Early this year, I reviewed Director McG’s crass horror comedy (horomedy?) “The Babysitter,” which starred Judah Lewis as a middle school student who must evade his babysitter, Bee (Samara Weaving), and her teenaged friends, who are part of a demonic cult and want to sacrifice him. It was a simple, shlocky film, whose main point was to showcase the gory deaths of each unlikeable teenager, and nothing more.
Some spoilers ahead.
Its sequel “The Babysitter: Killer Queen”, is much of the same. Set two years after the first film, Cole is now a junior in high school, and nobody believes that the events of the first film really happened, because somehow they left no evidence (this can break your suspension of disbelief if you remember the amount of gore and property destruction that was in the first film). That is, except for his best friend, Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind), who has a new obnoxious boyfriend named Jimmy (Maximilian Acevedo), as well as two annoying friends, Diego (Juliocesar Chavez) and Boom Boom (Jennifer Foster), who add little to the film.
When Cole is about to be enrolled in a psychiatric school, Melanie convinces him to ditch his parents and go to a lake party with Jimmy, Diego and Boom Boom that quickly turns deadly, as apparently Melanie and her friends joined the exact same cult Bee did. Cole is saved by the new girl at school, a misfit named Phoebe (Jenna Ortega), and the two get away from the cult on a jet ski, but not before they resurrect every villain from the first film, except for Bee.
While I have to admit, bringing back the antagonists from the first film did create a sense of hopelessness, as it means this time around, the cult had even more numbers, it adversely affected the new characters this film introduces, who are all promptly disposed of pretty early on. It’s as if McG didn’t know what to do with them, and decided to push them to the side in order to play with the first film’s villains, who I admit are much more interesting to watch and are more compelling in this film, as they have a personal vendetta against Cole.
The original cultists; psychotic jock Max (Robbie Ammell), wannabe musician John (Andrew Bachelor), goth Sonya (Hana Mae Lee), and former cheerleader/wannabe news anchor Allison (Bella Thorne); are all OK in this, but they are clearly only in the film to be killed off in shlocky, gratuitous ways.
Cole and Phoebe connect, and they end up surviving the night together. I’m going to get too much into the climax of the film, but it’s one of those endings where if you think too much about it, the film falls apart. For some, it might ruin the film, but it works on an emotional level so long as you don’t think about how convoluted and unlikely its resolution is.
I liked how Melanie was the villain in this film, though she is painfully generic in that role. Still, the idea of having a childhood friend grow up into someone horrible while masquerading as their old selves is an interesting one, and if McG made her character somewhat redeemable, there could’ve been a lot of tension and conflict about Cole fighting her. One of the conditions about committing to the ritual that requires the “blood of the innocent” is that if it’s not completed, the cultists die by sunrise. If they back out, they die on the spot. So a cultist who is wary of their decision to join would have been interesting.
They explore some of this with John, who is just tired of everything, but the film kills him off before it can go anywhere. “The Babysitter: Killer Queen” is very keen on forcing the narrative down one particular lane when other diverging roads are far more interesting. And because of that, it feels more like a passion project by a director who is more concerned with making a low-budget gratuitous B-movie than a project whose creators have any interest in adding depth to it.
“The Babysitter: Killer Queen”, outside of some better visuals and setpieces, is close to a carbon copy of the first film but a little worse, as it intentionally squanders its own potential to retread territory already covered in the first film. Sure, individual plot points are different, but thematically and dramatically this film says nothing the first one hasn’t.
It’s a very disposable film. It’s the cinematic equivalent of the Travis Scott burger at McDonalds; decent, but nothing special, and you will forget about it in a week.
“The Babysitter: Killer Queen” gets a 4/10