The Au Pair Nightmare Review – The Best Of LifeTime’s Thrillers

Have you ever met one of those families that feels too squeaky clean? It might be when you drop your kids off for a play date or a friend’s parents. The Au Pair Nightmare goes into that feeling and expands it out to an hour and a half thriller about a new au pair. It comes from writer/director Joe Russo and was co-written by Chris LaMont (who also both wrote Soul Mates from last year). The Au Pair Nightmare originally aired on the Lifetime channel in 2020 (it’s celebrating a four-year anniversary!) and was also available on the Lifetime streaming app. For that reason, and a TV-14 rating, it’s not going to get as gnarly or gory as your average horror movie, but here there are still some thrills that’ll pop out.

The Au Pair Nightmare stars Annie Heise, Tristan Thomas, Brytnee Atkinson, Gianna Gallegos, and Elizabeth Saydah. It follows Taylor (Atkinson), who’s struggling in life after the death of her fiancee in a horrific car crash. She’s looking into whatever kind of work she can get and finds that she might want to be an Au Pair. If you don’t know what an Au Pair is, it’s basically a 24/7 babysitter that rich families hire to help with their kids, because their lives are busy. Taylor gets placed with the Caleb family, who lives in the middle of nowhere.

The Caleb family, John (Thomas) and Allesandra (Heise) seem like your “normal” rich family, John is a doctor and Allesandra is a novelist. Their daughter, Emily (Gallegos), has problems with sleepwalking and is homeschooled. After a somewhat tense meeting about hiring her, Emily is the one that breaks the ice and wants Taylor to stay.

As Taylor gets settled in with the family, she notices some strange behavior from Allesandra, but John reminds her not to bother her while she’s writing in her office. What follows is a family dynamic that ends up with some major twists and turns, and a surprisingly shocking amount of violence for the Lifetime channel.

When you’re watching this movie, you have to remember, this was TV-14. It’s not going to be Saw levels of gore and blood, but for what it is, The Au Pair Nightmare does a good job.

The squeaky-clean family is met with some squeaky-clean cinematography and shot composition as well. That’s really the only thing I can complain about the film in the context is that the movie overall just looks too clean. It’s not supposed to be a horror flick by any means, but even the erotic thrillers of the 90s looked a bit dingy. The only other thing is there’s a bit of a deus ex moment at the end with Taylor’s sister, Kara (Saydah). For Lifetime movies, this might be the best of the bunch. I know there are plenty of fans out there of these types that are somewhat predictable but still give you what you want in the end. You get some romance and some awkward slow-dancing scenes with Taylor looking on as these yuppies guzzle wine.

John and Allesandra feel perfectly cast, with Tristan Thomas capturing that “suave dad” we all knew as kids/teenagers. Annie Heise’s turn as Allesandra is dastardly and she fits the mould.

If you’re surfing Lifetime or streaming, The Au Pair Nightmare is enough thrills to keep you satiated.

For more Reviews, make sure to check back to That Hashtag Show.

Keep Reading: