I don’t know what I’m more shocked by, Netflix yet again delivering another quality movie or that I liked something directed by McG*
The Babysitter is a fun, fast and ferocious throwback to those classic 80s paranoid horrors like The ‘Burbs And Fright Night. Scaredy-cat 12 year old Cole (Judah Lewis) is afraid of his own shadow. He gets bullied and is generally a huge wuss. His Mum and Dad are going away for a dirty weekend leaving him home alone with the titular Babysitter, the impossibly beautiful Bee ( Ash vs. Evil Dead’s Samara Weaving). Cole quickly finds out what really happens when he’s asleep, that Bee is a devil worshipping, human-sacrificing cult leader. Bee and her friends murder a guy to take his blood, Cole rumbles them and all hell breaks loose. Will Bee and her cult sacrifice Cole or will he put up a fight?
I laughed a lot during The Babysitter, way more than I expected to, most cast members getting at least one great zinger and not to mention the slapstick gore. The cast was chock full of great comedic actors too, with Bella Thorne, Robbie Amell, Pitch Perfect’s scene stealing Hana Mae Lee and Andrew Bachelor as the cult and Ken Marino and Leslie Bibb as Cole’s parents.
No jokes fell flat and not much time passed between jokes, striking a great balance between the comedy and horror.
It’s great to see (what I assume) is a low-ish budget genre film get such a good push from a service as big as Netflix. I suppose the best thing about their business model is that they don’t really need to worry about the ticket sales. If you subscribe, you get it anyway, letting them take more risks with films like this. Seeing how films like It Follows have gained a cult following because of Netflix and not to mention the juggernaut that is Stranger Things, I think the new wave of retro style horror is going to be about for a while yet.
You will have definitely seen films like this before, but I suppose that’s the attraction. The Babysitter is meant to be a throwback to those classics, the synthy score and moody fog and lighting is so evocative of so many older films. Is it derivative? Yeah to an extent. Is it distractingly so? No, not for me. I was happy guessing who would die next and how. I really did appreciate how much splatter and gore we got from McG and his team.
If you subscribe to Netflix, I definitely think it’s worth a watch, funny, gory, tense and with a genuinely interesting premise, you could do a lot worse.
The Babysitter is streaming on Netflix now.
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*I actually also liked This Means War.