The Caretaker (2008) Poster

(I) (2008)

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Instantly forgettable & disappointingly gore-less teen slasher.
Paul Andrews4 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The Caretaker starts on Halloween as several college friends gets ready to go to an organized dance. Well that's what Sonya (Jennifer Freeman), Chole (Victoria Vande Vegte) & the delicious Ella (Kira Verrastro) think but pranksters Snail (James Immekus), Topher (Andrew St. John) & Ricky (Diego J. Torres) have other ideas & decide to hire out a limo to take them all to a seemingly long abandoned house in the middle of a Grapefruit orchard, as you would. They have set up some fake scares to frighten the girls as they tell stories about insane killers but things go horribly wrong when a real insane killer show's up & starts, well, killing them.

Directed by Bryce Olsen this is pretty much a fairly straight forward teen slasher with the now obligatory Scream (1996) styled twist ending which is laughably bad here & makes little sense (why, if the killer was trying to protect his daughter at a party, did they kill that random guy at the start?). I suppose the main problems I had with The Caretaker was that it takes ages to get going, seriously this is one really slow moving film. The character's are ridiculously good looking young cardboard cutout teens that usually populate these types of slasher films & the film is slow. All of the kills are off-screen which is an absolute no-no for a teen slasher, what's the point of a teen slasher is there's no pay-off in seeing these teens bumped off in a variety of gory ways? It's slow too. The film takes itself too seriously & there are a couple of oddball character's in the limo driver & Miss Perry who seem like they belong in a different film & did I already mention that the film is slow & virtually nothing happens for the first 70 odd minutes? The Caretaker feels like a cheap slow moving reenactment of the classic slasher Hell Night (1981) with the young teen party goers who end up at an old house with various legends as a set-up to scare some girls & then run into the real thing as it were only a lot less interesting, a lot slower & frankly not as good in any regard. A really dull, boring, bloodless & slow teen slasher that I am not sure who it will appeal to. Certainly not me.

Aa I have already said there's no gore at all, sure there's a few dead bodies seen with some fake blood on them but no proper special effects or kill scenes which to me is odd since surely the whole point of a teen slasher are the kill scenes? The film just doesn't satisfy on any level I'nm afraid & if it weren't for some brief female nudity then surely The Caretaker would pass a 'PG' all day long. Another big problem I had with The Caretaker was the setting, the house used looks very middle-class, not that big & unimposing unlike the huge spooky cobweb strewn mansion from Hell Night for example. This boring location has no atmosphere at all & since the house is so small (only one storey) there's not a whole lot of stalking going on.

Filmed in San Marcos in California this has reasonable production values & at least it doesn't look like it was shot on a camcorder, there's none of that shaky look or ultra quick editing either which is nice but since the film is poor anyway that's hardly a recommendation. The acting is alright, there's a couple of 'names' in the cast including Jennifer Tilly & Judd Nelson who obviously needed the money.

The Craetaker is a bloodless bore of a teen slasher with all the usual lows but none of the hoped for highs, there are dozens of much better teen slashers out there for anyone to be bothering with this.
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The most un-scary wannabe horror movie that I've ever seen!
hansdewolff28 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
So they wanted to make a teenage slasher horror movie, and when they were done they actually believed that they had, since that's what they suggest all over the cover of this DVD. Did they watch the result themselves?!? Are they blind or stupid or did some higher power make them cut out the better half of all the supposed scary scenes, apparently to make it also watchable for tender-hearted infants??

The place where all the evil things happen must be the most uninspiring horror-setting ever! It's a dull dilapidated shed-like little house with nothing sinister whatsoever.

The supposed ferocious and relentless killer is the least frightening person of the whole movie - the limo-driver and especially the over-sexed Jennifer Tilly character are 10 times more frightening! The killer looks like a nice old Victorian land-owner mending his orchard, with a Hobbit-like hat and a scarf hiding his face (arghhh!). He never talks or interferes with anyone, except when he kills every person in exactly the same, uninspiring way.

The killer's instrument is some sort of orchard-rake or fork with sharp teeth. He swings with it over his victims and that leaves bloody scars. They die instantly. Of what?? We don't know, because we never get to see any of these killings, they take place off-screen. Imagine a modern (2008!!) slasher horror movie that does NOT show the one thing that the movie should be all about! It's like a porn movie where every intended sex-scene stops the moment that someone starts to take off his or her clothes. It's plain silly!

The bunch of teenagers is totally interchangeable: the three girls are almost imitations of each other, and two of the three boys also. No (obligatory to the genre) variation like: a bimbo, a goody-two-shoes, a pot-smoking airhead, a jock, etc. etc., but just some vague group of kids that you couldn't care less about. The one kid that survives, didn't do anything to deserve that, like in other movies: she doesn't fight or comes up with some heroic plan, she's just overlooked (with a far-fetched reason, as we in the end learn!).

As I said, the killer doesn't look very intimidating, but in the encounters with the young jocks (who we see at the start of the movie pumping iron, so they're pretty well trained!) he overpowers them like a wolf puffing down some piglets.

So are we to take this seriously? Well, there was some humor intended in this movie with the oversexed teacher (Tilly), but it's way too much over the top and as a result falls down flat, and it's totally out of sync with the rest of the movie where nothing remotely funny or even tongue-in-cheek happens.

The result of all this is a strange, uninspired, totally un-scary, un-graphic and un-funny, sad excuse for a horror movie. The big question is: why did they bother?!
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Care was not taken with making this movie!
Wizard-83 April 2012
This so-called horror movie is one of the worst slashers I have ever seen in my life. It goes wrong in every way you can think of. For starters, the entire enterprise is appallingly cheap. Shot almost entirely at night, the lighting is almost non-existent, and it's often hard to make out the surroundings or what it going on. Also, with little in the way of props, it's as if the filmmakers decided to write something with the little they had, instead of writing the story first and worrying about bringing things in later. But wait - things get even worse! We have teen protagonists who are annoying and so poorly developed I don't think we even learn the names of some of them. It should be a pleasure seeing them chopped up, but the slaughter doesn't really get going until more than an hour of the running time has passed, with most of the time devoted to seeing the teens wandering around and around endlessly. Once it does get going, the slaughter is not very graphic at all. The "surprise twist" at the end isn't the least bit surprising. And Judd Nelson is totally wasted, having almost no screen time. Do you need any more convincing about "The Caretaker" being a complete waste of time?
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