By: Emily Lovell, Beat Editor and Allison Upchurch, Staff Reporter
Dead week started off with an event collaboration between the Department of Communication and the English Department called “The Nightmare Before Finals.” The event took place Monday, December 3, in the Mountain View Room and featured a showing of the independent horror film The Night Sitter, written and co-directed by Abiel Bruhn and John Rocco. If the name Bruhn sounded familiar, it is because Abiel is the son of Dr. Mark Bruhn, a professor in the English Department here at Regis.
The Night Sitteris about a girl named Amber (played by Elyse Dufour), who poses as a babysitter for two boys named Kevin (played by Jack Champion) and Ronnie (played by Bailey Campbell) but is ultimately there to steal some money and valuables. During the night, Amber’s friends come to help her rob the house as Kevin and Ronnie sneak into the dad’s office of collectible haunted artifacts and unintentionally release The Three Mothers - witches that have been haunting Kevin’s dreams and whom are known to devour children. As it gets closer to the witching hour of midnight, the characters grapple with the realization that the witches are out to kill and work with the neighbor and paranormal expert named Vincent (played by Ben Barlow) to try to defend themselves.
After the movie, Bruhn came up for a Q and A with the audience and said that the movie can be summed up as “Suspiriameets Home Alone.” In giving some fun facts, Bruhn said that the movie was filmed in only three weeks at Rocco’s childhood home in Nashville, Tennessee.
One audience member was curious about why the movie was set around Christmas time and Bruhn explained that many of the horror films produced by his production company, Roller Disco Massacre, are set during Christmastime, so it is a way of typecasting the company. Furthermore, he said, “warmth and nostalgia are often associated with Christmas and it’s fun to mess with that.”
Feminists will appreciate the film’s strong female lead. Unlike traditional horror tropes, Bruhn said, “I didn’t want Amber to seem like a pawn who wandered into the act. She has her own story and her own reasons for being at that house.”
Other viewers will be mesmerized by the film’s lighting color palette: the entire house is festively lit and decorated. The colors are there for more than just aesthetics, however. “Red is used as a warning motif”, Bruhn explained. “Green represents the witches, and blue symbolizes safety.”
There’s no better way to take your mind off finals than eating popcorn, watching a suspenseful horror-comedy movie, and having a conversation with a rising director about his new film.