Nanny Killer (2018 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Hardworking student Sarah takes a well-paying summer job as nanny at a winery to offset tuition expenses. But she soon realizes something is “off” with the children she cares for when their mischievous pranks lead to deadly consequences.
We have a quick cold open of a blonde woman running through the forest while a child sing-chants, “I’m coming to get you,” and the creepy classic, “Ring Around the Rosey.” The unseen child catches up with the blonde and pushes her to her death?
Flash to a year later. We have Kate who is looking to make extra money over the summer between semesters in college. Kate gets hooked up by her friend (Starley) with a nannying gig, on a vineyard, for two kids—one of learning whom is learning French, which just happens to be Kate’s tutoring specialty.
Kate takes an interview with the kids’ father, Mr Martell, in his swanky office. He has two kids, Jack and Rose. (LIKE TITANIC??!?!?) He doesn’t care if she doesn’t have nannying experience and is willing to pay her $20,000 to start immediately. His private driver picks her up and takes her to the vineyard.
At the vineyard, Kate is introduced to the housekeeper, Ms. Grey (who has her hair pulled back in a tight bun and is dressed in Victorian style dress, but with a shorter skirt, you know modern). While giving the tour of the house, Ms. Grey talks about the history of the house and lets her know that the lady of the house passed away a little over a year ago.
While getting settled in, Kate hears a child humming Frére Jacques. Instead of running from the house in terror (has this woman never seen The Hours with Nicole Kidman?), she goes to the child’s room. Rose loves to draw and speak in French; she shows Kate a drawing of her brother and tells her that he locks her in small spaces where it is hard to breathe. Her story is interrupted by dinner time.
At dinner, Ms. Grey gets to know Kate some more. We learn that Kate’s sister drowned last year and she has no family. The dinner is suddenly interrupted when Ms. Grey notices a spoon missing from the china set and scolds Rose for taking it. To lighten the mood, Kate suggests looking for it together and her and Ms. Grey go upstairs and she finds the spoon and yells at Rose, Mommie Dearest style.
Jack, the son, is expelled from school for pushing a classmate down the stairs—almost paralyzing him—and sent home for the summer early. Jack seems charming enough and even gives them roses, he gives his sister roses also, with thorns. In another creepy kid moment, Jack plays “The Entertainer,” much to the delight of Ms. Grey. When Rose joins him on the piano and messes up a note, he slams the key covers on her hands. Kate is horrified, especially when Ms. Grey takes Jack’s side. Kate confronts Ms.Grey and tells her that she is the nanny and would like to handle matters with the children.
Kate talks with Jack and lets him know that that he is starting off with a clean slate and he creepily tells her to sleep well… Rose, on the other hand, is taking to Kate splendidly. Rose is excelling in French she can say, “Tre Bien!” and, “Oui Oui!”
Things seem on the up and up, Jack shows Kate how to shoot an arrow (he is the captain of the archery team at school). Then, she sees one of Rose’s dolls arrowed to a tree and as she and Rose go to take it down another arrow almost shoots them. Jack denies the whole thing and Kate grounds him. (While Ms. Grey tried to undermine her and suggests she is being too harsh.)
While putting away Jack’s video games (because he is grounded), Kate finds a video from Mrs. Martell (the blonde from the beginning of the movie) where she discusses how she is afraid of Jack and his “medical condition” which causes him to have outbursts. Kate takes the information (which includes blood work and a DNA test) to the doctor listed on the form. After telling her he can’t break doctor-patient confidentiality, he tells her that Mrs. Martell asked for the DNA test because she wasn’t certain Jack was her child. He tells Kate that Jack is 100% hers and to keep this information confidential. While leaving the doctor, she runs into a man who tells her that Mrs. Martell died from falling and hitting her head on a rock and he agrees that Ms. Grey is THE WORST!
Jack steals his game console back, and when Kate discovers him, he has a sob story about how the game reminds him of his mom. He even admits that he shot the arrow. As they embrace, Full House style, Jack looks over Kate’s shoulder and smiles at Ms. Grey who is watching on from the hallway.
After missing an coveted enrollment appointment for Rose’s French schooling, Kate tells Ms. Grey that she thinks Jack might have switched the appointment. Ms. Grey agrees to call the headmistress of the school and is starting to suspect Kate of being paranoid.
