Netflix UK film review: The Babysitter
How surprising it is that McG made this9
Suitability for occupying your time pre-Stranger Things 27
Ian Loring | On 17, Oct 2017Reading time: 2 mins
Cast: Samara Weaving, Judah Lewis, Robbie Amell
Watch The Babysitter online in the UK: Netflix UK
McG’s fall from cinematic grace has been quite something to behold. From Charlie’s Angels to nearly helming a Superman film, he last found himself directing Kevin Costner in the utter generic bobbins of 3 Days to Kill and has now pitched up at the ever divisive Netflix for his next venture, where he tackles a new genre in horror-comedy The Babysitter… and in doing so has made his best film in over a decade.
The story of a geeky kid whose babysitter turns out to be the leader of a Satanic cult, this is a film that knows exactly what it is and runs with it, thanks to an immensely game cast, who all put in a good shift. Samara Weaving (star of recent Joe Lynch horror Mayhem) is pitch-perfect as the ridiculously hot, smart and funny Babysitter, who, of course, turns out to be a right wrong ‘un. Her relationship with our hero, Judah Lewis’ Cole, is fantastic.
The film points out throughout that she genuinely likes him and this results in a story where, at times, you are genuinely unsure which way it will turn. Lewis himself gives one of cinema’s better child performances in recent memory, looking geeky but also charming and very much growing in stature, as the story progresses. He’s a kid you get behind and never do you will him on to death, instead laughing along, as he starts to get an upper hand on his captors.
Robbie Amell is also particularly good value as a perpetually shirtless fellow cult disciple, who has an odd line in liking the kid, despite also trying to kill him throughout. There are aspects to the casting that are a little much, though: Chris Wylde plays a pervert father incredibly broadly compared to the rest of the cast, which makes it feel like he’s in a different film from everyone else – his line in humour is rather more crass than the rest.
McG has always been a competent director visually and that continues to be evident here. The geography of Cole’s house is well sketched out early on and the different spaces make for some fun encounters and the climax of the film brings out the budget and results in a really rather crunchy ending, which feels overblown yet appropriate to the nature of what’s come before.
The Babysitter is a surprising little treat which will serve you well in the pre-Halloween weeks. A light, fun horror-comedy well worth your time.
The Babysitter is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.