The Babysitter: Movie Review

Updated on October 15, 2017
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

The Babysitter
The Babysitter | Source

2014 was a very good year, at least as far as the Black List of the best unproduced screenplays is concerned. Alongside the script for what would become the Oscar-winning film Manchester by the Sea, that year’s list included the screenplays for Michael Keaton’s excellent The Founder, this past April’s sleeper Gifted, and 2016’s surprisingly decent The Shallows with Blake Lively. It also included a script for a teen-fueled horror-comedy loaded with equal parts of splatter-gore and black comedy called The Babysitter.

The only thing it shares in common with any of those movies is the fact that it is...well, a movie (and not really even that, since it’s the latest Netflix original—and not a theatrical feature). But The Babysitter still manages to be a pretty entertaining little (bloody) romp. Starring Samara Weaving as Bee, the titular caregiver, the movie centers on young Cole (Judah Lewis), a put-upon 12-year-old who spends his days getting bullied, all the while oblivious to the affections of Melanie, the cute little girl who lives down the lane (Emily Alyn Lind). Bee, meanwhile, sticks up for her little guy and even seems to share his sci-fi geekiness. It all seems a little too good to be true, so naturally it is.

One night Cole stays up to see what his dream girl Bee does after she tucks him in, and he discovers that she’s having some friends over for a combo spin-the-bottle, truth-or-dare party. Everything is fine until she two-fist-stabs one of the party-goers in the brain. Blood splatters everywhere (and I mean everywhere), and then Cole overhears that the murder is just a prelude; he’s the next victim, because this gaggle of devil worshipers needs to sacrifice an innocent young boy. It’s then that The Babysitter kicks into gear, becoming a sanguine combo of Tucker and Dale vs. Evil and Home Alone as Cole gets to work trying to stay alive, even if it means finding ways to dispatch the party-goers, which include Pitch Perfect's Hana Mae Lee alongside The DUFF's Bella Thorne and Robbie Amell, one-by-one.

Directed by McG (3 Days to Kill), The Babysitter does just enough to be effective as a horror/comedy and not so much that it begins to spoof itself. It could have very easily devolved into Scary Movie 12, but McG’s stylized, kinetic approach (which is often reminiscent of Zombieland with all its on-screen typography) saves it. The script by Brian Duffield (Insurgent), even with all its unabashed blood-bathing and cartoonish gore, somehow remains smart throughout, full of wit and charm and even some genuine laughs. While not as seriously meta as Scream, it still brings the same vibe, with a few bonks on the funny bone tossed in for good measure.

There’s nothing terribly scary to speak of, and the blood-and-guts is so over the top that you may find yourself hoping McG and company can continue outdo themselves with each new kill. True horror fans best look elsewhere, but if you want an almost spot-on mix of clever humor, mild tension, and buckets of blood, The Babysitter is worth a call.

Rating

3/5 stars

'The Babysitter' trailer

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • NessMovieReviews profile image

      Mother of Movies and Series Reviews 

      13 months ago from Moreton Bay, Queensland

      I love my horror, I am however a scaredy cat when it comes to being alone in my house while hubby is away and trying to go to sleep after a good freaky movie...so I watched this last night on my iPhone in bed lol.

      I had given it a hard pass when I saw it was rated M15 and classed horror-comedy but you nailed its description! I was going to review it myself but I waited too long and then saw you had (which surprised me to be honest) but I was happy that you had. Knowing you like a touch of spoiler spurred me to finally seeing it so I could read you.

      I was so glad it didn't edge into spoof. The little cartoon pop-up flash cards were a nice touch that really made for effective use of him finally not being a pussy.

      I wouldn't rave about it either, but it is certainly a fantastic flick to watch with teenagers who like a little scare.

      Overall it was a good story and Im guessing the rating is what made it have to leave out more specific details as to what exactly she had been wishing for, although I certainly felt it could've used a little back-story.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)