Original title:Nanny
Director:Nikyatu Jusu
Running time:97 minutes
Release date:23 november 2022
Aisha, an undocumented nanny, cares for a privileged child on New York's Upper East Side. As she prepares for the arrival of the son she left behind in West Africa, a supernatural presence invades her daily life, threatening the American dream she has painstakingly built.

Mulder's Review

Not having been able to discover it during the Sundance festival where Nanny won the Grand Jury Prize, we were lucky enough to discover it a few days before its release on the Prime Video platform. While we could expect an effective and scary horror film, we discover instead a destabilizing film dealing with immigration in the United States and social divisions between a young mother who had to leave her child to earn enough money in New York to bring him over and the fact that as an illegal nanny she has to adapt to the demands of a wealthy family with some very bad habits.

Aisha (Anna Diop seen in the 24-legacy, Bosch and Titans series) is a young Senegalese mother trying to rebuild her life in New York and working as an undocumented nanny. She has to take care of the young daughter of a wealthy Upper East Side family, Amy (Michelle Monaghan) and Adam (Morgan Spector). She has left her young son behind in Senegal because she needs to have enough money to bring him to the United States. Unfortunately for her, an evil presence seems to be lurking and threatening her tranquility and seems to be linked to a dramatic event concerning her. Far from living the American dream, Aisha's life becomes a nightmare as dramatic events unfold before her eyes.

While horror cinema is, with a few exceptions, male, it is always interesting not only to discover a first film by a female director, but also to see how she can leave the traditional paths of psychological horror films to transform her film into a permanent tension palpable on the screen. Aisha's life will be marked by events out of the ordinary such as the mold that seems to grow in the room of the girl she is nanny for, a snake that comes out of nowhere and other traces of the supernatural that do not establish anything good for her.

Nikyatu Jusu leaves the confines of the average horror film to turn to a social and committed cinema showing the condition of minorities in the United States, especially foreigners from Africa who try to rebuild their lives like Aisha in the United States. From a poor background, she finds herself in a wealthy family on the Upper East Side of New York. By incorporating African superstitions and a different setting than a horror film, the film is unsettling but at no point does it lose our attention as viewers. Fascinating and perfectly interpreted by Anna Diop and Michelle Monaghan, Nanny is well worth discovering.

Produced by Blumhouse, which has become one of the expert studios for effective low-budget horror films, and distributed in the United States by Amazon Studios before being released on Prime video on December 16, Nanny marks the very promising debut of director and screenwriter Nikyatu Jusu, who has managed to make a name for herself with her successful short films that have won awards at numerous festivals.

Written and Directed by Nikyatu Jusu
Produced by Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Nikkia Moulterie
Starring Anna Diop, Michelle Monaghan, Sinqua Walls, Morgan Spector, Rose Decker, Leslie Uggams, Zephani Idoko
Cinematography : Rina Yang
Edited by Robert Mead
Music by Tanerélle, Bartek Gliniak
Production companies : Blumhouse Television, Stay Gold Features, Topic Studios, LinLay Productions
Distributed by Amazon Studios
Release dates : January 22, 2022 (Sundance), November 23, 2022 (United States)
Running time : 97 minutes

Seen on December 13, 2022 (press screener)

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