Review: Night of the Caregiver


“Abominable.” No, that’s not an alternate name for this movie – it’s a description.

Imagine, if you will, that once upon a time a hack writer of screenplays, having had his greatest opus rejected by every reputable film producer in town, hangs himself from the crossbeam of the H in the “Hollywood” sign that overlooks Tinseltown. As a last strangled breath escapes his body, the screenplay, which he’d clutched to the end, falls to the ground.

Days pass. Feral cats use the tattering pages as their litter box.

One day a meth-addled junkie, looking for discarded cans and bottles, comes upon the badly-worn script. Ignoring the ripe corpse hanging overhead, he seizes upon this lucky find and takes it back to the abandoned Blockbuster Video store in which he and his fellow addicts shelter. There, using a copier not in service since 2001, he makes a dozen copies of this lost masterwork. Some of the pages are even too foul for him, so he simply discards them, uncopied.

The next day he set out to sell “his” screenplay. Streaming services are crying for content, and quasi-film makers are eager for stories. By the end of the day, the junkie is dead of a celebratory overdose and 10 movies following the same pathetic storyline are being planned.

Which bring us back to “Night of the Caregiver.”

You’ve seen this one too many times before:
• overworked beauty in need of a few more bucks takes an “easy” caregiving job for far too much money;
• the invalid lives in an isolated, usually large but always creepy, house full of questionable artwork and knickknacks;
• the beauty has a friend whom she leaves behind but who has premonitions that all will not be well;
• after a straightforward start, things start to get “scary” for the beauty, who has trouble contacting her friend;
• the monster/devil worshipers/life suckers (this varies because the pages describing it were discarded from the original screenplay) show themselves;
• the monster/devil worshipers/life suckers dispatch the friend/interested party (again, missing pages) but the beauty survives/becomes possessed/has the life sucked out of her (ditto); and
• the evil appears to be vanquished, but in fact lives on.

Now, add to this a soundtrack from hell that does nothing to increase tension, top it off with pathetic acting and unexplainable jumps in continuity, and you have “Night of the Caregiver.”

There are a couple bright spots in this movie. One is the appearance of veteran actress Eileen Dietz (“The Exorcist”) as Lillian, the elderly woman requiring care. She brings a child-like simplicity and appeal to the part, belying what lies beneath the surface. The other is Eric Roberts (“Runaway Train”), Oscar and Emmy nominee. Another veteran of decades of acting, he plays Dr. King, a parapsychologist who knows more than he is telling. His talents, concealed under an Andy Warhol wig, are wasted in what is little more than a cameo role. I fear Roberts is treading the path of Lance Henriksen (“Aliens”), also a distinguished actor, but one who has taken too many cameo roles in shlock productions over the years.

There are far too many cheap horror flicks out there today that would be tremendously improved with some tongue-in-cheek humor, with a recognition that they are selling the paying audience crap. This is one of them. Save your money and your time.


Director: Joe Cornet (also acts – both badly)
Writer: Craig Hamann
Producer: Alexander Nevsky
Cinematographer: Sam Wilkerson (he has an elephant foot fetish)
Editor: Cody Miller (tried but could not make a silk purse out of the sow’s ear)
Music: Sean Murray

Juliet: Natalie Denise Sperl
Lillian: Eileen Dietz
Pamela : Anna Oris
Det. Eckhart: Joe Cornet
Dr. King: Eric Roberts

Runtime: Too long
Availability: In theaters (my guess is VERY briefly) and VOD Aug. 15, 2023

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