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Anchored by a star-making lead performance from Sarah Bolger, Emelie elevates the bad-babysitter genre into the realm of complex psychological drama in this taut thriller.

Eleven-year-old Jacob Thompson (Joshua Rush) has an instant crush on his and his two young siblings’ new babysitter Anna (Bolger). Except her name isn’t Anna, it’s Emelie. The real Anna is locked up in a trunk, leaving Emelie free to pursue her frightening agenda in the Thompson home. She manipulates and deceives, turns one sibling against another, and provokes their barely developed sexuality. But that’s all prelude to her real purpose there, a purpose only Jacob can prevent if he wants to protect his family. Michael Thelin’s direction is tight and assured, at times reminiscent of Michael Haneke’s most suspenseful works. Bolger is a revelation as the predatory and alluring Emelie and the young cast more than hold their own with her in scenes that are palpably dangerous. The actors playing her unlucky charges feel like real kids; we believe their fear. Emelie is in their house and she’s not leaving until she gets what she wants.

DIRECTOR: Michael Thelin
CAST: Sarah Bolger, Joshua Rush, Carly Adams, Thomas Bair
YEAR: 2015
LENGTH: 82 min

IN COMPETITION: First Feature Award
Monday, October 26

9:50pm EDT

Tuesday, October 27

2:30pm EDT