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Film / The Guardian (1990)

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The Guardian is a 1990 horror film directed by William Friedkin.

Phil and Kate Sterling (Dwier Brown and Carey Lowell) hire a nanny to look after their newborn son, Jake. They come across Camilla Grandier (Jenny Seagrove), who appears to be the perfect choice to look after the baby. But in reality, Camilla happens to be a druid/witch/hamadryad who worships supernatural trees by sacrificing babies to them. Phil and Kate must find a way to protect Jake from Camilla and the supernatural forces surrounding her.

Tropes in the film:

  • Beware the Nice Ones: The Sterlings are Good Parents, but don't let that underestimate them when they become a Papa Wolf and a Mama Bear when the life of their baby son is threatened.
  • Car Fu: Kate runs over one of the wolves with her Jeep, and later slams the vehicle into Camilla.
  • Chainsaw Good: It's probably the first horror movie you'll see where a chainsaw is actually used for one of its intended purposes, against a tree, as Phil takes a chainsaw to Camilla's tree.
  • Child Eater: The supernatural tree Camilla worships feeds itself from children.
  • Mama Wolf: Kate, after Phil reveals Camilla's true colors and her nefarious intentions for their baby.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The Onion's evisceration of this movie in their "Commentary Tracks of the Damned" feature points out that "Jenny Seagrove (is) the nakedest villain since Mathilda May in 1985's Lifeforce."
  • Mugging the Monster: Three thugs attempt to rape Camilla. She has them torn apart by the killer tree in the woods, and they are then eaten by her wolves.
  • Our Nymphs Are Different: Diana is a druid who poses as a babysitter, abducts babies, and feeds them to her tree.
  • Papa Wolf: Phil, after realizing his son is in danger and Camilla's the threat.
  • Savage Wolves: Camilla has a pack of wolves at her beck and call, which she mostly uses to get rid of people.
  • Synchronization: Damage done to the tree that Camilla sacrifices babies to happens to her as well.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The Sterlings, when they are forced to fight for their and their son's lives from Camilla after realizing her true colors, especially Phil when he decides to take upon himself to confront and destroy the demonic tree with a chainsaw to destroy the threat to their family once and for all in the climax.
  • When Trees Attack: The tree that Camilla sacrifices babies to is perfectly capable of defending itself, as Phil finds out when he tries to cut it down with a chainsaw.