Who doesn’t like a comedy horror movie? They combine the best of both worlds: the sadistic, gore-loving, blood-drenched genre of horror, and cheesy, light-hearted, laughs. However, it is a fine art to master. Netflix’s latest stab at the pastiche, The Babysitter, is definitely a good attempt. Is it, however, art?
The answer, in short, is no. It’s not art, but it’s thoroughly entertaining throughout its 85-minute running time. As far as horror-comedies go, it isn’t the worst.
The film follows Cole (Judah Lewis) as he spies on his babysitter after his bedtime, only to find out that she is the head of a satanic cult. What follows are a series of deaths and attempted deaths, all varying in extremeness and graphic content.
Now when I say graphic content, I mean Tarantino-level graphic. At one point, you see a lad get stabbed in the head with two daggers. This film harks back to the very core of Tarantino: swearing and blood. It’s not exactly fun for all the family.
As many teen horrors go, it is very much a product of its age range. It isn’t stylistically made or creates any kind of ambience through colour or music. It is loud, in your face, and unapologetically in bad taste. Think of it like Adventures in Babysitting, but Elisabeth Shue is actually a Satanist.
All of these factors come together to form a mediocre, but entertaining, horror film. It isn’t scary, thrilling or by any means the best horror film you will ever see. It’s just 85 minutes of fun.
There are things that are good about this film, and things that are bad. The good only just outweighs the bad.
When watching this film, it might be worth noting that you won’t really gain anything from it. It’s a bit of a void filler: it does its job but doesn’t really exert itself further than that. In a way, this simple and easy to follow film is good if you can’t process anything actually worth watching. If you want to actually sit down and watch something, however, this isn’t the film for you.
Netflix is quite good at creating filler films that fill the space in between their next big release. Even though this film could almost be seen as one of their bigger releases, the flat plot and one-dimensional characters cancel this out almost immediately.
One character in particular really annoyed me. John, played by Andrew Bachelor, is the stereotypical black character. With films like Get Out, Moonlight and the two-part The Get Down on Netflix to contend with, the representation John was a little tone-deaf. Yes, he was funny, and yes, he did entertain. But adding this stereotypical character into the mix and killing him almost immediately (shocker) only detracted from my experience of the movie itself.
Despite all of this, it was a fun filler. I laughed, mostly when I wasn’t meant to and rarely when I was, but it still had enough clout to hold my attention for at least a full hour. Some characters stood out: Sonya played by Hana Mae Lee (Pitch Perfect) was a highlight for me. She was eerie in a hipster way and genuinely psychotic, which gave her a kind of cool but threatening appearance. Out of all of the characters in this film, she is by far the most interesting.
Bee, played by Samara Weaving, was also a multi-faceted character, but not enough for her to be classed as the best thing about this film. None of the characters elevated the film enough to bring it to must-see status. Weaving gave the film its plot line, and easily led it along its straightforward string. Had there been a few more twists and turns, the film may have succeeded in actually being a film that wants to be watched.
When picking a film to watch on Netflix, consider this: do you want to be entertained, or just mindlessly watch something? If so, this is the film for you.