Streaming Gems: The Babysitter (Netflix)

Streaming Gems is an ongoing feature where we discuss movies recently released on streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu) that are worth your time.

RATING: ★★ 1/2 (out of four stars)

The Babysitter was released on Netflix back in October. I’ve seen it advertised on the streaming service, but kept putting it off. Well, I finally checked it out and I’m pleasantly surprised with how much I liked it. Is it a good movie? Not necessarily. But is it a fun movie? Very much so. The Babysitter is one of those movies that has bad acting and a ridiculous plot, but you can’t help but like what you see and go along with what plays out.

The story follows Cole (Judah Lewis), a kid in middle school who gets picked on all the time and is one of the few people around his age that still has a babysitter. Bee (Samara Weaving) is the babysitter and she is the typical attractive blonde girl every 12-year-old boy would have a crush on. Cole decides to stay up one night and spy on Bee, where he witnesses something out of the ordinary. And this is where the movie gets extremely campy and cheesy, as we find out that Bee is part of a satanic cult and needs Cole’s blood since he’s pure. The plot is crazy, but one thing The Babysitter never fails to keep you entertained.

Oddly enough, The Babysitter feels like a knockoff of an Edgar Wright film. Director McG, who you may remember directed the below average Terminator: Salvation, seems to have drawn inspiration from Wright’s cult classic Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. A lot of the camera moves and character intros certainly feel like pages taken out of a comic book and it totally works for the tone and story of The Babysitter. Though as ridiculous as the story is, I think this fairly new Netflix original film is important to the horror genre because it attempts to reinvent it. Does it always succeed? No, but it does have some moments that are nicely executed.  And by the end of it, the coming of age theme planted within the opening minutes of the film comes full circle.

As far as the acting goes, the supporting cast is pretty bad, but it doesn’t ruin the movie; in fact, it adds to the cheesiness. From the technical side, the cinematography was cool except from numerous light leaks on establishing wide shots. The biggest issue with The Babysitter is that it loses steam in the last 15 minutes. While this isn’t a film you take seriously, I found myself wanting it to end sooner rather than later. However, if you’re looking to past the time with a quick watch, I highly recommend you check out The Babysitter, which is now streaming on Netflix.