In the middle of the night Kate thinks she sees Jack in her room with a knife humming “Ring Around the Rosey.” She isn’t sure if it a dream or reality and goes downstairs to find Jack cutting a sandwich with a butcher knife and listening to himself humming on his iPhone? Ms. Grey comes down and Kate accuses Jack of being in her room. Ms. Grey suggests that it could be the anxiety medication that she found while cleaning Kate’s room. The next day, Kate gets confirmation from Rose’s painting that Jack was in her room.
Later, while playing on tire swing, Jack insists that Kate give it a go, he sings “Ring Around the Rosey” again and he spins her and spins her until the tire swing snaps and she falls off getting a hairline fracture. Kate and Jack made a deal that he would be good and not cause problems if she stayed on the swing for 30 seconds. She lasted for 31, thus ending her problems with him.
Not so fast! At a party that Mr. Martell is throwing someone slips something into Kate’s drink, leaving her disoriented and slurring her speech. Jack flies his drone around Kate’s head, making her more dizzy and confused. To protect Kate, Rose throws a ball at the drone and breaks it. This sends Jack into a rage and he chases Rose inside the house and upstairs. Kate is right behind them (and so is Ms. Grey) at the top the stairs, Jack pushes Kate and, luckily, Mr. Martell catches her.
Ms. Grey tells Mr. Martell that Kate was drunk and fell, while Kate insists Jack pushed her. Kate sits down with them both and they try to figure out what is really going on. Ms. Grey paints Kate as a paranoid, but Mr. Martell isn’t buying it. He says he saw Jack push Kate. With him on her side, Kate shows Mr. Martell the video she found and insists Jack leave the house to keep Rose safe from her brother. He agrees and takes Jack away to boarding school, or something, and gives Kate a $5,000 bonus. Ms. Grey and Jack are NOT happy about it.
While at the doctor, for her arm, Kate asks Dr. Goldman about the DNA reports. The lady doctor tells Kate that it is a forgery and there is no way that Jack could be Mrs. Martell’s child (something about blood type). Kate confronts Dr. Bartlett and tells him that she will tell Mr. Martell to do a DNA test with another doctor. He agrees to take a meeting with Kate, and Ms. Grey overhears the conversation and goes to Dr. Bartlett’s house and tases him to death (he has a bad heart).
After being stood up, Kate goes to Dr. Bartlett’s house to find a journal and his dead body on the ground. The police rule it a heart attack. Kate wanders around the house and finds an earring of Ms. Grey’s on the floor. To confirm she goes to Ms. Grey’s room and sees the missing earring. Kate, again, confronts her. Kate has learned that Mrs. Martell had a baby and it died. That baby was replaced by Dr. Bartlett with a an abandoned child at the hospital. Ms. Grey attacks Kate and cuts the house phone lines.
(Note for Editor, I wrote from here on after two martinis and a bottle of Rose… )
Ms. Grey is tracking Kate and Rose down. She will not let them get away. The random man from earlier in the movie hits Kate in the back of the head and kidnaps Rose and Kate. Kate learns that Jack was Ms. Darcy’s child. She was bitter because the Martell’s child became hers. She inserted herself into Jack’s life. Ms. Grey sets up Kate to commit suicide by the looks of things. When Rose goes missing, it gives Kate the opportunity to escape. Rose reunites with Kate and lets her out of captivity. They go through the basement and almost make their way to safety. Mr. Martell saves them by knocking Ms. Grey out and keeping Rose and Kate safe.
Jack seems to be thriving in his new environment in the new academy, he is angry and doesn’t understand, but it is what is best for Rose and the family. Mr. Martell seems to be focusing on his family and offers Kate a position in Paris. Thee end!
Lifetime makes a good nanny movie. (And we are not talking Mary Poppins.) Titles include:
Devious Nanny (2018)
Evil Nanny (2016)
Nanny Nightmare (2017)
Nanny Seduction (2017)
The Good Nanny (2017)
The Wrong Nanny (2017)
A Nanny for Christmas (2010)
🔪🔪 (2 Knives)
🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 (5 glasses of wine required and a few martinis apparently…)
*Photo Credit: © 2018 Lifetime