“Die! Sitter! Die! Rupert” (2015): Babysitter Horror Gets a Disturbing New Entry with This Jaw-Dropping Short Film

Thanks to horror films and urban legends, tales of babysitting terror are always in vogue. Boxleitner brothers Lee and Sam offer up a truly disturbing take on this fear fare subgenre with their award-winning short film Die! Sitter! Die! Rupert.

The short opens with a bit of drama that allows viewers to get to know protagonist Alison (Caitlin Reilly): She’s a stressed-out young woman who is working three jobs after dropping out of college because of her mother’s cancer-related medical bills. Her boyfriend Phillip (De Mille Cole-Heard) isn’t the most patient and understanding person when it comes to the increasingly reduced time they have to see each other, which includes this night of their second anniversary. Out of desperation, Alison has decided to take on a high-paying babysitting gig instead of keeping their dinner date.

What waits for Alison at the palatial home where she is supposed to care for an infant are a series of unsettling situations guaranteed to make most viewers squeamish. I won’t give the full reveal away, but I will say that Lee Boxleitner is terrific in his role as the villain. His character feels truly unhinged, braying out threats one moment and changing personalities in mere seconds, and his portrayal will live long in your memory banks. The situations that this villain puts Alison through feel truly terrifying, and Caitlin Reilly is sensational in her portrayal of a potential victim doing whatever she needs to buy enough time to think of an escape plan.

Besides directing Die! Sitter! Die! Rupert, the Boxleitner brothers produced, and cowrote the screenplay with Alex Holcomb (another of the short’s producers). Lee edited and Sam wrote the score, with Tiffin Roley also receiving music credit. The brothers have crafted a short with the production values of a feature film and an atmosphere that is nothing less than distressing. Dave Jacobsen’s first-rate cinematography is another key to the short’s great look and overall success.

After two years on the film festival circuit, Lee and Sam Boxleitner have released the short for viewers to watch on YouTube. You can watch it for free, right now.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)


Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.