The Last Lifetime Film of 2015: The House Sitter (dir by Jim Issa)


There’s a very simple lesson at the heart of The House Sitter, a thriller which premiered on Lifetime on December 27th of 2015.  That lesson is be careful who you let stay in your house because she might be a psycho who steals your best bra and then has sex with your boyfriend.  It’s an important lesson, one that far too many of us learn too late.

In many ways, The House Sitter is your typical Lifetime obsession film.  An unbalanced young woman moves in with a family, learns their secrets, and then tries to destroy them.  As usual, only the daughter understands what is truly happening but, up until the final 30 minutes or so of the film, she can’t get anyone to believe her.  In fact, the psycho is so cunning that she manages to make the daughter look like she might be the crazy one.

It’s been done a thousand times in the past but, familiar as the plot may have been, The House Sitter was still a lot of fun and it’s largely due to two performances.

Ashley Dulaney plays Rebecca, a perky and almost excessively friendly house sitter who — when the family she is house sitting for returns early — subtly makes sure that everyone knows that she doesn’t have anywhere to go.

“Why not stay with us?” the family suggests.

Rebecca agrees, thanks them profusely, and soon starts to insidiously break up the family.  That Rebecca is a psycho is not a surprise.  What does distinguish her from other Lifetime psychos is just how cheerful she is about it.  Forever clad in pink and always smiling as she makes passive aggressive comments, Rebecca is somehow both totally over-the-top and totally believable at the same time.  Ashley Dulaney does a great job as Rebecca, making her into a marvel of insane efficiency.

However, with all due respect to both Rebecca and Ashley Dulaney, my favorite character in the film — and the one to whom I related — was Amy Marie (Shelby Young), the daughter who is the only member of the family not to be charmed by Rebecca.  I saw a lot of myself in Amy and it wasn’t just because we both share the same totally awesome middle name.  I also related to Amy’s “I don’t have time for this crap” attitude.  From the minute Amy appears in the movie, she’s annoyed.  She’s annoyed with her naive parents, she’s annoyed with Rebecca’s nonstop peppiness, and ultimately, she’s annoyed that someone’s trying to kill her.  Towards the end of the film, whenever Rebecca attempted to attack her, I kept expecting Amy to just roll her eyes and go, “Whatever.”  As played by Shelby Young, Amy was a Lifetime heroine to which even I could relate!

The House Sitter was the final Lifetime film to premiere in 2015!  It’s hard to believe that, starting with Damaged way back in January, I have managed to sit through and review every Lifetime film released last year.  But I did and I’ll be posting my picks for the best of the year later today!

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