Horror-comedies just hit differently. They don’t aim to scare so much as they aim to exaggerate existing horror tropes in such a way that they pull out belly laughs. This genre is usually soaked in fake blood with over the top kills but also gives a convoluted plot that pushes comedic elements. For me, while I love this kind of absurdity, it isn’t always perfect. That said, it doesn’t have to be. Horror-comedies need to be fun, first and foremost, and that’s what The Babysitter: Killer Queen is. Directed by McG and co-written with Dan Lagana, this film is filled with blood, not a lot of sense, and while it misses its antagonist from the first, Samara Weaving, it’s a fun ride.
Set two years after the events of The Babysitter, where Cole (Judah Lewis) defeats a satanic cult led by his babysitter Bee who tries to sacrifice him to perform a dark ritual, this film is all about Cole trying to forget his past and survive high school the best he can. That said, the best he can do is in relation to how his parents, doctors, and other students see him. Instead of hiding his blood-soaked night, he’s open about it. He tells his parents, the kids at school, everyone, but of course, no one believes him. This leaves him to be haunted by the events of the nights – the kills, the blood, the babysitter he had a crush on turning out to be a cult leader that he had to hit with a car. It was a lot to process.
But thankfully, he has his best friend and next-door neighbor Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind) who knows everything that happened that night. Smitten with her, for reasons that are totally not related to the fact that she is emulating Bee’s style of dress and hair, Melanie is the only person who is on his side. Thinking she has the same feelings – or at least a small dose of them, Cole is convinced to ditch school and join her and her friends at a party thrown at a nearby lake. But when old enemies unexpectedly return, Cole will once again have to outsmart the forces of evil and survive the night.
There are a lot of twists and turns in The Babysitter: Killer Queen, which makes the film hard to review. But what I can say is that McG one-upped his gruesome horror comedy kills from the last film, and did so with about as much fake blood as he could put in any one scene. In-line with the past film, the dialogue itself edges on too much. Relying on stereotypes and horror tropes there are some instances that don’t fair well. For instance, when Melanie and Cole are discussing his medication, she makes comments about different things the students of the school are “using” to get through life. This includes a really bad depiction of OCD, and the equation of prescriptions to help you with your mental health to things like “coke” and “glue.” I’m sure you can see the problem here without me spelling it out.
That said, there are moments where a joke grounded in stereotypes works to great comedic effect. This comes a lot from Max’s (Robbie Amell) character who remains a shirtless wonder and Allison (Bella Thorne) who remains the sexualized member of the devil-worshiping group. Both of these characters deliver what’s written for them with so much charisma that you can’t help but laugh and also take established tropes in the horror genre – specifically slashers- and exaggerate them to great effect. the musclebound jock and the sexy cheerleader are two tropes that make this movie succeed, and its because of Thorne and Amell’s performances. Additionally, John (Andrew Bachelor) remains the funniest person on camera, while Melanie pales in comparison to the horror camp around her. while Bachelor is a scene-stealer because of his comedic timing and chemistry with every member of the cast as John, this makes scenes where he is alone with Lind as Melanie awkward. Lind doesn’t bring the energy needed and instead feels like an actor playing a character, emulating another character way and not in a good way.
To be honest, the film hurts from Weaving’s absence overall. That said the number of physical gags that are pulled and work well are reasons alone to hit play. The story itself is convoluted to the max and there are about two too many twists, but it’s still a fun ride. Truthfully, The Babysitter: Killer Queen thrives somewhere in the second act and chases that excitement for the rest of the film to varying degrees effect. That said, this is going to make a lot of horror fans happy, much like the first one, but it lacks the heart that made The Babysitter stick out as one of my favorite films of 2017.
The Babysitter: Killer Queen is now streaming exclusively on Netflix.
The Babysitter: Killer Queen
The story itself is convoluted to the max and there are about two too many twists, but it’s still a fun ride. Truthfully, The Babysitter: Killer Queen thrives somewhere in the second act and chases that excitement for the rest of the film to varying degrees effect. That said, this is going to make a lot of horror fans happy, much like the first one, but it lacks the heart that made The Babysitter stick out as one of my favorite films of 2017.