Monday, November 27, 2017

Movie Review: "The Babysitter" (2017)

Director: McG
Year: 2017
Rating: TV-MA
Running Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

A nerdy 12-year-old kid is determined to find out what his babysitter does once he goes to bed. Once he discovers the truth, it turns out to be the last thing he could have ever imagined.

If you are a 12-year-old kid and happen to have a very attractive babysitter who is super nice to you, is into geek culture, and seems too good to be true, chances are, she's up to no good and has probably made some sort of blood pact with the devil. There is also a pretty good chance you may wind up as part of some weird satanic ritual later in the night.

"The Babysitter" stars Judah Lewis as Cole, a somewhat cowardly, geeky kid with only a couple of friends. He also regularly gets bullied at school. His parents, played by Ken Marino and Leslie Bibb, frequently spend the night at a hotel as a way to spice up their relationship. Every time they go away, they leave Cole with his babysitter Bee, played by Samara Weaving. She and Cole get along swimmingly, and he even seems to have a bit of a crush on her. C'mon, what nerdy preteen kid wouldn't have a crush on their attractive yet relatable and ~*totally cool~* teenage sitter who seems to share similar interests? When Cole secretly stays up past his bedtime one night, he learns the horrifying truth about the young woman he thought he knew. The film is directed by McG, who is known for directing the "Charlie's Angels" films. It is written by Brian Duffield, who wrote screenplays for "Insurgent" and "Jane Got a Gun." Also in the film are Robbie Amell, Bella Thorne, Andrew Bachelor, and Hana Mae Lee, who play Bee's friends from school.

We love outrageous horror films, and "The Babysitter" tries really hard to be wild. It's a tongue-in-cheek horror comedy that uses over-the-top violence and fountains of blood as vehicles for dark humor. This is a very, very silly movie with mostly abysmal dialogue and a lot of corny jokes. Luckily, it can be somewhat fun at times when it comes to its many exaggerated death scenes. Blood springs forth from heads and gaping wounds like a pressure sprayer, dousing characters in pools of crimson liquid. It's gross but pretty damn cool and somewhat satisfying.

At its core, "The Babysitter" is a story about a young boy finding inner courage and learning to stick up for himself. The relationship between a sitter and the kid she's provides an interesting dynamic in a horror movie setting. There are plenty of people who want to do Cole harm. Some of the time, Bee is very protective of Cole, and other times, she appears to be completely okay with him being killed by her friends to protect their secret. We managed to laugh here and there while watching this movie and enjoyed seeing Cole try to find a way to make it out of his situation alive with or without help. We like the creative and sometimes unexpected ways the various deaths are handled. That being said, there's a lot missing from "The Babysitter." While it is fun and gory every once in a while, the narrative is a little weak and isn't connected very well. It doesn't bring a lot of newness to the genre, which would be forgivable if it were a better quality flick. It is not the worst thing we've seen, but it's not quite good enough or memorable enough for us to fully recommend it. It's two parts cringeworthy, two parts over-the-top, three parts predictable, one part awesome, and two parts been there, done that.

My Rating: 4.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: ~6.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~71%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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