The Babysitter: Killer Queen
the babysitter: killer queen | the babysitter | sequel | mcg | dan lagana | brad morris | jimmy warden | judah lewis | samara weaving | jenna ortega | cult | ritual | comedy | united states | emily alyn lind | andrew bachelor | bella thorne | leslie bibb | hana mae lee
Film: The Babysitter: Killer Queen
Writer: Dan Lagana, Brad Morris, Jimmy Warden and McG
Starring: Judah Lewis, Samara Weaving and Jenna Ortega
This was a movie that I feel came out of nowhere a bit, but it got some buzz when it hit Netflix. I really enjoyed the original one so I knew it was going to be a movie I would watch for my year end list. It got moved up when I watched a screener that wasn’t really horror so I needed a Featured Review over on Journey with a Cinephile: A Horror Movie Podcast. The synopsis here is two years after Cole (Judah Lewis) survived a satanic blood cult, he’s living another nightmare: high school and the demons from his past? Still make his life hell.
We pick this story up 2 years after the events of the original movie. Now I’ve only seen the first one just once. I do vaguely remember that Cole’s parents were still having him babysat, even though he was a bit old. What is interesting here is that we have the same actor back to take on the role as well.
The movie does an interesting move here that Cole is struggling with high school, because everyone knows the story of what happened to him. The problem is that no one believes him, including his parents, which makes it even worse. Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind), same actress from the first movie as well, is his best friends. She is sticking by him, having experienced things that fateful night also. Cole is still in love with her, but she is seeing Jimmy (Maximilian Acevedo). He is douche though.
Things all take a turn when Cole discovers his parents are going to send him to a high school where he can get more psychiatric help. His parents are Archie (Ken Marino) and Phyllis (Leslie Bibb). He finds the flier for the place and when he tells Melanie, she recommends ditching school with her and going to the lake. This was established that she is going with Jimmy, Diego (Juliocesar Chavez) and Boom Boom (Jennifer Foster). He is debating what to do, follow the rules or live his life.
It should also be pointed out there is a new girl in the school, Phoebe (Jenna Ortega). Cole is intrigued by her quirky and sarcastic nature. She is a bit rough around the edges, but we see she is harboring a dark secret. She opens her locker to find a stuffed rabbit, a key and a note about it ending tonight. She also ditches school to go to the lake as well.
Melanie pushes Cole out of his comfort zone, but when he and his friends are out in the middle the lake on a boat, his past demons are back. They’re in the form of John (Andrew Bachelor), Max (Robbie Amell), Allison (Bella Thorne) and Sonya (Hana Mae Lee). This is Bee’s (Samara Weaving) old crew and they’re back to finish what was started so they can escape hell. The problem though, there are new members to this cult and they’re people Cole would never expect.
Now that is where I want to leave my recap and to not spoil anything for those that are interested in checking this out. I’ll be honest, when I first heard they were going to be doing a sequel, I was a bit skeptical. As I’ve said, I did really dig what they were doing in that original movie. Not as much as some, but definitely more than others. Sequels are interesting as you want to do something new, but keeping the same feel of the first one and I’ll be honest, they do a good job of that here.
One thing that really struck me early in this movie is Cole is now really struggling mentally. No one around him really believes what he thinks happened to him. He is bullied in school by the ‘cool kids’ and it cuts pretty deep that even his parents don’t. Melanie of course does, as she lived through some of it, but she wants him to move past it and enjoy life. It is hard to blame her, but I think that works well in breaking him down and explains why he lacks confidence.
Some thing else that hit me while watching this is how this reminds me of Hangover and Hangover 2. I happen to enjoy both of those and that is what I feel like we are getting here as well. The Babysitter had an interesting concept and this movie is following in the same vein, but they’re just building on to it. They brought back all of the members of the cult from the first movie with John, Max, Allison and Sonya. We are adding though a younger group that is trying to fulfill the same thing. It adds some comedy as jokes are flown around that the older cult members are old, when there is really just a couple year age gap. It also fills in back-story for them as to why Bee came to them and got them to join. Much like in the original, there are some quirky images and animations that go with it.
To stay with the theme of the sequel, you also need to deepen the story. One way you do that is to add more characters. Phoebe is a cute girl and I’ve already lain how her character is. I’m glad she’s here as her and Cole play well off each other. There’s a bit of awkwardness there that fits the tone of the movie. Another thing you have to do is to build on characters you still have. Cole’s strength he builds in the first is broken by the bullying and lack of belief, so we get the chance for him to recapture it. Melanie is such a minor character, but I love what they do with her. This is another mirror that I don’t want reveal, but Lind is an actress that I’m keeping my eyes on. She’s stuck with the horror genre and I love that she was in Doctor Sleep prior to returning to the sequel. All I will say is she brings a bit of Snakebite Andi to this role. She has also grown up quite a bit if you catch my drift.
Since I’ve been going over the characters, I’ll move to talk about the acting. Lewis embodies this character. I can feel that he is the same kid as the first movie, just grown up a bit and I think that works. Ortega plays her role very well and I really liked her here. I’ve already said how well Lind did. Bachelor, Amell, Thorne, Lee and the rest of the cultist are fine. They all bring their own different types of humor that had me laughing at different times. Marino, Bibb and Chris Wylde are good as the parents. The latter just being the outrageous Juan. We do also get a bit of Weaving. I don’t want to spoil it, but she’s not in the movie much and I’m glad for that. Most of it is cameos showing how she got the others to join with her for what they did in the first movie.
Since I’ve moved into the comedic aspects, I should couple this up with the effects and cinematography. Horror/comedies can be hit or miss for me. Since I liked the first one, I was wondering how well this one would work. There were some things that legit made me laugh. They do try to use the effects for comedic value as well. I don’t necessarily like that and the CGI blood and gore isn’t great. The practical effects I was on board with, aside from a couple times they went a bit too far with them. That’s not too say too far in a graphic way, but more in a comedic way. It does feel like there was some green screen, but it was fine. Aside from that, the cinematography was fine with how it was shot.
The last thing to go over would be the soundtrack. The normal music fit for what was needed. What really hit me was the use of songs like ‘I Want to Know What Love Is’ by Foreigner, ‘867-5309/Jenny’ by Tommy Tutone and ‘Killer Queen’ by Queen. Now the last one was a bit cheap, but I’ll take it. The music though was used well in my opinion along with incorporating them back into the story.
So now with that said, I wasn’t sure what I was going to get with a sequel like this, but I ended up really enjoying it. We get more of the same that we got in the original, but the things added on really work for me and the mirroring of things was good. The acting really helps this movie and I think the comedy from them is good. It does go a bit over the top though with some of the gore, but the practical effects really worked for me. The soundtrack really helps with my enjoyment as well. I never got bored with this movie and I think what they do with some things was fun. I would rate this as an above average film that is just bordering on being good.
My Rating: 7.5 out of 10