Any streaming service should know that you might have a problem with about 75% of your original movies, when two of the best ones in that 25% include evil babysitters, cult group sacrifices, blood, guts, gore…and Bella Thorne. The Babysitter was a huge sleeper surprise hit back in 2017 for Netflix. No one ever thought that writer/director McG would make his best film on a streaming platform known for it’s 3/4ths of mediocrity, sometimes just plain bullshit. But that film is an absolute blast, and you could tell McG was having a grand ol’ time having fun and not trying to be too serious but letting his creative juices flow at the same time. Instead of ending up with something like Charlie’s Angels and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, which felt like he tried too hard with too many quick shots, cuts, fast edits and manic energy all over the place, he realized with a streaming service not breathing down his back to just breathe and take his time a little. There’s still manic energy in that film, but it’s focused, works to the films’ advantage, but most importantly, it lets some scenes breathe. For being less than an hour and 30 minutes, it still felt like we got to know all the characters and it let scenes take their time when they needed to, and not when they didn’t. The movie even put Samara Weaving (who played the titular babysitter) on the map. THE BABYSITTER: KILLER QUEEN, with director McG returning but also dipping his hand in the screenplay this time, is not only as good as the original, but even better in some parts, narrative wise, than its predecessor. It’s just plain fun. Definitely the pick me up I’m betting the $30 Mulan on Disney+ Premiere couldn’t provide.
If you are interested in this movie, and haven’t seen the first one, try to not watch any trailers for either film, just expect a hard Rated R film with a bunch of blood, shocks, and surprises, and you are good to go. The trailer for the first film shows a little too much, and the trailer for the second film shows a little too much as well, even if it is revealing things more in between the lines than outright and is a bit better at hiding its secrets. Just read these two IMDB descriptions of the first two films, and you are good to go to just press play: The first film – “The events of one evening take an unexpected turn for the worst for a young boy trying to spy on his babysitter” and the second film – “Two years after Cole survived a satanic blood cult, he’s living another nightmare: high school. And the demons from his past? Still making his life hell.” Pretty much almost everybody comes back from the previous movie, and the way the movie eventually gets to the typical sequel formula, that is possibly killing these demons one by one in the most gruesome way possible, isn’t so typical. In fact, there are two big story shockers in the movie that I didn’t see coming. This sequel blindsides you with the fact that you didn’t really know any of the characters that much in the first film, and expands upon them a little, with development choices that completely make sense in context to what we knew, or didn’t know, previously. You’ll see what I’m talking about when it happens. At first you’ll be confused and say: “wait, what?” And then with about two minutes of thinking it’ll turn into: “holy shit, it makes sense, can’t believe they pulled that off!”
Combine that with the more of the quippy dialogue that references pop culture and different movies that we got from the first film. Combine that with more of that zany energy and laugh out loud moments/jokes that we got from the first movie. And combine that with (Randy from Scream 2 would be proud) more gore, more kills, more carnage candy that us core audience just expects from a sequel, and you get something just as good if not better in some ways than the first. It’s not Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, or Terminator 2 kind of superior, in some ways its better and some ways its the same, the perfect double feature if you will. Judah Lewis is back as Cole, and even though he looks much, much older than he did the first time, in the almost 3 year gap since the first one (only two years later in the movie for high school purposes) he hasn’t lost any of the geeky heroic-ness mannerisms he had. Emily Alyn Lind gets much, much more screen time in this film, and it certainly doesn’t go to waste. Jenna Ortega is the film’s fresh face, and her performance in this is a warm welcome considering she just signed on to play a lead in Scream 5. The supporting demons still haven’t lost a step. Hana Mae Lee, the silent girl in the Pitch Perfect films, is as cool and weird as ever, Andrew Bachelor gets more screen time here to full effect (the movie even pokes fun at itself that he does get more screentime), and the Robbie Amell shirtless jokes here definitely hit harder and are more belly ache laughter inducing than the first one.
The weakest link is…no surprise…Bella Thorne. I think she is very limited as an actress in general, and having one film high up on my worst list of this year, Infamous, I wasn’t expecting her to win me over here. But I thought that since she was decent in the first movie and that McG gets the best out of his actors, that she would be decent in this one again. However, I think social media fame has gotten the best of her as she has some weird line delivery issues in the sequel, but thankfully she’s not in the film that long. Not all of her line delivery is weird though, just a couple of moments that could’ve used another take or two. Then again, Ken Marino is in this again too and has a different movie high up on my worst list this year, The Sleepover, but here he’s fine and not that annoying. **********MAJOR SPOILER WARNING FOR THE REST OF THIS PARAGRAPH, SKIP TO NEXT ONE IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THIS MOVIE OR THE TRAILER************************************************ Let’s get to the elephant in the room for those that have watched the trailer or heard news about this sequel when it started filming. Where is Samara Weaving? It showed she survived the first film in a mid credits sequence, but in the promotional materials and the casting call sheet about a year ago, her name is no where to be found. Luckily, not to worry. The end of the trailer teased her return, and the film delivers. And even though it is more of a glorified extended cameo, she’s still a very important part of the story it turns out, and I’m glad that getting famous off of the film Ready or Not didn’t go to her head and she didn’t just abandon the franchise she was known for being the true star of. ********************************END OF MAJOR SPOILERS************************************
Like I said, The Babysitter: Killer Queen is a whole lot of just plain fun. Something I and many other people might truly need right now. I’m surprised that this sequel wasn’t more heavily promoted. Were they afraid it wasn’t good and just more of the same, but not as good in its execution? Granted you have 4 writers compared to the first’s one, but they managed to come together to deliver something just as entertaining, and didn’t treat us like sequel idiots that so many sequels tend to do. McG definitely didn’t slack on this one either. He treats it like a rip roaring, actually fun and adventurous reunion of sorts even though it’s only been 3 years and not 10 like some lame high school ones tend to be (I didn’t go to mine, that’s how lame it sounded). The movie starts strong, doesn’t lag and doesn’t let up until the end credits. Speaking of end credits, make sure you stay through just the mid credits, as just like last time, there is another short scene that possibly teases a third film. Even though if they just ended it here, it would be fine. But if they do make a third one, hopefully they have more tricks up their sleeve and introduce another unique and realistic way to continue the story and still have Cole just battling his same demons all over again. Last time, it all took place in a house, here it is mostly a rocky and watery terrain in the middle of nowhere. Maybe shakes things up and the next one be at the high school or even college campus? The possibilities are endless. Thankfully with this spectacular sequel, if everybody does come back again a third time around, both cast and crew, the trilogy could still end up being…killer.