Not even Netflix originals are safe as this week we look at The Babysitter. In this 2017 film, a 14 year old boy who’s afraid of many, many things has a babysitter brought in by his overprotective parents only to find out that she wants to sacrifice him to Satan. The film doesn’t have any big name actors, except maybe Bella Thorne, but the film was directed by McG who brought us the Charlie’s Angels movies and Terminator Salvation. Since I found this film when Netflix recommended it to me after watching Zombeavers, I had sarcastically high hopes.
The film opens with a clever scene where we learn about our protagonist, Cole, and his fear of needles. His school nurse tries to be as buddy-buddy with Cole as possible, but to no avail: Cole still screams bloody murder. We also learn in the opening moments of the movie that Cole is bullied by the strangest bullies I’ve ever seen, they dance the whole time they’re bullying like they’re in Elmore City post Kevin Bacon. We also learn about Cole’s overprotective parents who are played by knock-off Brendan Fraser and knock-off Felicia Day, and about the titular babysitter played by an actress straight from my imagination.
Wait, did I type that last part out loud?
Cole’s babysitter offers to make him feel better by throwing a dope ass party, and we’re introduced to some more plot elements that’ll conveniently come in handy later, including Cole’s future love interest. If there’s one thing the set up for this movie isn’t, it’s subtle. We learn that “Bee” (the babysitter) is an amazing person, knowing all kinds of things about movies, science fiction, and all kinds of nerdy factoids. She’s portrayed as being the ultimate fantasy for wimpy children, which signals to us the viewer that something might be off about her (if you didn’t read the above two paragraphs, buckle in). What’s offsetting the most though is that she swims with Cole in her hot red bikini, something that no smart babysitter would ever do unless they were looking for some kind of felony. Cole decides, with the help of two identical conversations with his future love interest, that he’s going to stay up to see what Bee the babysitter really does after he falls asleep. He sneaks out and finds that they’re doing teenage things, and have been casted to look like a knock off version of the kids from Until Dawn.
Until Dawn or The Babysitter? You’ll never know!
Things get extra racy in this scene when Bee is dared to kiss everyone in their truth or dare spin the bottle game. Things then get extra gruesome when Bee kisses the nerdiest of their group and then stabs him in the goddamn skull with a pair of knives, and the group proceeds to fill gold chalices with his blood. Plot twist! The babysitter and her friends have made a deal with the devil, and Cole just so happened to pick this one night to watch them do it! Coincidence?
“It’s just a little scratch, Cole, don’t worry!” – Not a line in the movie.
We learn Cole is also part of their ritual and they intend to take some of his blood as well. Cole, having called the cops at this point, is scared out of his afraid-of-everything mind. Bee and the gang tie him to a chair after learning he’s still awake, and the cops I mentioned in the last sentence arrive. There are some great lines in this sequence, where Cole asks Max why he’s shirtless, John getting absolutely covered in blood when Max kills the cops, and, well, this gem:
This is her entire character development.
The rest of the film is a massive chase sequence, as Cole evades Max and somehow manages to stumble loudly around the garage to grab some MacGyver fodder. There’s a silly sequence wherein the ever fearful Cole is chased by Sonya into the crawl space beneath the house (which we were in-our-face introduced to at the beginning of the film) and Cole uses bug spray, a lighter, and a convenient firework to KILL Sonya. I get that the film is about Cole getting over all his fears but I don’t think a 14 year old that can’t get a vaccination could possibly kill a person and get away with no trauma whatsoever.
Cole’s grandfather is actually Tom Berenger from Platoon.
Cole follows up his first killing with a drawn out chase sequence with the most insane of the bunch – Max the quarterback. The most insane part of this sequence is where Cole’s bully starts egging his house in the middle of it, and instead of finishing Cole off, Max forces Cole to confront his bully. Even more unrealistic, Cole panickedly tells his Bully that he’s being chased by murderers and the bully responds by cracking an egg on Cole’s skull. Unsurprisingly, but par for the course of the movie, the egg on the head comes back to be important to the plot, when Max tustles with Cole on the remnants of his recently demolished treehouse, Max gets the egg on his hands, then slips out of the tree and ends up hanging himself with a rope swing. No, I didn’t make that up.
Cole’s body count is higher than the villain’s in this movie at this point, by the way.
Who, at this point still has to kill Cole? Oh right, the babysitter. Bee begins to shoot at Cole and he runs off to future love interest’s house, whose dad just happens to be gone for the night just like Cole’s parents. They successfully evade Bee and share a tender moment in the bathroom where you know they’re going to kiss, and then, because there’s always time in a horror movie, they kiss. I should point out that kissing a girl makes Cole more distraught than killing two people.
Then again, most people would agree that kissing is scarier than murder.
Cole, full of newly found bravery, returns to his house and faces Bee. We learn about her deal with the devil, and she offers to pretend it never happened, and lie to his parents. Cole decides (correctly) that it’s the wrong decision, sets Bee’s ancient texts on fire, and runs out the front door. There’s then a spectacular sequence where Cole steals love interest’s dad’s muscle car (black not red!), Queen’s “We Are the Champions” plays, and then Cole steals the ramming a car into a helicopter scene from Die Hard 4 and jumps his car right into his own house to kill Bee.
…and Cole grew up and changed his name to John McClane.
Everything comes out great for Cole at the end: he gets the girl, his bullies respect him, and he tells his parents the badass one liner: “I don’t need a babysitter anymore”. Oh wait, except for the fact that it might be a little difficult to explain to the cops exactly what happened. The only survivor was Cole, and it might be a little hard to believe a 14 year old the story that just transpired. Wait, what if the whole film is just a dream of Cole’s? He’s just using it as an escape and he doesn’t actually kill his babysitter!
Maybe I’m giving McG too much credit.
If you can get passed the fact that everything in the film is set up very obviously, I actually enjoyed this film a lot. It was over the top, but not in the way Decampitated threw it in your face every chance it got. I found myself legitimately laughing at a lot of the jokes made in the film, and even through some of the vast stretches that the plot asked me to believe, I stayed interested in the film. I gotta say, I highly recommend this film. Wait, is this movie our first treasure? It’s is!
Though, you’ll definitely say this a couple times.