The Babysitter is a 1980 TV movie thriller directed by Peter Medak who also directed The Changeling and The Krays. It stars Patty Duke, William Shatner and Stephanie Zimbalist.
Dr.Jeff Benedict(Shatner) lives with his wife Liz(Duke) and daughter Tara in a large house.Jeff suggests that Liz needs some help around the house. Tara is playing outside when she spots a young woman who runs away. Tara chases her and they start to chat. The young woman is called Joanna Redwine(Zimbalist) and she is eighteen years of age. She is in the middle of the road when Liz is driving along and causes her to crash her car. She helps her and gets a doctor for Liz. Liz is grateful and finds out that Joanna was a live in housekeeper for another family. She decides to hire her. Jeff isn't so sure that Joanna is the best person for the job at first. He comes around when he sees how efficient she is. She gets along very well with Tara and she seems to fit into their family very well.
Their neighbour, Dr.Lindquist(John Houseman) is suspicious of Joanna. He thinks that she is not who she says she is. He thinks that there is something strange about her stories of looking after another family and he tries to find out all he can about her. She senses that he does not trust her and she tries to make him think that she isn't dodgy but he sees through her facade. Meanwhile, Liz seems to breaking down. It turns out that she is an alcoholic and that Jeff moved her and Tara to this house to help her get over her
last battle with alcohol. She is not happy and Joanna encourages her drinking. She becomes her confidant and she tries to come between Jeff and Liz. Liz begins to act strangely and she becomes drunk a lot. This makes Jeff angry and they fight all the time. Joanna tries to come on to Jeff, but he isn't interested in her.
Dr. Lindquist finds someone who knew Joanna and he finds out that she is dangerous. He tells Jeff and Liz about it, but Liz doesn't believe him. Joanna begins to turn on Tara too and Tara sees a nasty side to her former friend. Joanna encourages Liz to leave Jeff for a few days to teach him a lesson after he argues with her again. Joanna tries to take over the role of Liz and Tara is upset. She and Joanna go out with a friend and Tara sees Joanna cause him to have an accident and die. Liz returns home worse than ever. Jeff and Joanna chat about Liz and her condition. They share a kiss. Dr. Lindquist tries to tell the cops about Joanna but they won't help him. Joanna keeps Liz sedated and everyone just thinks that she is tired because of her drinking. Jeff turns on Joanna and tells her to get out. Dr. Lindquist finds the house of the family that Joanna was taking care of before and they have all been murdered. Joanna attacks Jeff and knocks him out. She tries to kill Liz and Tara. Dr. Lindquist has called the police and they catch her.
She breaks down and she is taken away by the cops.
This was a decent TV thriller. It is entertaining and the cast is pretty good. I would recommend it. It is definitely worth a watch. I am giving it a 6/10.