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The Babysitter: Killer Queen Review

September 14, 2020 | Posted by Joseph Lee
The Babysitter: Killer Queen
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The Babysitter: Killer Queen Review  

*Judah Lewis as Cole
*Emily Ann Lynd as Melanie
*Jenny Ortega as Phoebe Atwell
*Robbie Amell as Max
*Bella Thorne as Allison
*Hana Mae Lee as Sonya
*Andrew Bachelor as John
*Leslie Bibb as Phyliss Johnson
*Ken Marino as Archie Johnson

Story: 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.

It’s fair to say that nobody expected anything from The Babysitter when it first dropped on Netflix in 2017. It’s star, Samara Weaving, was not as big of a deal as she is now and McG’s track record is spotty at best. What we got was a big, bloody, loud cartoon of a horror comedy that surprised a lot of people. It’s one of the best horror films of that year. Even though it was mostly gore and jokes, it did have a heart as well and the relationship between Bee (Weaving) and Cole (Judah Lewis) was touching even if it had some twists at the end. It’s insane fun from start to finish.

When a sequel was announced, it seemed promising, but then the trailers showed no trace of Weaving. A sequel without her is possible, and given she’s now in higher demand, it’s understandable if she didn’t take part. But it certainly isn’t as interesting if that relationship isn’t being explored. Instead her cult is back as demons, ready to get the blood they needed in the first film. Cole’s a little older, a little wiser, and probably in a lot more danger. But is the sequel as good as the original?

The key to a good sequel is to either make it bigger and badder than the original, or at least move in a different direction. That’s why, to bring up a film this movie loves to reference, Terminator 2 is considered better than the original. It takes everything the original did and cranks it up to eleven, while also moving the story forward and giving everything a satisfying payoff. There’s also a general rule of thumb in film not to mention a movie that’s better than yours, because it raises expectations you can’t possibly meet.

The Babysitter: Killer Queen is nowhere near as fun as the original. That’s disappointing, because it clearly wants to be. Everyone involved seemed motivated to produce a sequel that was on par with what people loved about the first film. It just falls flat. The problem is that it doesn’t do anything different. It’s beat for beat the same movie as the first film, just with a different location and the hindsight of seeing everything before.

Even the major twist is the same, but unlike the original, it completely destroys the character involved. Sometimes movies like to mix things up, but this fundamentally changes a previously known character into an antagonist just for the sake of a plot twist. It’s one thing when Bee is revealed to be involved in a cult in the first movie. That’s the point of the movie. Here, it has no real reason other than Samara Weaving is mostly a non-factor and so they needed a blonde to replace her. It’s a disservice to the character and an insult to those who invested time in the story.

There’s one thing that the movie does in a way the original didn’t, and that’s increase the random bits of graphics and non-sequiturs in order to enhance the product. When they happened before, they were fun and didn’t intrude on the things the movie did well. Those aspects are back here, just dialed up to eleven and more obnoxious than anything else. A sex scene is not just scored to Sugarhill Gang’s Apache (which itself is pretty funny), but the gag includes a full dance number in a disco hall as part of the fantasy sequence. It goes on way too long and takes away from the film.

That’s not to say it’s all bad. Again, everyone involved clearly wants to make a quality product and so with the full cast back, they all try hard to do so. The script does have some good lines, and they’re delivered well (especially by the returning villains). Robbie Amell once again steals the show as the psychopath that also kinda wants Cole to grow as a person. There’s also a particularly hilarious joke involving his origin that would be better left unspoiled. The ending is also great and ultimately serves as the best part of the movie. It’s also something of a coda to the first film.

It’s hard to say why, with the movie trying so hard to emulate the original, that it fails. Perhaps it’s because the first film was only 85 minutes and was done before it could become annoying (the sequel runs a full sixteen minutes longer). It’s more than likely the punchline. These jokes were all told before, and better. A joke can be funny told again, but it has to be a really good joke. The first film was a fun surprise, but the sequel really needed to do something different to stand out and it doesn’t.

There’s some fun to be had with The Babysitter: Killer Queen, and it’s an enjoyable enough little diversion. But it’s not a film that will hold up with repeat viewings because it overstays its welcome fast and grows tiring before the midway point. Ultimately, it’s just a dumber movie and not in a good way. Not every movie needs to have a sequel.

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
If you enjoyed The Babysitter, you may still enjoy Killer Queen. The effort is there, but this is largely a mess that's not nearly as fun, and lacks one of the biggest reasons that movie worked. It's loud and noisy and tries to create character moments it doesn't earn, resulting in a mildly entertaining, if ultimately pointless sequel.