New surrounding can be difficult at times, especially when things are just not quite right and dread is building. Not that The Au Pair Nightmare builds enough dread to frighten you, it more reaches the right balance to intrigue and chill you. When I heard that the producer of Post Mortem with Mick Garris had a new film out I assumed I was in for a horror filled blood bath. What I got instead was even better, a story.
Trying to leave behind the memories of her fiancé, Taylor becomes an au pair for an out-of-state couple and their 8-year old daughter – but there’s a dark secret behind every perfect family.Description from IMDB.
Au Pair starts out happy and than begins to burn into a nightmare, it draws you in and gives you the Hitchcock vibes throughout. Joe Russo directs a refreshing break from my normal viewing, in fact it was nicely bone chilling. The film plays like a Noir piece, a thriller with horror elements dropped in but has a melodramatic feel to the cinematography. Normally the melodrama could be damning outside the usual Life-Time film, but here it helps create the feeling of something truly dark lurking underneath the surface. Later I found out it was indeed featured on Lifetime which makes this a first for me, Russo made me like a Lifetime movie.
Au Pair keeps you captive from the first scene, it flows very nicely and never once did I feel bored. That’s a death sentence for a film, the biggest sin a movie can commit is being boring. The Au Pair Nightmare is anything but boring thankfully, the acting helps with that. It makes me sound bad, but I had no idea who any of these actors were, this helped reduce the expectation level of what I was watching. While I could see where viewers would feel like the acting here is over the top, I felt it was just the right amount of seriousness and cheese.
Don’t get me wrong, Au Pair is not a cheese fest its a nice exercise in point of view. You could experience the action in different ways depending on which character you choose to view the surroundings through. One minute you feel like a character is being shady, than the next you feel sympathetic for their situation, well almost. This keeps you in a state of suspense the entire time, it teases you constantly pulling you in different directions with each scene. I felt myself saying “what the fuck” more than a few times.
All these element combine to form a very surprising film, one that requires you to know very little of the plot going in. As with most of my film reviews I chose to be very vague with names, story, and key elements. Id hate to reveal anything that might compromise the narrative for you. Because when you reach the end and the twist happens, it’s a nice pay off. With some interesting storytelling, and fine directing Joe Russo hooked me with this one. The Au Pair Nightmare may not be a masterpiece, but its a good movie and I eagerly await Russo’s next film.
So go into this one blind, and I promise you’ll have a good time.