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‘The Babysitter’: Horror has a new face

“The Babysitter” is a 2017 Netflix original release starring Samara Weaving (“Out of the Blue,” “Home and Away”), Judah Lewis (“Deliverance Creek,” “Game of Silence”) and Robbie Amell (“The Flash,” “The Tomorrow People”).

Produced and directed by McG (“Charlie’s Angels,” “Terminator: Salvation”), this film starts off as coming-of-age-type fare and within 15 minutes it’s a full-blown horror movie. Initially it’s a feel-good story along the lines of “Ferris Bueller.” Typical pre-teen crushes abound as Cole (Lewis) sneaks a glance at his babysitter, Bee (Weaving), every chance he can.

Bee defends the 12-year-old from school bullies, advises him on how to protect himself and generally maintains a close friendship that borders on infatuation. But not everything is as it seems.

Cole’s parents leave for a weekend getaway and entrust him to the care of Bee. Prompted by a dare from his childhood neighbor, Cole stays up past his bedtime and sneaks to the top of the staircase to see what Bee does while he sleeps. From there the movie bounces between a loose supernatural plot and a slasher narrative as Cole is chased around the house and the neighborhood by Bee and her accomplices.

The film is ripe with over-the-top gore that brings laughs along the lines of Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” (that is to say: it’s truly not for the faint of heart). Throughout the film a variety of grisly deaths happen, mostly unintended, while trying to get the blood of an innocent (obviously from Cole) to complete an obscure spell via an old satanic book that would grant the spellcasters their every wish. Unfortunately, the supernatural is underplayed and seems to be the one thing that could make for a better film if expanded upon.

For the most part the film maintains the slasher aspect as many meet their demise in a series of horrific “Home Alone” type settings that would make Macaulay Culkin cringe and laugh simultaneously. It’s not the type of film that’s smartly put together, but its dark humor makes up for that.

Yes, the film is not perfect, but it is perfect for the Halloween season and the charming and gorgeous babysitter will have you planning your next costume or cosplay. To see this new face of horror visit Netflix today, but be warned: kids should not be in the room while viewing this darkly humorous horror fest.

To reach Brian Fitz-Gerald e-mail him at bfitz-gerald@rosebudmedia.com.

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