THE BABYSITTER, the latest film from director McG, written by Brian Duffield, is a no-holds-barred gore-fest with striking visuals, self-proclaimed “hot” characters and Satanic rituals. The film stars Samara Weaving (Mayhem), Bella Thorne (Amityville: The Awakening), Robbie Amell (The Duff), Hana Mae Lee (Pitch Perfect), Judah Lewis, and Leslie Bibb (Trick ‘r Treat).
Sometimes a film comes out that is just so much god-damn fun that it doesn’t need to be anything else but that. THE BABYSITTER is bubble gum goodness with moments of raw carnage infused with stereotypical “popular” characters who just so happen to worship Satan and believe in human sacrifices. This is a movie that doesn’t require a lot of brain activity and I swear I don’t mean that in a condescending or negative way, I just mean that it allows the viewer to sit back, relax, and have fun as the events play out on the screen.
The story focuses on Cole (Lewis), a cautionary boy of twelve or still has a babysitter. Not that he is complaining, as he’s madly in love with his babysitter, Bee (Weaving). When his parents decide to go away for the weekend, Bee stays with Cole and promises an epic weekend of pre-teen partying. When Cole’s friend suggests that Bee has people over after he’s asleep, Cole decides to stay up and see just what exactly goes on. However, what he finds is more horrific than he can imagine and he must learn to be the hero if he expects to survive the night.
McG, as a director, is known for his stylistic approach, having initially directed music videos before crossing over into film with Charlie’s Angels. Those who don’t like their films to be so vivid and striking in terms of color, music, and tone may have a hard time initially with THE BABYSITTER, but once the ground work has been set, it’s easy to get into the groove of the style of the film. Though I felt like some of the pacing was off, most notably in the beginning, I still found myself being entertained from beginning to end as well as amazed by the set design and color scheme used throughout the film.
In terms of acting, I recently became familiar with Samara Weaving as she had a small part in “Ash vs. Evil Dead” followed by the action/horror film Mayhem. In THE BABYSITTER she is absolutely dynamic and has no problem switching from the good girl to the bad girl at the snap of her fingers. Honestly, outside of the human sacrifice portion of the film, I would have loved to have hung out with her character. As for Judah Lewis, our protagonist and hopeful hero, he’s a rising talent who really took control of the screen and brought his character to life. Though the film only has a runtime of under an hour and a half, the transformation you see Lewis’ character go through is pretty extraordinaire. As for the rest of the attractive, murderous, Satanic worshipping group we had Bella Thorne, who was on point as a self absorbed cheerleader, Robbie Arnell, who knows how to rock a shirtless look while also being completely deranged and hilarious, Hana Mae Lee who we finally get to hear talk at a normal octave (you’ll understand that if you’ve seen Pitch Perfect), and one of my favorite characters, played by Andrew Bachelor, was the main source of comic relief with some semblance of reality still in check. Each character brought their own unique style which translated perfectly with the storyline of the film. I can’t help but admit that I would have loved to have hung out with them – if I wasn’t concerned that they would murder me.
What I wasn’t expecting when I first started watching this movie was the amount of blood and butchery that exploded on the screen. Typically I would cringe at that, but it looked so beautiful and pristine, especially against the intricately designed set of the house, that I couldn’t look away. For those who love some gore with their films, you will not be disappointed as there is everything from firework explosions to necks being slit. THE BABYSITTER runs a truly unique gamut of creative death scenes that were so entertaining that I actually wished there had been more.
My only real critique of this film, other than the pacing issues, is that I wish there was more. I wanted so badly to understand where Bee was coming from, why she felt the need to summon Satan, and what was to happen at the end. I would love for this film to be made into a trilogy or even a TV show as I think it has a lot of promise. Though in the end THE BABYSITTER isn’t a perfect movie it still did it’s job by being a solid entry in the horror genre for the Halloween season. If you want a break from the bleak horror films and the traumatizing events that are befalling our nation, I highly recommend taking some time for yourself and giving THE BABYSITTER a watch this Friday, Oct. 13th. Believe me, it’ll lift your spirits.
THE BABYSITTER will be released exclusively on Netflix on Friday, Oct. 13th.
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