Who's In It: Jocelin Donahue, Dee Wallace, Greta Gerwig, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov, A.J. Bowen
The Basics: No wonder it's so difficult to get a babysitter anymore. See enough movies like this and it'll be the last job you'd ever want. Going back in time to a devil-worshipping, pentagram-rich mid-1980s suffering from a brown 1970s hangover, this is a period horror movie that looks like it could have been made then too. You've heard the plot before, the one about the sitter who's not exactly alone in the big, creaky old house. But what you didn't know is that it could still creep you out and make you scared of the dark all over again.
What's The Deal: Saw fans, get ready to change your expectations about how much stuff should happen in a scary movie. Because this one slowly twists the suspense knife in your side with even fewer incidents than Paranormal Activity. It's all about the light and shadow you see under the door, the creaking floor above you, being stuck in a strange house in the middle of nowhere, wondering what's inside that van parked in the driveway, strangers silently emerging from the night, and, best of all, the resurrection of '80s Satanic cult paranoia with proof that it was real the whole time.
Major Points For: Art direction that hits all the pre-digital marks without laughing at the hair, the rotary phones or the acid-washed jeans. These things just exist, no snickering. And as much as the slow pacing, the out-of-time quality creates a sense of dislocation--the audience knows they've seen this before but can't reach into the screen to pull the "Last Girl" heroine into the next decade and plop her down in front of the Scream movies for some survival pointers--that makes what's coming for her even more unpleasant.
How To See It: It's playing theatrically in a limited way--and if you can then the big screen is always the best way, especially with this one--but it's also available right now on-demand from Magnolia Pictures