By Dave B.
The Babysitter (Netflix) is an odd movie. In it, 12-year old Cole (Judah Lewis), who is constantly picked on by other students and gym teachers, discovers that his babysitter and best friend, Bee (Samara Weaving), is the leader of a satanic cult that regularly murder people in his house when his parents are out of town and take his blood while he is sleeping in order to conduct rituals. On a lot of levels, The Babysitter is a mess, but the movie isn’t totally without value.
My main objection to The Babysitter are the directorial choices. Pretty much all of them, in fact. Elements that are supposed to be cool just seem cheesy. It isn’t shot particularly well or creatively, so scenes that could have been suspenseful tend to be boring instead. In some respects, the writing isn’t great either. Nearly every attempt at humor fell flat. This was the most decidedly unfunny comedy that I’ve seen in months. And nearly every bad decision made by characters in slasher movies is made in this one, in an apparently unironic way.
But The Babysitter isn’t completely terrible. For instance, it contains some strong performances. Lewis and Weaving are charismatic and have amazing chemistry. Even most of the secondary characters are played by actors and actresses who clearly take their roles seriously and seem to have fun doing it. That type of energy doesn’t go unnoticed by viewers. And while the comedy writing is poor, the coming-of-age aspects of the script, including the dialogue between Cole and Bee, work very well. Cole’s character development is impressive considering that the film is only 85 minutes long.
The problem with The Babysitter is in the execution of a relatively interesting idea. It’s entertaining at times, however I’m not going to recommend it, largely because it’s easy to see how it could have been so much better than it was. But if the humor works for you, you’ll almost certainly like it. And if watching a shy kid grow into a confident adult in a plausible way (albeit in an implausible situation) sounds appealing to you, you probably won’t regret giving The Babysitter a chance.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.