I would like to start out this review by saying I’m a huge “Supernatural” fan, a show about two brothers hunting monsters produced by McG that, while mostly serious, has its fair share of comedic moments — there are even a few parody episodes that are straight-up comedies. McG’s 2017 Netflix horror-comedy “The Babysitter” is like one of those episodes, but made into a full-length movie.
To call “The Babysitter” shlock would be extremely apt; this is not “A Quiet Place” or “Get Out,” which meticulously craft atmosphere and tension in order to elicit fear; “The Babysitter” garners reactions only when it presents action so ludicrous and bizarre that it breaks your suspension of disbelief in a way that it is laughable.
The film stars Judah Lewis as Cole Johnson, a 12-year-old kid who still has a babysitter for when his parent’s go out for “hotel therapy” (it’s alluded that they are very close to getting a divorce). Said babysitter, Bee (Samara Weaving), is one of Cole’s closest friends and is an older sister figure to him. While she comes off as a knockoff Emma Stone, she defends him from bullies and is basically the only person who plays with him or takes an interest in the things he likes.
Everything goes south when Cole’s neighbor and crush, Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind), challenges him to stay up past his bedtime to see what Bee does when he goes to sleep, alluding to the fact that she probably invites her boyfriend over to have sex. Instead, Cole finds that Bee has decided to invite a colorful cast of her high school friends that includes jock Max (Robbie Amell), goth Sonya (Hana Mae Lee), cheerleader Allison (Bella Thorne) and comedic friend John (Andrew Bachelor) to murder and sacrifice some guy (Doug Haley) through a Satanic ritual, which just so happens to require the blood of an innocent to be completed. Said innocent is Cole, who Bee attempted to drug.
The rest of the film is Cole evading his assailants, killing them in unlikely and ridiculously schlocky ways. In many regards “The Babysitter” is a gory, R-Rated version of “Home Alone.” And that’s pretty much all the film has going for it.
Other than Cole and Bee, everyone else is written intentionally shallow. Max is a psychopathic killer who joined Bee’s cult just so he’d be able to kill people. Sonya and Allison are just psychotic, and don’t really have concrete personalities because the only reason they’re in the film is for McG to direct ridiculous over-the-top death scenes. John is funny for a second, but is only in the film for a few scenes before he is axed.
Cole goes through this weird, inappropriate arc about being a man, as McG claims he is one after going through the ordeals he suffers through in the film. By doing so he shoves in a weird trope of toxic masculinity in which one is only a man if they commit violence against those that wronged them that could’ve easily been left out of the film, especially considering that Cole is a 12-year-old boy who has barely experienced high school.
Bee’s character is almost interesting, but her character development is sacrificed for cheap laughs. We never truly understand why she does what she does, and it doesn’t matter. She’s a villain that’s in the film to elicit reactions, nothing else.
With all being said, this film is still enjoyable, but it’s very shallow. It’s not one that I plan to revisit, but at least it didn’t bore me. “The Babysitter” is a funny, cheap and forgettable horror-comedy that you’ll probably forget soon after watching.
“The Babysitter” gets a 6/10