It’s Friday the 13th of October and to honour the date traditionally associated with bad luck and horror, Netflix have released a brand new horror comedy directed by McG.
This film follows Cole (Judah Lewis) a naive teenager with an affection for his babysitter Bee (Samara Weaving). An ideal weekend without his parents and with his babysitter takes a turn for the worse, when he realises that his babysitter is the leader of a satanic cult who are planning to sacrifice him.
If that plot summary sounds absolutely crazy then that’s because it is, but it’s the type of crazy that does have potential. McG is clearly going for a retro 80’s slasher vibe with this film, and whist I commend the full commitment it doesn’t pay off. The tone isn’t the problem, in fact the strange tone with moments of over the top gore is one of the better aspects, that actually helped me get through this film. The dialogue and the characters end up being two of the most detrimental flaws.
Judah Lewis wasn’t at all memorable as Cole, he started off being fairly interesting to watch m, but as the film progresses his performance spirals into nothing but running and hiding. It’s absolutely the scripts fault for this, he didn’t get a whole lot else to do until the final fifteen minutes but by then it’s too late. Samara Weaving shown a bit more charisma on screen as the babysitter Bee, but as with Judah the film doesn’t give her much to do after the first thirty minutes. The two standouts in the cast were Bella Thorne’s Allison and Andrew Bachelor’s John. Both actors had a better grasp over their comedic dialogue and both of them are the centre of the films more entertaining moments.
The stylistic approach the film goes for does work, I like the blend of the editing and music, it felt quite fresh for a film of it’s kind but once again that one positive does not make up for the films many shortcomings. Whilst I did say I liked the music, I only liked the choice of music throughout certain scenes towards the first half of the film, before everything gets crazy. The film lacked a memorable score or theme for that matter, a creepy theme would’ve certainly elevated the experience.
But back to the script, there just isn’t much going on within it to hold your attention. The story is paper thin and it’s almost as if the the whole film is going off of the premise, instead of taking that premise and developing it further into a more fleshed out narrative. I know this film is aiming to be campy horror fun so I excepted it to be light on story, but not to this extent.
Overall The Babysitter is a missed opportunity that didn’t fulfil it’s potential. It succeeds with it’s ridiculously gory tone but falters almost everywhere else. It’s not offensively bad but I’d only recommend watching it if you desperately need to kill an hour and twenty minutes of your time.
(2 Stars Out of 5)
The Babysitter – Starring Judah Lewis, Samara Weaving, Bella Thorne and Andrew Bachelor.
Directed by McG. Now Streaming on Netflix.