Babysitter Must Die Movie Review
Written by Joel Harley
Released by Top Dead Center Films
Directed by Kohl Glass
Written by Julie Auerbauch, Kohl Glass, Kevin Tavolaro
2020, 90 minutes, Not Yet Rated
FrightFest UK Premiere on 24th October 2020
Riley Scott as Josie Jane
Kristen Marie Jensen as Jen
Nathan Stevens as The Intruder
Scarlett Hazen as Sophia
Who’d be a horror movie babysitter? From the original Final Girl Laurie Strode through to the unfortunate ladies of Better Watch Out, The House of the Devil and When a Stranger Calls, each have found that there’s no horror movie profession as dangerous. After The Babysitter and its sequel recast babysitters as Satanic serial killers, Babysitter Must Die flips the script yet again. This home invasion movie casts its babysitter as John McClane, in an escalating game of cat and mouse between babysitter and burglar.
When a gang of violent cultists break in searching for a mysterious artefact, they’re completely unaware of the presence of babysitter Josie Jane (Riley Scott) – having stashed herself away for a game of hide-and-seek. With the rest of the family taken captive, Josie must attempt to navigate her way past the intruders and save the lives of her hostage employers. Thankfully, Josie is better prepared than your average babysitter, due to her extensive training as a Scout. This we know, thanks to the Zombieland-esque graphics which pop up on the screen every time Josie does something awesome.It's amusing but tonally awkward for a film otherwise lacking in humour.
This closely resembles the plot of Becky and You’re Next, pitting a surprisingly capable young woman against a gang of vicious killers. While it has to do so without the budget of those films, Babysitter Must Die is not without its charms. Namely, the charming Riley Scott as Josie. Without her, the film wouldn’t work as well as it does, and she makes a plausible heroine, in spite of the odds being stacked against her. If only the antagonists were worthy; an unintimidating assembly of slovenly muscle. Even Kevin James managed to be scary when it counted.
Babysitter Must Die is an interesting take on the babysitter in peril subgenre, but one hamstrung by its own budget and tone. Visually, it’s uninspiring at best. The action and gore are well done, but it’s not nearly gnarly or brutal enough. Which doesn’t help when the villains are so limp and uninteresting. Is Josie really a badass, or are the bad guys just crap?
Regardless, Scott does well with the hand she’s dealt. The story nips forward at a healthy pace, and the villains’ Maguffin does whip up some intrigue. This low-fi, low-key babysitter-sploitation movie may not be up there with the greats, but it gets the job done.
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