Friday, December 2, 2022


From writer/director Nikyatu Jusu comes a slow-burning drama that teases darkness and trouble around the edges surrounding a young woman far from her homeland and family who begins seeing and dreaming things she can't explain after taking a new job as the script waits to reveal just what is behind her haunting for nearly all of the film's 98-minute running time.

Anna Diop stars as Aisha, an undocumented nanny from Senegal who takes a job in New York working for a couple (Michelle Monaghan and Morgan Spector) in the Upper East Side taking care of their daughter (Rose Decker) while hoping to save enough money to bring her own child (Jahleel Kamara) to America.

While there are certainly horror elements at play, sometimes quite extravagant ones (some of which work extraordinarily well and others which fall flat), Nanny is more of a tight-lipped drama with supernatural overtones, refusing to tell its secrets until the final 10 minutes, than horror film which constantly hints that things are not as as hopeful as Aisha believes them to be.

Through the lens of Aisha's life in New York, which grows sad and more complicated with a looming darkness threatening just beyond the shadows, Jusu provides an unconventional look at the immigrant experience playing on the emotional separation of someone leaving their homeland and loved ones. Finding some solace mothering another troubled woman's child and beginning a new relationship in New York with a single-father (Sinqua Walls), Aisha has some momentary stability but the pull of her missing son continues to be the driving force in her life.

The script shows us the cracks in Rose's family early on, offering some well-placed red herrings for what will come, although it will take nearly the entire film for events to pay off. Smarter than most of the genre, tempered and deliberate, its slow pace may turn off some viewers but Nanny gives us two films in one with the character study of a woman separated and adrift from the person she loves most in the world and the more bizarre and supernatural aspects of the haunting she begins to experience, and the mystery behind them.

  • Title: Nanny
  • IMDb: link

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