I sat down and watched the 2020 film The Au Pair Nightmare (also known as Killer Family: A Nanny Nightmare in some territories) and what a fun and creepy movie it is, I loved it. Written by Joe Russo and Chris LaMont, who both wrote the up and coming The Last Will and Testament of Charles Abernathy and directed by Joe Russo (Writer of Hard Kill, and Producer of Nightmare cinema) The Au Pair stars Brytnee Ratledge (Cry Macho, Only The Brave) as Taylor, who after a recent tragedy, decides to take some time away from her world and take a job as a live in ‘Au Pair’ for Allesandra and John, and their daughter Emily ( Played by Gianna Gallegos) John is lovely and seems like a decent guy, whilst Allesandra does seem like- well lets just say if it were me, id have been running for the door.
But Taylor takes the job because she needs the job and straight away Emily takes a liking to the soon to be new live in companion. We the audience of course are at this point screaming at our screens for Taylor to not take the job, but this being a movie, We know that she wont follow our advice and she will soon move into what has to be one of the creepiest nanny environments since The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (but not quite the same)
I spent dozens of hours back in the 90s watching so many ‘made for TV movies’ and ‘movie of the week’ stories on television and you learn what to expect from them. You know they aren’t going to be super high budget, or contain mind blowing set pieces and that’s okay. I spent dozens of hours watching them, and to this day I still enjoy watching them. However…..whilst The Au Pair Nightmare is a film made for TV it 100% stands above so many others that I have seen. Even with its limited locations, minimal cast and apparently a very short 14 day shooting schedule. Joe Russo and his crew have done a fantastic job and have crafted a wonderful thriller. Taking a step away from the story for a moment, there is some fantastic camerawork in the film, and they use the location wonderfully that is a visual treat. The locations also work brilliantly to add a lot of tension to many of the scenes and certainly kept me on the edge of my armchair whilst i was watching the film
The story itself was great, I had mentioned to a friend of mine that I had watched a film called ‘The Au Pair’ Nightmare and he replied with what he thought the film would be about. He was wrong. If you’ve not seen any trailers or read the synopsis of the film, you also might think you know what its going to be about, and odds are, you too will be wrong. Its a very clever, well crafted story by Chris and Joe and I do hope that they tackle some more thrillers of this genre in the future. I for one will definitely watch them
I’m also giving some shout outs to the cast, whose names I weren’t familiar with previously but will definitely keep an eye out for in the future, especially Brytnee Ratledge, and Annie Heise who do get the bulk of the screen time and very much deserve it. The story needed these characters to be a certain way and these wo actors carried the roles brilliantly. I’m not going into my further details than that, as that would spoil the ‘where is this story going’ element to my enjoyment. But needleless to say that I really enjoyed The Au Pair Nightmare, and recommend checking it out where you can. I do prefer to call the film The Au Pair Nightmare rather than the alternate title ‘Killer Family:A Nanny Nightmare” but im sure everyone agrees with me when I say The Au Pair Nightmare is the better title. Whatever the film is called though, its a fun story, and great work by Director Joe Russo, Writers Chris LaMont and Joe Russo and great work from all the cast!
It gets both thumbs up from me!