A beautiful co-ed and her friend take a baby-sitting job at a creepy old mansion only to discover that there is no baby and that they have become trapped in a house . . . of . . . terror.
This synopsis from the upcoming horror flick “The House of the Devil” is a classic example of the cinematic portrayal of the baby sitter as naïve. Other stock characters are the sexy Lolita ( Alicia Silverstone in 1995’s “The Babysitter”) and the psycho-nanny ( Rebecca De Mornay in “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle”).
Why and how the baby sitter rose to pop culture prominence is one of the topics explored by Miriam Forman-Brunell in her book “Babysitter: An American History.”
“I wanted to expose the underlying fear and fantasies that many adults share about teenage girls,” she said in an interview.