Obsessed With the Babysitter (2021 Lifetime)
Cast: Kristen Vaganos, Simon Haycock, Castle Rock, Dominique Swain
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Elaine, an injured dancer, catches the eye of a psychologist who believes her to be the perfect woman. Realizing he is manipulating her mind and using her injury against her, Elaine must escape with the children before she becomes another casualty in his psychotic study. Kristen Vaganos, Simon Haycock, Castle Rock star. (2021)
The movie begins in a family home. A babysitter is putting a little girl to bed with a deranged My Little Poney stuffed animal. Then the babysitter eats snacks and watches dance videos. (Is she me?) The babysitter gets a call about a BIG dance audition and is thrilled. Her boyfriend Damon creeps around the house and then pops out wearing a mask. (I would have broken up with him over this.) They are almost caught making out by the parents who come home early.
The father, Adrian, offers to give the babysitter, Elaine, a ride home. He is creepy and, of course, is watching her from a surveillance camera he placed in her home. Elaine gives the dad a show with a “sexy” dance routine in her VERY large loft apartment/dance studio.
When Elaine shows up at the house to babysit the next day, she plays in the pool with the kids while Adrian, the dad, films her. He is caught by his wife, Sylvia. (played by Dominique Swain) She asks Elaine to leave and not come back. Then Sylvia confronts Adrian, who abuses her and then drugs her. (So far this movie is WAAAAAYYY over the top. Adrian is a BAD GUY.)
The next day, the kids are unsupervised and making a mess. Elaine shows up for work and finds Sylvia dead in her bed. Detectives arrive on the scene and question the neighbors. They take Adrian in for questioning in front of the dead body (He ugly Crys… a lot.), leaving Elaine with the kids.
Elaine and her boyfriend have an extended dance sequence that turns into sexy time while Adrian watches on his laptop. (Because Lifetime is going to Lifetime.) The song they dance to is Wake Up” by Matthew Jared #AD. They are good dancers… but who asked for this? (I didn’t know this was a Step Up sequel.) The sexy/dance time is interrupted by Adrian calling for Elaine to babysit some more because she is “part of the family.”
With his wife out of the way, Adrian puts the moves on Elaine under the guise of a concerned therapist. Then, Elaine watches disturbing childhood psychology studies that Adrian has on DVD in his home. A woman is burning a child’s toys in front of him and telling him nothing in life is permanent. (She watches this video multiple times in the movie… for entertainment?) Elaine is almost caught by Adrian but covers her tracks.
Adrian continues to have Elaine work for him and gives her rides everywhere in a ridiculous car. He manipulates her into opening up to him about her personal life and dance injuries. He also just lets himself into her apartment while she is watching his children. Adrian makes out with a glass that Elaine used, smells her underwear, and installs more cameras. Then he beats up Damon when he comes home. He recovers, and the couple moves on. Until a love note from Damon’s ex Sandra shows up on his car, and Elaine thinks he is cheating on her. Damon’s response. “Who writes notes?”
Single Elaine, injured and unable to dance, spend even more time with the family agreeing to play with the kids while Adrian films her on an old school camera.
The hunk neighbor, Hank, begins to have suspicions and books a therapy session with Adrian. Hanks is onto something; he just isn’t sure what. He doesn’t get time to figure it out because he is violently killed while taking out the trash.
Elaine is onto something too when she finds more DVDs in Adrian’s study. She watches them with a glass of wine and snacks. The little boy in the videos is a young Adrian. His mother was a psychologist and used him as a test subject in treating children like adults. Little Adrian was also obsessed with the babysitter.
Another dance sequence happens, THIS TIME ON A STAGE! Damon has an extended break dancing solo. Umm, okay! Fine. In the literal next scene, Damon is brutally murdered with a crowbar by Adrian. On the final swing, Adrian’s cufflink falls off. He unknowingly leaves behind a clue that only Elaine would know. (Well, anyone with half a brain would know, they have A’s embroidered on them, and the house is bugged with cameras streaming to Adrian’s laptop.)
Adrian’s mother-in-law files for custody of the children because she knows he is crazy. When Adrian’s daughter asks for her My Little Pony doll, he throws it in the fireplace and tells his daughter to grow up. The little girl tells Elaine, who isn’t very concerned…. ELAINE, WAKE UP!
Elaine gets her wake up call when she goes home to watch more DVDs with snacks and wine. This time she witnesses Sylvie’s death that Adrian recorded and calls the police. Next, she finds Damon’s body and the cuff link. She rushes to save the children from their father. (Or maybe he is their stepfather. Either way, he sucks.)
The detective and paramedics arrive at Elaine’s house and detect that Damon has a pulse. Too bad Elaine isn’t there. She is eating dinner with Adrian and his daughters while being filmed again. He is abusive and tells Elaine that women must be submissive, and men must be dominant.
Elaine brings up Adrian’s mother and pushes his buttons. He tells her to be obedient and forces her to eat something on her plate. She refuses, ruining his research. Then she shows him the cuff link and tells Adrian that she knows he killed Damon and Sylvia. Elaine tells him to get help, so he doesn’t turn out to be like his mother. Adrian slaps Elaine across the face. The children interrupt and want to play a game of hide and seek.
Adrian agrees and locks everyone inside. Elaine tells the kids to hide in their best hiding spots and Elaine goes to handle her business. Adrian walks around with his camera and finds the children. Meanwhile Elaine is crawling out a window and Adrian tries to pull Elaine inside but she pulls him down with her. They struggle on the ground but she kicks him in the face. The police arrive and arrest the psycho. He will go to prison for the rest of his life. (According to the no BS detective.)
Elaine and Damon are backstage and Elaine lands the big dance role she wanted. They plan to move to New York but not after one final dance number.
Minority Report: Hank, Detective Munro, Paramedic, Landlord, Dancer,
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