On Friday, October 13, 2017, McG (Joseph McGinty Nichol)’s horror-comedy, The Babysitter, was officially released on Netflix.
Please note that the following review contains spoilers.
Review of The Babysitter
The Babysitter follows Cole Johnson (Judah Lewis), a 12-year-old student whose only friend appears to be his neighbor, Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind).
Based on his early characterization, Cole is generally passive and afraid of a variety of things, such as the spiders under his house and the car that his father wants him to drive.
Despite his lack of friends and introverted nature, he has a good relationship with his babysitter, Bee (Samara Weaving), who seems to genuinely care about his well-being and enjoy their time together.
When Cole’s parents (Leslie Bibb and Ken Marino) plan a trip, they schedule Bee to stay at the house overnight.
Although this initially doesn’t seem like an issue, Cole discovers that Bee is a cult member after he witnesses her murder a stranger that she kissed, Samuel (Doug Haley), in front of her friends: Max (Robbie Amell), Sonya (Hana Mae Lee), Allison (Bella Thorne), and John (Andrew Bachelor).
Once the initial [graphic] murder occurs, the film abruptly shifts from comedy to horror-comedy.
Shortly after witnessing a blood sacrifice, Cole’s blood is taken by one of the cult members, who assumes that he’s sleeping.
Determined to escape, Cole plans to descend out the window via bed sheet once the cult members return back downstairs, but he’s caught by Bee as he collapses from having his blood taken.
Throughout the majority of the film’s remaining runtime, Cole is forced to defend himself from the cult members, which ultimately results in more gratuitous violence.
Although this is entertaining to a degree, particularly during his later interactions with Allison and Bee, the film descends into absurdity in a manner that ultimately fails to deliver its comedy side in most instances.
The lack of comedy that moves beyond the immature realm is an issue; however, there is another issue that has a more significant impact on the film’s quality.
More specifically, this issue is the fact that there really isn’t much substance to the story: 12-year-old boy attempts to defend himself from a cult that his babysitter brought to his house.
Despite the sufficient characterization of the babysitter, the other cult members are either noticeably overused stereotypes or just generally flat characters.
Furthermore, the only reason provided for them being in a cult is that their dreams will come true if they follow the directions in their book regarding blood sacrifices, which is about as vague and basic as most of the cult members’ characterizations.
Pumpkin Rating & Conclusion
Entertainment Value: 3 / 5 Pumpkins
Price of Film: N/A (included with Netflix subscription)
Duration of Film: 4 / 5 Pumpkins
Pumpkin Rating: 2.5 / 5 Pumpkins
The Babysitter provides some entertainment to viewers; however, its use of absurd humor fails to be effective, and its characters and story are lacking in substance.
* * *
McG Twitter: @McGsWonderland