So what would happen if the guy who made the “Charlie’s Angles” movies from the early 2000’s wanted to make a rated-R version of “Home Alone”? Well, it only took just over a decade to find out. Directed by McG, “The Babysitter” is another Netflix Original horror movie that tries to do several things a once. It shoots for recognizable troupes, gruesome kills, a young relatable protagonist, a goofy cast of characters and flat out, fun horror. Does it succeed?
Cole (Judah Lewis) is the typical loser of his school, he’s picked on by faceless bullies, and bullies on bikes, his parents treat him like a delicate child when they do pay attention to him. He is also probably the only 12 year-old who still has a babysitter. That fact that she is every young boys fantasy, Bee (Samara Weaving) is still super cool and treats Cole like he’s cool too. When he gets curious about what Bee does after he goes to sleep, he hatches a plan to stay up and sees that her and a group of friends are up to no good. The satanic kind of ‘no good’. Soon Cole finds himself trying to survive the night against a crazy group of teens out for blood.
I admit, I would have loved this movie 20 years ago. It’s the kind of movie a young boy is not allowed to see, but has a friend who has a VHS copy they watch after school one day. That’s what this feels like, a throwback only it doesn’t quite know how to balance the tones. Something like “The Guest” from a few years ago reveled in its nostalgia,and still managed to tell a cool story. But here maybe it’s lost on me because I have seen the movies that “The Babysitter” is parodying plus I get the pop culture references, but it doesn’t appear to be honoring them as much as putting you somewhere familiar as it tries to make you laugh and gross you out with the crazy kills (of which there are many). And I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy some of it. The charm of the cast including the two leads and Bella Thorne, Robbie Amell, Hana Mae Lee, and Andrew Bachelor as the afore mentioned crazy teens was enough to keep me into it all the way through. I would certainly recommend this one to a young group having a Halloween party with Netflix playing in the background. There are elements of fun horror here even as it misses the mark on several fronts. But I wouldn’t be surprised if I found myself checking it out again late one night.