Lolita, psycho nanny or the girl next door?

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.

Read the rest of the article at the L.A. Times.

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