When The Babysitter, starring the sassy, sexy Samara Weaving in the title role, debuted on Netflix in 2017, I tuned in. I knew it was a teen movie (decades from my own demographic) and was helmed by McG (who isn’t always my fave) but I wanted to check it out anyway. I was glad I did! The Babysitter was a fun, blood-soaked throwback to the horror comedies of the 80s.
Now we have the same cast and crew back for vengeance in the sequel, The Babysitter: Killer Queen. McG, Weaving, Judah Lewis (Cole), Bella Thorne (Allison), Robbie Amell (Max), Hana Mae Lee (Sonya), Andrew Bachelor (John), Emily Alyn Lind (Melanie), Leslie Bibb (Cole’s mom), and Ken Marino (Cole’s dad). All are back for more Wile E. Coyote style, over-the-top hellfire horrors.
Here’s the skinny: After narrowly escaping with his life thanks to the antics of the crazy cult led by his babysitter Bee, Cole can’t live it down. Everyone thinks he has gone bonkers, since Bee and all of her friends “disappeared” which, of course, makes the kid’s story seem, well, insane. In fact, his parents have him on meds, and at school, he is bullied. Making matters worse, Cole is lovesick over his best friend and next-door neighbor Melanie, but he’s too shy to tell her how he really feels. Melanie, the bud that she is, convinces Cole to forget the past and go to a party she’s throwing at a lakeside cabin in the woods. Red flag number one!
Since the whole thing about blood cults is immortality, it stands to reason that Bee was down but not out. When her possessed posse gets wind of Cole’s existence, they return with renewed vigor. The undead teens are practically indestructible—which they demonstrate as they’re torn limb-from-limb, beheaded, gutted, and worse. They have only one objective in mind: Kill Cole. Complications arise when Cole’s new classmate, Phoebe (Jenna Ortega, who was so great in the serial killer series, You), arrives at the party.
There are some rather elaborate setups here, and the special effects (both practical and via pixels) are top-notch. The cinematography is noteworthy, and so is the soundtrack. Even though this flick is aimed at Gen Z, the choice of songs is decidedly vintage—from Jefferson Airplane’s 60s drug anthem White Rabbit to Sugar Hill Gang’s 1981 hip-hop anthem, Apache. And oh, yes, you’d better believe Queen’s 70s smash Killer Queen is in there, too!
The Babysitter: Killer Queen features outstanding characters (even the parents, basically relegated to the background, make memorable marks) that will make you laugh out loud even as you’ve averting your eyes. Actually, don’t look away—gory as it is, The Babysitter: Killer Queen is pure comedy and genius in its murderous modus operandi. I mentioned Looney Toons above, but more than anything, The Babysitter series owes a massive debt of gratitude to the Evil Dead franchise—both the original films and the gleefully gushy TV series. Basically, if you love Evil Dead, you’ll feel the same about The Babysitter movies.
If you haven’t watched the first installment, you probably should, but it’s not entirely necessary. The Babysitter: Killer Queen does a good job of painting what happened before in broad, quick strokes before getting underway. And unlike most sequels—it’s even better than its predecessor. (I’m not saying it’s perfect… it does resort to the occasional potty-humor gag, which, well, makes me gag.)