This one has been sitting in my Netflix queue for about a year at this point. I had been putting it off until now just so I could do it for Horrortoberfest. It turns out that this was much different than what I had assumed it would be. It has a dark sense of humor and plenty of gore and blood but it also has a touching emotional core to it that makes it more than just a goofy slasher.
Our main character is Cole; a 12 year old kid that is afraid of everything, constantly bullied, and a little naïve when it comes to the ways of the world. One of the few people that really gets him is his babysitter, Bee. Unfortunately, she is also into performing ritual sacrifice and needs his blood in order to complete the demonic spell that she and her friends are trying to complete. Now Cole has to confront all his greatest fears while running for his life from deranged, murderous teenagers.
The movie is great at not wasting anything that it introduces in the first act. If a person, place or concept was shown; it is going to come back to be important in the rest of the movie. It’s a lot like the Edgar Wright Cornetto Trilogy of movies in that way but instead of just aping the style of those films, it has a unique take on the presentation of those concepts. It also plays a lot like a horror movie version of Home Alone with the kid making up for his lack of physical ability with traps, cleverness, and a whole lot of luck. I appreciate that the movie also gives each of the teens that are after him a unique personality and way of interacting with Cole. What could have been a very flat, samey movie with Cole going from set piece to set piece getting rid of his pursuers; we instead get a very distinct and humorous back-and-forth between them.
The beginning of the movie also does a wonderful job of setting up the relationship between Cole and Bee so that once it is torn apart by the end of the film; you actually feel for Cole as he has to give up this meaningful friendship. Samara Weaving does such a fantastic job of playing Bee as both ruthlessly violent in her pursuit of what she is after but also having a genuine connection with Cole and not wanting to hurt him if she doesn’t have to. In a genre where it is so easy to do the bare minimum, especially when you aren’t dealing with anything supernatural; The Babysitter goes above and beyond in providing something that is fun, funny, and bursting at the seams with blood and guts. Definitely one of the better coming of age stories I’ve seen.
I give the movie a 4.5 out of 5 and highly recommend it. Your mileage may vary but if a movie can make me laugh out loud while I’m watching it alone, then it has to be doing something right.