There are students of film that want to give the audience what they need, not wide-scope, long-take Altman-esque techniques zeroing in on characters/plot like a fly closing in from the sky, or an investigative, curious eye catching something that interests it, lured to get a closer look. Thelin obviously wants to give us actions and reactions, cutting out any length that fattens up a scene beyond what is desired. Emelie and her actions, with us reacting to her bad behavior, and the children certain to be harmed by her if the parents don’t get home in time. Jacob, however, “mans up” and responds because those siblings need him. Fireworks in a garbage can might be a start. Maybe dad’s sports car under the tarp wouldn’t hurt, either. The ending, though, maybe stretches credibility beyond what was needed. Get hit by a car. I wonder if you will be able to hobble away so easily.









Sarah Bolger is out there. I wasn’t all that familiar with her, but she’s a marvel here. She’s busy right now. Mainly Sarah seems to appear in cult fare. So I imagine I’ll certainly see her again. That face is amazing and reveals a lot. It is the whole body, too. The way she changes her style of sitting on a couch or bed. The little things that I pay attention to. I just think she kills it. Totally attentive to her presence, watching Bolger’s every move, I think she is just fascinating. Quite a performance. This can be quite a midnight movie that might make the cable/satellite rounds for the foreseeable future. It kind of has that look and feel to it.

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The Girlfriend Experience- Boundaries

Before I sod off, I have had this on paper for a week! Been either forgetting about it or just avoiding it. Last Thursday night I watche...

Ahs

Ahs

Edc

Edc
Blog's Dead all Over
"... perhaps we invent artificial terrors to cope with the real ones."

--host, Donald Pleasence, Terror in the Aisles (1984)

Sbut

Sbut
Snip. Snip

Hal

Hal
There are many things under the sun
---Dr. Werdegast, The Black Cat

hal1

It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare.

Jtm 2

Jtm 2

Rave

Rave

Mrub

Mrub

Gb

"Back off, man. I'm a scientist."

--Ghostbusters

sm6

sm6

Rv1

Rv1

Nas

Nas

nos3

nos3

Lok

Lok

Po

Po

Ra6

Ra6

dawn

dawn

Dracula's Daughter ('36)

Countess Zaleska: Be thou exorcised oh Dracula, and thy body long undead find destruction throughout eternity in the name of thy dark unholy Master.

mh2

mh2

z2

z2

Hiii

Hiii

Fred

Fred

Ghspo

Ghspo
Movie, so-so, but poster, cool

Enl

Enl

nos4

nos4

gm

To a new world of gods and monsters!


No 2

No 2
Jason Lives

clothes line

clothes line

Ahorr

Ahorr

Cbi1

Cbi1
Case of the bloody iris

Wsha

Wsha

Mouth3

Mouth3
In the Mouth of Madness

Fdfn2

Fdfn2
Freddy's Dead '91

Vyr

Vyr
Vampyres 1974

Sh fr

Sh fr
Friday the 13th Part 2

Vlov

Vlov
Carmilla's kiss

f133

f133

Edpos

Edpos

Ttf2

Ttf2

Jm2

Jm2
El Hombre Lobo

Psycho '60

It's sad, when a mother has to speak the words that condemn her own son. But I couldn't allow them to believe that I would commit murder. They'll put him away now, as I should have years ago. He was always bad, and in the end he intended to tell them I killed those girls and that man... as if I could do anything but just sit and stare, like one of his stuffed birds. They know I can't move a finger, and I won't. I'll just sit here and be quiet, just in case they do... suspect me. They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching... they'll see. They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, "Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly..."

Kife

Kife
Knife is calling, Psycho 2

Meg

Meg
Meg Tilly, Psycho II

ring 2

ring 2
the ring 2002, "the tape"

poster

poster

exor1

exor1
"the visitor" The Exorcist (1973)

Conj

Conj

Tz1

Tz1
"Masks", Twilight Zone

In the kitchen, The Shape

In the kitchen, The Shape
In the kitchen, The Shape

exc4

exc4

Ps56

Ps56

Hun

Hun
Murders in the Rue Morgue 1932

Ps89

Ps89

Cof

Cof
Victor and Paul, with their Monster

pcushig

pcushig

His

His

Efny

Efny

sus

sus
I'm going to grind you down to blood and screams.

--Innocent Blood 1992
Rest in Peace, Robert Loggia

wb

Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

WZ

WZ

Edfen

Edfen
"Do not enter the city...It belongs to the dead now."

h1

h1
Look behind you!

Bs

Bs
"There is no terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it."
--Alfred Hitchcock

linnea

linnea

Amer

Amer
Taste of metal

The h gang

The h gang

Nlc

Nlc
Old Skool Nostalgia

Hp

Hp

Smoke

Smoke
Got a smoke?

Strek

Strek
Live long and prosper

Hill

Hill

Castle

Castle

SRW

"This seems to be the place where the plot begins to thicken..."
--Spooks Run Wild (1941)

Frere and dummy

Frere and dummy

Mlove

Mlove

Alone/dark

"There are no crazy people, doctor. We're all just on vacation."

--Alone in the Dark (1982)

Lips

Lips

Fhz

Fhz

Ph

Ph

Vestron

Vestron
Vintage VHS

sm 3

sm 3

Monique parent

Monique parent
Erotique in Review

Were5

Were5

f13

f13
November 2015

Bmate

Bmate

--Wes Craven

I think there is something about the American dream, the sort of Disneyesque dream, if you will, of the beautifully trimmed front lawn, the white picket fence, mom and dad and their happy children, God-fearing and doing good whenever they can, and the flip side of it, the kind of anger and the sense of outrage that comes from discovering that that's not the truth of the matter, that gives American horror films, in some ways, kind of an additional rage.

Ms45 w

Ms45 w

Churcvh

Churcvh
The Church 1989

Ww

Ww
The Whip and the Body 1963

Lsho

"Now, no novacaine....it dulls the senses"

--Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Christopher Lee

Every actor has to make terrible films from time to time, but the trick is never to be terrible in them.

Vampyros lesbos

You are one of us now. The Queen of the Night will bear you up on her black wings

The Unknown 1927

No....not sick. But I have lost some flesh.

Alonzo, the Armless.

Ckvh

Ckvh

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

Bw5

Bw5

Jill

Jill

Mad Love 1935

Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: Gala - who? Not wanting a statue of him, are you?

Doctor Gogol: I don't want a statue of Galatea. You see, she was a statue herself. Pygmalion formed her. Out of marble, not wax. And then she came to life in his arms.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [calling to his assistant] Start the motor, Henry. There's queer people on the streets of Montmartre at this time of night.

Doctor Gogol: [handing him his card] Here, a hundred francs if you deliver the statue to my house.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [reading card] It's a go, Dr. Go... gol. First thing in the morning.