Oct 19, 2017

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Fright Night Challenge 19: The Babysitter

What happens when your babysitter turns out to be in league with the Devil and instead of bringing her boyfriend over for sexy fun times, she brings over a whole bunch of people for human sacrifice? That is pretty much everything about The Babysitter. Cole is a kid who’s basically afraid of everything. I could never figure out how old he is. His dd is trying to reach him to drive but he’s barely tall enough to see over the steering wheel. He’s got a babysitter but no one else in his peer group does. His mother looks barely older than his babysitter. Bee is presented as pretty much the greatest babysitter to ever babysit; hot, funny, cool but not too cool to seemingly enjoy hanging out with a tween boy, proficient in science fiction. So, basically Lisa, just with added demonic worship.

It’s a fun, cheesy movie that does everything you’d expect, as long as you can turn off your brain or be doing other things while watching. There’s a fair amount of gore and a lot of the humor is about punching down and felt mostly tone-deaf to me. There’s, for example, an extended joke about the cheerleader getting shot in one boob. Like extended through the entire movie. When the joke ventured into the territory of her feeling violated, it just really took even the last remnants of funny out of it for me in the post-revelations-about-Weinstein world. And while the general public has known about it for a few weeks, a lot of people in Hollywood have known, and hidden, it for years and years. There’s a Black Lives Matter joke that may or may not have been trying to comment on it, and I seriously couldn’t parse what the comment was supposed to be because it fell so flat for me. I’m going to be generous and say that it’s possible that the film was just so supremely directed at an American audience that I was missing some sort of context that would have made these jokes hilarious. Or maybe it’s just humor too sophisticated for me. Or the movie was just casually racist and misogynist. And it’s… I’m not offended or really even disappointed in it for that. Just tired. I mean I guess The Babysitter is not a font of originality, to begin with, so…

All of this adds up to a fairly okay and completely forgettable movie. Earlier today, I was talking about it with my partner (we watched it last night because tonight I’m recording a new episode of Mad Writer’s Union!) and I’d entirely forgotten one of my favorite scenes in the movie. Pretty much the best bits are in the trailer and I was working on other non-knitting things all through it (as was my partner, incidentally) and neither activity really encroached on the other which says a lot about just how engaging it was. Maybe it would offer more to an American but for me this was a one-time watch.

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