The Babysitter Review
The events of one evening take an unexpected turn for the worst for a young boy trying to spy on his babysitter.
In The Babysitter, McG delivers a completely bonkers, stylised and immature horror-comedy straight to Netflix -- and I kinda like it.
As far as horror protagonists go, Cole -- played by a Judah Lewis giving a performance above this film -- is nothing special. He's a kid (around 12-13 I believe) who gets bullied at school, he's scared easily and has to overcome his fears by the end of the movie to survive his attackers. Typical. But what he does have is a cool babysitter with Bee -- a cast-carrying performance by Samara Weaving.
What starts out as a typical, mediocre suburban teen high school drama, quickly turns into a bonkers bloodbath when Cole witnesses Bee and her friends murder someone in his house and he discovers they're using a satanic book to try performing a ritual using Coles 'pure' blood. I know, right, it's silly. But after that first death, The Babysitter was so much fun. It plays on so many tropes, ridiculous ideas and features completely over the top deaths and blood usage. The Babysitter knows it's supposed to be having fun, and the film knows it's silly, and it embraces it to become something ridiculous, outrageous, immature as hell, but fun.
I laughed out loud at a lot of the dialogue. You'll either click with the humour of the film, or you won't. It's low-bar stuff to go with the blood and gore, but I appreciated the campiness.
Running in under 90 minutes means this is a fast-paced theme park ride from start to finish. It's Home Alone with a satanic babysitter and cult, but unlike Home Alone it doesn't make any sense a lot of the time. Example: Cole makes his way outside the house at one stage, but doesn't just run to a neighbour, or down the street, or literally anywhere, but back to hide in a different area of the house. There is no one being held captive he needs to go back for, he can just run, but no. It's plotting for the sake of having him set traps to kill another attacker in a ridiculous manner, and thankfully The Babysitter never slows down to let you overthink these moments.
McG plays out The Babysitter for what it obviously is -- a throwback to 80s horror flicks -- but he could have held back on some of the nostalgia. Bee is hyper-sexualised with slow-motion shots of her in a bikini and making out with another girl in the first 20 minutes. I understand most of the humour is low-ball and immature, but the movie works best embracing the low-ball violent humour. The over-sexualisation of Bee and even having -- of course -- Cole attracted to his hot babysitter wasn't necessary for the film at all.
McG also has a few problems just letting the audience understand what's happening on screen as he incorporates flashbacks at times, and big flashy text on the screen for information. The audience is smarter than you think - just let the scene play out.
The Babysitter is surprisingly a lot of fun. It never takes itself seriously, and that allows this less than 90 minutes bombastic, violent ride, to be fast and ridiculous. It's a l laugh-out-loud bloody good ride that is not without a lot of problems, but this is a fun horror movie on Netflix to watch this Halloween season.
Writers: Brian Duffield
Cast: Samara Weaving, Judah Lewis, Bella Thorne, Robbie Amell, Hana Mae Lee, Emily Alyn Lind, Andrew Bachelor,