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Stabbing All the Right Notes

The Babysitter follows a young teen, Cole (Judah Lewis), who is forced to continue to have a babysitter when his parents leave town, which is frequently. It's not all-bad though, because the babysitter, Bee (Samara Weaving), is super-hot and very kind to Cole. But when Cole decides to get curious about what Bee does when he goes to bed, he discovers that she and her friends are running a satanic cult. Can he survive the night if they choose him as the next sacrifice?

The Babysitter Review

Fresh off our trip to Telluride Horror Show, I couldn't help but sit down and enjoy this little gem posted on Netflix. I was blown away at the efficacy of the directing and the flawless dark-comedic deliveries. While I did appreciate Gerald's Game, Little Evil and Death Note for one reason or another, I always felt like Netflix was gaining momentum but never quite scoring. The Babysitter scored.

I shouldn't have been surprised by the directing. McG has a decent resume behind him, but perhaps the most impressive thing is that no two movies he directs are ever alike. Even some of the best directors in Hollywood seem to find a niche and latch onto it. McG has directed everything from the quirky Charlie's Angels remakes to the brooding (and in this writer's opinion, underrated) Terminator Salvation, to football drama We Are Marshall, to rom-com This Means War. Sprinkle in an endless number of episodic credits, and it's easy to see McG's ability to diversify. And diversify he does with The Babysitter.

I haven't enjoyed a horror-comedy like that in quite a while, maybe even as far back as Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. The story is simple, as it should be, letting the characters and our protagonist lead the violent gags and funny dialogue. The characters reminded me a lot of the fantastically-done Murder Party. They play off like perfect commentary and satire of traditional high school roles, while also poking fun at the tropes of slasher films.

Judah Lewis does a great job in the lead role alongside Samara Weaving. Lewis performs beyond his years, while Weaving breaks the mold of the horror movie "hot girl", embracing the power of her looks without becoming a mindless sex object, unlike her purposefully ditzy cheerleader counterpart. Each provides the desire for fodder to the mayhem, and it turns out brilliantly.

The story is definitely nothing new. From satanic rituals to the Home Alone kid, we aren't seeing anything we haven't see before. But that isn't anything to be too harsh about. The film is its own in these arenas. Our protagonist is smart, but is still subject to the whims of the cultists and a particularly persistent bully. He isn't setting ridiculously elaborate traps, but he also isn't sitting in a corner panicking.

The pace is perfect, the comedy is on-point, and the horror elements hit when they need to. There isn't much I feel is missing in this movie. It's one film that isn't going to give me a subtle lesson in the sociological undertones of America, but it is going to give me a good laugh. And sometimes that's all I need. I would definitely watch this again.

Horror Qualifier: 7/10

Horror Quality: 6/10

Film Quality: 7/10

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