The Babysitter (2017)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Babysitter</strong> (2017)

(Netflix Streaming, August 2018) If you had asked around 2005, McG would have been identified as an up-and-coming director capable of handling big blockbuster productions: After Charlie’s Angels and its sequel Full Throttle, McG had proven his ability to deliver the kind of action comedy that Hollywood can never get enough. But then his movies got worse. Never a prolific director (one every three years), his career suffered the back-to-back-to-back blows of Terminator Salvation, This Means War and 3 Days to Kill, neither of which were particularly well received nor did much box-office business. So what’s a Hollywood outcast to do? Turn to Netflix, of course, and that’s where we find The Babysitter, a smaller-scoped action comedy in which a teenager discovers that his babysitter leads a demonic cult and intends to sacrifice someone. Like, while he’s supposed to be sleeping. The next hour or so has the predictable running-around-the-house, ganging-up-with-the-neighbour, taking-down-the-Demonists stuff, handled with a nice little edge of self-awareness and fast-paced frame-breaking. The blend of comedy and horror is generally successful, although the film occasionally feels a bit too vulgar and gory for its own good. McG’s fluid direction is a return to form for him, while Samara Weaving does just fine as the titular babysitter. The Babysitter is not a respectable or profound film—but it’s exactly the kind of exploitation horror comedy that popped up in the more self-aware 1980s, and it’s quite a bit of fun to watch.

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