The film’s protagonist is a young girl named Noa (Jadin Harris), who is quite protective of her little brother Michael (Christian Ganiere). When Noa and Michael’s overworked mother, Anna (Schuyler Fisk) hires a nanny to take care of them, it is up to Noa to prove that Leonor (Jaime Murray) – the seemingly ideal nanny – is not who, or even what, she seems to be.
A dark Mary Poppins?With a brief running time of 80 minutes, it is quite clear from the outset that this movie had bitten off more than it could chew – giving us a cold open prologue that never gets properly explained is one of many examples of this – but the film fails mostly from cramming in too many moments of expository dialogue that never feels organic, as well as seeming rushed. We are told that Michael is hearing voices – ones that tell him to do horrible things – but after the school informs Anna of this, as well as showing her Michael’s disturbingly bloody drawings, her only response is to hire a nanny. Doesn’t this town have a child psychologist? This kid probably needs some serious mental therapy, but instead of seeking professional help, the mom ops for a live-in babysitter.
Note: Anna is a single parent who has to work double shifts to make ends meet – Question: How is she affording a live-in nanny?
The mysterious Leonor is able to use some sort of “mental whammy” on Anna to secure her position as the kid’s nanny – and even mentally messes with Frank (Nick Gomez), the deputy sheriff, to further divert suspicion – but Leonor taking over the household is too rushed, even if the explanation is as lame as, “A wizard did it.” We get cryptic clues throughout the film as to what Leonor’s true nature is – a creature of the Fae who wants her children back – but all of the film’s hinting of a “larger world” leaves the viewer wishing to see a bit more of that world, and not just the half-dozen people that seem to be the town’s only residents. When the film re-introduces the character of David (Nicholas Brendon), who in the prologue we saw lose his daughter to some creature in the woods, we think the story is going to possibly show David saving his missing daughter, but instead it took a delightfully dark turn that I did not expect. The Nanny really had me on board for awhile - the basic premise was quite intriguing - but unfortunately, director Joel Novoa had no time to properly explore any of the characters he sets up, and thus none of them come across as relatable or even believable. For example, Noa inexplicably goes out into the night to meet up with David, a man she doesn't know from Adam. I know kids can be stupid at times, but this moment was ludicrous.