The Babysitter – 4 out of 5
Like so many Netflix originals, I am way behind checking these things out. Last year, they debuted a dark comedy called The Babysitter and it was getting a lot of attention from my horror-lovin’ friends. I didn’t check it out because of reasons—probably involving saving the world (you’re welcome) or succumbing to the bitterness of depression and being unable to get out of bed (it happens). Well, I finally checked it out and found this one to be a damn good time.
|The perfect setting for wacky hijinks!|
Cole (Judah Lewis) is reaching that point where he’s too old for a babysitter but still too young to be left alone; however, he has a friendship rapport with his babysitter Bee (Samara Weaving). After his parents leave for the weekend, Cole is dared by his best friend; Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind), to see if Bee is getting naughty when he is asleep but Cole is horrified to discover that she’s getting naughty in a different way. Alongside her friends; Max (Robbie Amell), Sonya (Hana Mae Lee), Allison (Bella Thorne) and John (Andrew Bachelor), they sacrifice an innocent man for their demonic cult. Now Cole must scramble to escape the clutches of these individuals because his own blood is also part of the ritual.
|Yeah, his babysitter is cute but it's still not cool to be friends with your babysitter.|
I'm kidding, it's great to have friends!
The Babysitter is a no-nonsense dark comedy that moves very fast. It takes very little time in establishing the characters and setting up the conflict and this pace seldom lets up. Very often the film feels like it is moving at such a break-neck speed that when it does slow down for a more meaningful moment or two, it feels incredibly jarring and like the brakes were slammed rather than lightly tapped. This isn’t necessarily a complaint but when you have a story and plot that waste very little time, it’s really noticeable when the product decides to take an extra second.
|Cole's parents are played by Leslie Bibb and Ken Marino?|
He's got awesome parents!
One element I was really enthralled with was the creative editing the film supplied. There isn’t a straight-forward approach to how this tale is presented and, instead, is given an added dimension with how the editing and sound is cut. Sometimes its little moments where the transition is treated like a metaphoric record scratch on a turntable or there are moments where the editing is literally a punchline for a joke. Overall, I was really impressed with the care that was given to how the film was cut and pieced together and it really made for a dark comedy/slasher satire that stood out even more than it realistically needed to.
|She's just looking for a safe place to put her knives. What's safer than the|
The final aspect about this feature that really worked is how funny it is. The tone never gets too light or too dark and the production had a very deep understanding of slasher and horror tropes. It did a tremendous job of having a good time with itself and lampooning the violence and murders you seen in teen horror films. A big reason this humor worked so well, aside from just being very well thought out and written, is a cast that really nails the characters they are playing. Everyone involved had that right level of over-the-top that was needed to make this entire project work.
|Robbie Amell has no real reason to be shirtless in this scene but if I had that|
body and was in the role, I would endlessly argue that being shirtless is critical for the scene.
The Babysitter delivers gory laughs and a simple but effective story. The cast is a lot of fun and everything combined together and made for a product that is darkly entertaining and wickedly amusing. When the racing plot slows down for its fleeting bits of deeper development it can feel like the whole film is slowing down tremendously but, overall, the entire film is a pretty fun ride that really knew the line to ride and didn’t really disappoint.