Taking the most unlikely bits and pieces of fairy tales, myths, and legends--from Druidic tree worship to Hansel and Gretel--director William Friedkin has fashioned a well-tooled little scream machine of a movie that leaves behind logic and coherence to go straight for the jugular. THE
GUARDIAN doesn't work on the grandiloquent scale of Friedkin's past horror classic, THE EXORCIST. It's smaller and much closer to home, involving not a pitched battle between good and evil but a battle between parents and a nanny who feeds newborns to a gnarled old tree in the forest. THE GUARDIAN
is a completely irrational movie that works because fear is an irrational emotion--a su...