FILM REVIEW: THE BABYSITTER
Directed by McG
Starring Judah Lewis and Samara Weaving
The Babysitter is one of those Netflix movies that get added and you kinda skip as you're looking for the next series to binge, but for me it was a pleasant surprise. I added it on last week's Digest as one of the movie to watch (sign up here to get recs every week), where I wrote "The Babysitter comes out on October 13th, and if you check out the trailer maybe you'll agree that it'll be a fun way to kill a few hours. Not that we'd take seriously anything Bella Thorne is in, but this looks like very entertaining trash to switch off your brain and relax." I have to say, it was more than that. It was a decent October film, with plenty of gore, humor, and badass scenes.
The main character is twelve year old Cole (Judah Lewis), whose parents are often away and leave him with a babysitter, Bee (Samara Weaving). Bee is the coolest babysitter a twelve year old could wish for, quoting movies with Cole, dancing to Foghat's "I Just Wat To Make Love To You," and even kicking Cole's bully's ass. Cole's best friend from school, Melanie, convinces him that when he goes to sleep, Bee invites her boyfriend over and they have sex. So, Cole decides to stay up and spy on Bee to see what she does when he's sleeping. Eventually, Bee has a few friends over and they drink and play spin the bottle. After Bee kisses the new guy if her friends group on a dare, things reaaaally shift gear. Bee is the leader of a satanic group who uses an ancient book to use the blood of the innocent to fulfill their wishes.
As the gang is trying to kill Cole after he finds out, the movie becomes increasingly unrealistic, but the good kind. You can clearly see the influence of Tarantino and Edgar Wright in the aestheticized violence and the movie's pace, music, and humor. It doesn't take itself seriously at all, but it doesn't resort to self-parody. It sets the standard right off the bad with the cool aesthetics, the bold colors, kids talking like adults, badass demeanor, and it sticks to it right to the end, never letting the pace drop. But all the deaths, the gore, and the blood gets a nonchalant and mocking reaction from most characters. It's entertaining and funny to watch this kid go through all the "villains" killing them in a style that brought to mind the hilarious Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil. It overly stylized, so every shot and every action looks pretty badass, and this is done well enough that it completely makes up for the movie's lack of any real substance. The only thing that struck me in terms of story and characters was the relationship between Cole and Bee. I would definitely watch a movie where their friendship is the focus of the story, without it going to shit between them.
Ultimately, I would say this is a very good movie in terms of the kind of movie it wants to be. It looks great, it has some really cool moments before it goes into murder mode, and even when it does go there, it's done in a casual and entertaining way. It's not a horror movie in any sense of the word, save for the fact that horror has been increasingly difficult to make the past several years cause nothing makes an impression on us anymore, so The Babysitter acknowledges this and proceeds to have fun with it. Like I said, it's a visual treat, especially for Tarantino fans who might pick up a couple of nods towards Pulp Fiction and Deathproof, so if you go in just for the aesthetics, you won't be disappointed. It could easily have been a graphic novel.
Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Pendora since Jan. 2016. Successfully impersonated a student of English literature and now a Publishing student in Edinburgh. Interested in the direction English literature is taking in the 21st century, noir comics, beautifully shot films. Can bore you to death with Hollywood trivia, extensive knowledge of Leonard Cohen, and La La Land. TWITTER INSTAGRAM