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Die! Sitter! Die! Rupert

It's probably a touchy subject to bring up, but all questions about health insurance aside I think pretty much everyone can agree that the cost of medical care is crazy-high. Ask Alison (Caitlin Reilly), who's just been handed the bill for her mother's chemotherapy, the part that insurance won't cover: $12,868.75, because heaven forbid it should ever be a round number. That extra 75 cents just feels like a slap in the face.

She's already working three jobs and hardly ever gets to see her boyfriend of two years, Phillip (DeMille Cole-Heard). Now faced with this staggering hospital bill, she impulsively calls the number on a poster she sees advertising for a babysitter overnight for an infant. As it happens, they could use her services that very night, and Alison agrees even though it means breaking a date with Phillip.

Arriving at the house -- more of a mansion, really, complete with a Rolls-Royce in the driveway -- she discovers no one around, just a note on the door saying that baby Rupert is asleep, the baby monitor is by the door, and Alison should make herself at home. It's at this point that she should have realized she's made a horrible mistake, because who would entrust their infant to a stranger without checking references or even meeting them? Either the most trusting souls in the world or the most horrible, that's who, and the odds are always in favor of the latter.

Sure enough, it isn't long before Alison realizes there's someone else in the house (Lee Boxleitner) who is definitely not a baby and equally definitely not right in the head. He's got nothing good in mind for poor Alison, and he really likes to toy with his prey. She isn't the first sitter to fall into his trap, but if she has her way she'll be the last.

And for the most part, Alison is refreshingly smart and practical about her struggle to survive, while the bad guy's unusual motivations turn what would have otherwise been a pedestrian thriller into something disturbingly different. He alternates between enraged and just plain bizarre, with the sudden shifts adding neatly to the tension. Though only clocking in at 25 minutes, the filmmakers do a good job both building the suspense and giving Alison some characterization. Babysitting might sound like an easy way to earn some extra cash, but even when you're desperate it's better to approach with caution.

Image: 
Alison discovering that babysitting isn't such an easy gig.

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