The Babysitter, directed by McG- Lethal Weapon, Supernatural, Aim High, and Citizen Cane. Ok fine, the last one was a bit of a fib, but he’s had an amazing career known for shows that are action heavy, pop, and have a lot of humor. I did watch this one on the elliptical as a to refresh my memory, but I first watched it on a date night for a Netflix and Chill session. The Babysitter was so fun; it doesn’t take itself seriously, until it has to. Like Supernatural, the movie balances the horror with the character arcs to pull you into the story. By the end, you genuinely care about how these characters end up.
Horror is often treated as the stepchild of film because people are attracted by the low budget/high profit payoff potential and think anyone can do it: so wrong. In fact, there are times you have an immensely talented director, but he or she is not meant for this genre – see- https://unobtainium13.com/2018/10/01/all-the-boys-love-mandy-lane-aka-all-the-bland-love-blandy-lane-review-by-case-wright/
Also, writing horror can create masterpieces like 28 Days Later- https://unobtainium13.com/2016/10/24/28-days-later/ . Horror screenwriters can also create misery-inducing steaming piles of terribleness for me or for whomever will have the excruciating experience of having to review it- see- https://unobtainium13.com/2016/11/20/channel-zero-welcome-home-season-1-ep-6-alt-title-so-very-boring/ In The Babysitter, Brian Duffield (Quarantine and soon to be released Vivian Hasn’t Been Herself Lately) delivers a fun popping script with fast moving acts, clear arcs, humor, gore, and clever buildups and payoffs. I am looking forward to seeing the rest of his art and you should too! The Babysitter is not in the Oscar worthy category of The Shining, but it is still brilliant because it succeeds in doing what is most important – it entertains. You care about the protagonist and where he’s going and amazingly sometimes root a little for the villain because she is acted by the uber-talented Samara Weaving.
The film is basically Satanic Home Alone; in fact, they reference Home Alone in the film. Cole, the protagonist, is a bullied awkward 12 year old with a heart of gold and no self-confidence. Yes, I know that reads like a fairly common protagonist, but his nerdiness is so authentic and the dialogue is so real that you buy it. Trust me, I’ve never led you wrong before. Cole has a quasi-friend in the Girl Next Door- Melanie, but Cole’s true friend (seemingly) is Bee (Samara Weaving) his babysitter. She genuinely likes movies and nerdy things just like Cole and we learn she was also an awkward teen herself prior to meeting Cole.
Bee seems to be perfect, but she is a satanic worshipper who wants to sacrifice one nerd, harvest some of Cole’s blood, and read from I guess the Necronomicon to be granted a wish of her choosing from Satan. Then again, we all have our faults. We get to see and not be told how close Bee and Cole have become over the years. They love film and goofy dancing. Cole stays up past his bedtime to spy on his beloved Bee to see what she is up to after he purportedly asleep. Sadly, he watches Bee commit an over the top murder of a seduced nerd. The deaths in this film are Final Destination awesomepants! Watch The Babysitter just for the deaths alone! Bee has cohorts: Robbie Amell who is very good in this. He plays the murderous jock expertly and if you’re so inclined he’s shirtless A LOT with aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabs. There’s also a lot of great humor with the somewhat bumbling satanic worshippers that are also out to get Cole and his sweet sweet AB Negative.
They need to harvest Cole’s blood to finish the evil wishing spell because he’s an obvious virgin, but he fights back. It’s not corny like Home Alone; he mostly gets lucky or barely survives by finding weapons along the way- No booby traps. The lack of traps and gags during the fight scenes keeps the story in the horror realm with the comedy sprinkled like a Mrs. Dash that doesn’t make you want to vomit.
There is a eventually a final battle between Bee and Cole. She offers to make him part of the wish and live with him forever. Now, I’m not saying he should’ve immediately taken her up on this offer. Maybe some negotiating would’ve been worthwhile, but really Cole…not even taking one beat to consider this pretty awesome offer. I think that would’ve been fun as an alternate ending, but without fighting the final battle, Cole would not have realized his story arc as a true hero. I have to admit if I were the 12 year old nerdy boy and Bee had made the same offer to me, I would have just been trying to figure out how many sock pairs I needed for our evil journey!
I want to make a special note here for the amazing performance of Samara Weaving. She played the heck out of this role. She could believably turn from evil to seductress to friend to good on a dime. With the right opportunities, Samara Weaving will be the next Nicole Kidman! Really!
Happy Horrorthon! Please check out my other stuff and tell your friends to read it as well!