Admittedly, I had not heard of Netflix’s new horror/comedy, ‘The Babysitter’ until watching the trailer a day before release. I decided to give this a shot because I’m a fan of the lead, Samara Weaving, and because horror/comedy has always helped my easily-frightened self enjoy scares while having the comedy negate any long-lasting trauma. I know; I’m one of those people.
‘The Babysitter’ is about a teenager named Cole (Judah Lewis) who’s crazy in love with his babysitter, Bee (Samara Weaving). One night, Cole sneaks out of bed to spy on Bee and her friends hanging out downstairs when he witnesses them carrying out a blood sacrifice. The rest of the movie is about Cole trying to escape his own house while Bee and her gang of high school stereotypes attempt to kill him. Throughout the process, Cole finds his courage and goes through a journey of self-discovery.
‘The Babysitter’ had all the classic tropes of a slasher movie. For one, it was bloody; gratuitous amounts of blood splattered the majority of the scenes, and in the over-the-top vein of a slasher. This made the gore comical and absurd.
Each of Bee’s friends, or cult buddies, embodied a high school stereotype. In fact, we’re first introduced to these horny teens while they’re playing spin-the-bottle. Tropey AF.
Of the characters, we had a high school quarterback (Robbie Amell), cheerleader (Bella Thorne), class clown (Andrew Bachelor), and an artsy Indie girl sporting a beret (Hana Mae Lee). Each character played up their stereotypes to the max; to the point of absurdity, which actually made all the dialogue surrounding these characters extremely entertaining.
The jock remained shirtless for no reason for the whole movie. In fact, Cole’s first interaction with him was asking why “that guy” was shirtless. At one point, the jock even takes a break from trying to kill Cole to coach him on how to fight a bully and stand up for himself.
The cheerleader is the typical, ditzy, and narcissist who joined the cult to become a journalist; this is hilarious on its own because while I don’t doubt that succeeding in the industry is super difficult, it makes little sense that the girl would go through the greater risk and difficulty of worshipping the devil to become a journalist, instead of just going to class.
I really liked seeing Andrew Bachelor in a movie. He had some funny lines, and he definitely has plenty of comedic chops for similar roles in the future. For those who don’t know, Bachelor, aka King Bach, was one of the biggest stars on Vine. His character had the tendency to fall into loud histrionics every time somebody died; even more so than the 12-year-old kid.
Perhaps the best aspect of this movie was Samara Weaving’s performance. From the very first scene in which we’re introduced to Bee, we immediately understand why the young protagonist falls in love with her. Bee was written to be extremely likable (she understands the teenage struggle, does fun things like reenact movie scenes with Cole, feeds him junk food, stands up to his bullies, and has an in-depth knowledge of sci-fi). However, this cool babysitter character could easily have felt manufactured and too-good-to-be-true if not for Weaving really bringing the character to life in a convincing way; with a charm and charisma not every actor can exude. You immediately wish that Bee could be your own best friend; even despite the whole ritualistic cult thing.
Cole and Bee
Speaking of Weaving’s character, the relationship between Cole and Bee was at the center of ‘The Babysitter.’ The first twenty minutes of the movie really established their bond, and just how much Bee means to Cole. Even as we discover Bee’s nefarious motives, we can’t help but feel that some part of Bee felt a connection with Cole that was legitimate.
My favorite interaction was their final moments together, when Cole manages to get some sort of closure in his final moments with Bee. Another solid interaction, and example of the silly dialogue was during their final standoff, when Cole gets into an extended Mad Men analogy to tell Bee how much she sucks, and Bee just responds with annoyance at having the show spoiled for her.
There were definitely plenty of plot holes in this movie. How did Bee clean up the mess at the house and hide the police cars so easily? How did none of the neighbors hear gunshots and explosions going on at Cole’s house? How many times has Bee done this inside his house? While these logic holes existed, the absurdity of the scenarios and dialogue let me easily suspend my disbelief. It was fun enough that at least personally, it didn’t take away from my viewing experience.
I very much enjoyed the super campy yet self-aware dialogue. I also thought the on-screen text was a nice touch.
I thought the ending of the entire coming-of-age journey, in which Cole overcomes his fears and defeats his villains in an almost Home Alone-esque way, being signified by the fact that he no longer needs a babysitter, was great.
‘The Babysitter’ is definitely worth a watch. Especially for those of you who enjoy the horror/comedy genre (Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is one of my favorite movies to this day). Check out the trailer below.