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night nurseThis TV movie from Australia is your typical “creepy old ladies in a big house with secrets” movie, but I’m on a mission to watch all the big old house movies there are. I have my work cut out for me; it will be the independent study project of a lifetime.

Young Prudence applies for a job as the night nurse for The Diva, an old lady who was the most famous opera singer around before she went into seclusion some forty years earlier. There is also a housekeeper who is mean and territorial, and before Prudence’s interview she just murdered a pushy art collector who wanted to buy some paintings in the downstairs parlor. If Prudence had known that she wouldn’t have taken the job, which the housekeeper does try to get her not to accept, but that’s our good old friend dramatic irony.

What will become of Prudence, her goldfish, and her shiftless “artist” boyfriend? Is the housekeeper really the bad guy here? Or will The Diva live up to her name? Most importantly, who are the guests who keep coming by at night and laughing loudly, despite the housekeeper’s insistence that there have been no guests?

The Night Nurse is one of those Australian movies where they took pity on us in the rest of the world and hired actors who speak the Queen’s English, so it was easy to understand what was being said. The atmosphere, for an old dark house movie, was really nothing to cheer about, but the mystery aspect, along with the bitchery, kept me watching until the somewhat shocking end. Some of this we have seen before, and some we haven’t. Worth an afternoon watch for those who like movies about mean old ladies in fancy houses.

I thought I had run out of horror rules, but here are two new ones: first, never get between a rich lady and her longtime housekeeper. You are a dumb horror bimbo and will never guess what those bitches have been up to, no matter how many Daphne DuMaurier novels you read. Secondly, if your food tastes bitter, and someone you are mean to prepared it for you, it’s tainted. Actually, if you are in a horror movie, and your food is bitter for any reason, it’s tainted. Spit it out, dummy!