Movies have taught us that babysitting is a hazardous occupation. On the surface, it might seem like an easy way to make a few quick bucks, and it's the perfect setting for a teenage couple to enjoy some romance. But in the Hollywood version of reality, babysitting often exposes a helpless babysitter to all sorts of dangers ranging, from unstoppable killers to haunted houses. These five movies featuring babysitters are enough to make you think twice before hiring yourself out to watch a neighbor's children.
1. "Halloween" (1978)
It is safe to say that "Halloween" functions like a modern-day guide to a worst-case scenario for a babysitter. Jamie Lee Curtis rose to fame as Laurie Strode, a virginal babysitter put in mortal danger when her psychotic brother escapes from a mental asylum and tracks Laurie down for the sole purpose of murdering her. Laurie endures the trauma of finding the dead bodies of her friends and fending off Michael Myers when he corners her in a closet. With family like that, who needs enemies?
2. "When a Stranger Calls" (1979)
You've heard it before: a popular urban legend centers on a babysitter who keeps receiving threatening phone calls and learns, to her horror, that the calls are coming from inside the house! Well, in this movie, the legend comes to life, courtesy of Carol Kane's wide-eyed performance. She believably acts out the terror the audience is feeling, knowing that a maniac is in the house with her. The film's believability is what really sells it, making this movie seem like something that could actually happen.
3. "The Amityville Horror" (1979)
Rule no. 1 about babysitting is do not babysit in a haunted house. The ghosts infesting the house in question in "The Amityville Horror" take great pleasure in tormenting everyone who ventures inside that house. This includes a brace-faced teenager who is locked in a small closet when they commit the unthinkable act of tending to the children living in the house. The parents conveniently neglected to tell this poor girl that the house sort of has a thing for all things demonic, to the point that even a priest has to high-tail it out of the house. If a man of the cloth can't handle it, what chance does a teenager have?
4. "Child's Play" (1989)
As a babysitter, you expect certain tools to be at your disposal. For instance, you'd hope that a child's toy would be good for keeping the kid entertained while you watched TV until the parents came home. So the babysitter in this case can be forgiven for being caught a little unaware when Chucky was trying to watch the news, and she kept flipping the channel. Sounds like acceptable grounds for murder.
5. "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle” (1992)
Sometimes, the babysitter is the one who is evil rather than the one battling evil. As a mother, the bond between you and your children is special, so when some sociopathic chick comes in and starts trying to shoehorn herself into your family portrait, you can be forgiven for wanting to do something about it. This film centers on a vengeful nanny who terrorizes a couple that she blames for the suicide of her husband and the miscarriage of her unborn child. Things get really creepy at one point when she begins breast-feeding the couple's newborn child in an effort to make it her own. That's about as haunting an image as there is in the realm of babysitting cinema.