The Babysitter has arrived just in time for Halloween and it is the perfect family-friendly horror film. It’s interesting and fun for adults and deals with subject matter that pre-teens will appreciate.
Cole (Judah Lewis) is an awkward pre-teen who is afraid of everything, and his parents don’t help his manly status by hiring him a babysitter. In walks Bee (Samara Weaving), a blonde, unbelievably hot and funny babysitter. Cole’s friends make fun of him for having a babysitter, until they see her. To top it all off, she really likes Cole. The one thing Cole isn’t sure about is what happens after he goes to bed. He and his friend decide she is probably banging guys after he is asleep, and Cole decides to stay up to see if this is really the case. Spoiler alert: no… banging guys is NOT what she is up to after Cole’s bedtime. What she is up to is being the leader of a satanic cult, who apparently sacrifices people in his house after hours.
This is a fun twist to the old babysitter horror film. This time, it’s not the babysitter who is being stalked, but she is the one doing the stalking. What can I say, I am a sucker for female bad guys and this film certainly delivers in that area. I’m not normally a fan of slasher films, but this is a new, fun take on the idea that I can really get behind. Lewis does a great job of playing a kid on the verge of becoming an adult. All of the cult members are plays of the popular characters we always see in these movies, except this time they are the bad guys, not the ones running from a knife-wielding madman.
The Babysitter is funny and downright absurd at times, but it is never a spoof. The film never takes the comedy too far — it’s funny without being goofy. I think this film would be great fun for kids over the age of 10 who like horror. The underlying theme is about growing up and taking responsibility for yourself, which I feel is a good message for that age group. The film has an odd sweetness to it that I found quite magical on screen, while still staying firmly in the horror-slasher territory. If I were to rate this film, I would give it a PG-13 rating, mostly for the gore. Make no mistake, even though I classify this film as a family horror movie, it does not skimp on gore and the occasional curse, so if that is a thing that you don’t want your kids to see, skip this film on family night.
The Babysitter isn’t a hardcore horror movie all fans will love. However, if you don’t mind comedy and light horror themes, this film will be right up your alley. I really enjoyed it, but I enjoyed it for what it was. This film reminded me of horror films I watched in my early teens, late at night on cable. It’s something you might see on USA’s old Up All Night show. I give The Babysitter four stars for its new take on the old babysitter horror film theme.
The Babysitter is now streaming on Netflix.