Just in time for Halloween, Netflix has added its own original horror flick into the mix with “The Babysitter”. From the moment “Babysitter” hits the screen it’s a highly stylized orgy of blood complete with a group of horny teenagers who continuously make tasteless sex jokes and engage in a full on lesbian make out session. With the exception of quality acting from the leads and a few exciting kills, “The Babysitter” leaves a lot to be desired and will keep the audiences thinking, “Haven’t I seen this film before?”
Cole (Judah Lewis) has been left at home alone for the weekend with his babysitter Bee (Samara Weaving). She is Cole’s dream woman: beautiful, confident and into “Star Trek”. She sees him as an equal when to everyone else he is just a nerdy bitch boy. He is in love, but it isn’t long before Cole realizes a darker side to his dream angel — she is a satantist who decides to conduct a human sacrifice right there in his living room. With his bubble officially burst, it’s up to Cole to save himself from becoming her next victim.
“The Babysitter” marks McG’s first film release in three years. While he made an obvious attempt at using style to keep the film feeling fresh, these attempts fall flat and don’t successfully distract us from the constant nods to 80’s horror cinema that are now overplayed and fall into the realm of cliché. Unfortunately, Brian Duffield’s screenplay doesn’t help the situation. The overbearing and unfunny dialogue amounts to little more than “comedic” filler and leaves the audience with an overwhelming sea of questions, namely the desire to understand why Cole decides to reenact “Home Alone” instead of just escaping to freedom.
The film is helped by standout performances from Lewis and Weaving, even though both of their characters will feel overly familiar to fans of contemporary horror-comedy. Cole is afraid of everything and must overcome these fears to survive and Bee is a stereotypical teenage boy’s wet dream with a secret. These young actors manage to breathe life into these otherwise stale personas and give them a dimension that isn’t seen from the other characters. The audience will turn to Bee to provide the laughs that they will so desperately crave and find themselves rooting for Cole as he takes down his insecurities one by one, even if his methods are completely unrealistic.
Even though, “The Babysitter” has a good underlying story concept and gives Halloween audiences the gore that they are looking for, it provides very little in the way of laughs and originality. It’s a sad version of “Home Alone” set during Halloween that makes an attempt to deliver that same fun and excitement, but misses the mark completely. On this Friday the 13th subscribers might be better off sticking with Netflix’s other horror releases “Gerald’s Game” and “Little Evil” instead.