Something about this exclusive trailer for the indie horror “Emelie” will make parents and children alike squirm.
“Emelie” is about the worst babysitter imaginable. Played by Sarah Bolger (“Into the Badlands,” “Once Upon a Time”), the character’s end goal seems to be to destroy the innocence of the children she’s babysitting, or to just destroy them altogether. Playing around with “the call is coming from inside the house” horror motif, director Michael Thelin seems to be taking a unique approach to this archetype. If the moments in the trailer are any indication, there are plenty of physiological disturbances in this one.
When asked about his influences, Thelin told Indiewire exclusively, “I loved watching films ever since I can remember. My movie tastes have always been eclectic, but when it came to the thriller/horror genre I tended to gravitate to more ‘will they catch them’ versus ‘blood and gore.’ ‘Halloween,’ ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ and ‘Friday the 13th’ were staples growing up. ‘Exorcist’ was one that stands out, as my sister would try and hold my hands down so I would have to watch the most intense scenes.”
“I definitely think these films were an influence as they were all kind of like folk tales to me,” he said. “I could see telling these stories around a campfire, and you’re not sure if they were real or not. I felt that ‘Emelie’ has a lot of similarities, as it plays out like this could/did happen to a friends neighbors cousin from another town over. The tales always grow bigger and bigger each passing year but are rooted in some sort of truth and that is what I feel really informed this film and how I wanted to tell it.”
When it came to casting his very important child stars, Thelin told us, “Working with children is not easy, there’s no other way to say it. I enjoy kids and enjoy actors, but dealing with child actors is a completely different beast. Adding to the stress – we had to replace two out of the three kids 72 hours before the first shoot date. As a result, what you’re seeing on screen are essentially my rehearsals, and if you know anything about rehearsals with kids, that can be really scary.”
Sounds scary good.
“Emelie” is out in theaters and On Demand March 4. Watch the trailer above.