The Babysitter arrived on Netflix this weekend without much fanfare here int he UK, in fact I didn't even know what it was until I saw the poster the day it was released. Directed by McG (he who directed the absolutely awful and questionable This Means War) and described as a teen horror-comedy I felt a flicker of excitement in my chest and made a point to watch it that evening.
The trailer and the promo and certainly the film itself have a distinctly polished vibe, everything is impeccably clean from the houses to the cars to the lines of the shots. This gives the film a eerie plastic sheen which are synonymous with 2010's films, they ultimately feel pleasing to watch but they are just empty vessels. I think this is important to point out, because you will feel like you are watching an accomplished film when you stick this on, and really that's the problem with how far technology has come, any old film can look like a stunner (hello Ghost in the Shell) that the laziness can creep in, where is the tangibility, and with it costing little effort to get a shot looking right now, shouldn't that give you more time to focus on a script?
The Babysitter revolves around Cole, your standard nerdy kid that every kids horror film has to revolve around (except Monster Suad those kids are cool af). His parents go away for the weekend leaving him with a babysitter, the two of them do highly convincing activities like discussing sci-fi films from the 90s in length, and reenacting scenes from a film I don't know, so I have no idea how it's intended audience will either.
At some point of turns out the babysitter is in a cult? Perhaps? There is some mumbling about the devil, but it's never explained what the end goal for the babysitter's blood sacrifices are, if she is human, who her friends are, what their motivations are for killing people? I mean, this is the kind of context you need in order to create something comprehensive and literally everything like that is missing.
But don't worry guys, we've got a faux-lesbian kiss scene for titillation of men in the film! BINGO!
I cannot think that this film was made for anyone other than McG himself. A wise-cracking hot babysitter who quotes The Godfather Part III and sucks Bella Thorn's cheerleader character's tongue? What has that got to do with anything? That's the whole problem with this movie, there is no logical reason for most of the motivation, just random thoughts that have sprung into the director's head like "hey wouldn't it be cool if a cheerleader got shot int he boob?" that is then happens. I honestly cannot get over the absolute lack of context for any of the unfolding events and I'm staggered people have responded warmly to this.
Not only are the characters and plot flaky but the whole thing is peppered with graphics coming up on screen to disguise any sort of lack of effort put into making it. Someone's been watching Edgar Wright movies too much, right down to text up on screen and a Queen song over the climax.
The whole film is lazy and weak and masquerading as different and quirky when it is anything but. Any old shit can be put on Netflix these days and they wonder why they're haemorrhaging money. Do yourself a favour and give this one a miss, unless you love half-baked plots and necessary objectification of teenage girls, then be my guest.