Fifteen minutes in, The Babysitter was going to be my favourite.
Alas, after completing it, it isn’t.
The Babysitter possesses all the traits that makes a slasher noteworthy. Villain who is a satanic cult leader, a vulnerable protagonist scared of almost everything, additional cult members to escalate kill count and presumably a secluded vicinity. Despite all these elements, The Babysitter is unable to retain everything it built in the first half of the movie.
The premise of the movie goes like this: Cole, an about-to-be a teenager, is terrified over everything – needles, driving, spiders. Also, he’s the only kid around his age to have a babysitter. The babysitter (played by Samara Weaving) is unlike any other babysitter. She cares for this boy. But little does Cole know that his friendly babysitter is the head of a murderous satanic cult.
Cole’s representation of a pre-teen is quite accurately put in. The writers are clearly able to tell what it feels like to be in that age. You probably have your first crush, your first kiss, you try to act maturely and think cursing will save you from being outcasted. There is a scene where Cole curses his babysitter. He is trying to look cool, but is equally terrified. And as a result he stutters and thinks for a second before cursing. In response, the babysitter laughs.
The babysitter’s cult comprises of multitude of people – a cheerleader, a shirtless guy with perfect abs, a guy who did not expect this cult to be brutal and a girl with perfect eyeliners and nails. While a lot of thought was given on their looks and costumes to make them glamourous, not much attention did the writers give to make them distinguishable. In addition to their shallow character arch’s, they do not look intimidating enough.
Still, I must confess that the first few kills proved to be shockingly gruesome. The first kill happened even before we anticipated it. The kills following it started to feel monotonous. Consequently, giving us time and space to pin point the issues in the plot.
I started to question.
When all this chaos is happening where are the neighbours? Why isn’t the babysitter able to hear the scream of her cult members when they are getting attacked by Cole? Why are the characters kissing while all they should be doing is to save themselves?
I do admit that The Babysitter is meant to be a popcorn movie filled with ridiculousness. But this ridiculousness actually doesn’t work. After a point the jokes don’t land, the kills are mere namesake kills and the only scene that makes us wince is when a needle is injected in Cole’s legs.
Genre : Horror
Director : McG
Platform : Netflix
Also for you:
An Indian reviewer who writes about horror and thriller movies/series. If not movies, he likes to pick up a mystery book to read. Some of his favourite movies/series include Stranger Things, Elite (S1-3), Train to Busan, Andhadhun, Strangers: Prey at Night.