The Babysitter: Killer Queen

The awkward Cole (Judah Lewis) is two years older than at the end of “The Babysitter,” and still struggling through the torture that is adolescence, amplified by the fact that no one believes that his missing babysitter was a devil-worshiping lunatic. His parents (Ken Marino & Leslie Bibb) are so concerned about Cole’s tall tales that they’re thinking of sending him to a mental institution when the young man is invited on a party weekend with his lovely neighbor Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind), the only one who also knows the truth about what happened that night. Melanie and a group of teens head off to a lake party that culminates on a boat, and, well, things get gnarly again and result in the literal resurrection of most of the key players from the original, including Robbie Amell and Bella Thorne. A new girl at school (Jenna Ortega) accidentally stumbles into the chaos, and Cole has to summon the courage to save the day from the forces of evil yet again.

No one expects “The Babysitter: Killer Queen” to be anything other than your basic escapist entertainment, but it fails even at this modest goal. It’s a defiantly stupid movie, with references so bizarrely dated that it verges on fascinating. McG and co-writer Dan Lagana pepper their script with nods to things that make it seem like they haven’t talked to an actual teen since 1999. I’m not kidding when I say that the movie directly references “Ice Ice Baby” (in a line that’s referring to I.C.E., believe it or not) and later features someone doing the Hammer Time dance. My near-teen kid would have no idea what either of these things are. And the soundtrack follows suit with bizarre needle drops of Young M.C., Das EFX, and The Sugarhill Gang. Who is this movie for? Sure, a movie doesn’t need to fully reflect the taste of its time or characters, but there’s a weird disconnect throughout this film, in part because the references are so non-stop that they’re impossible to ignore—when a character went from a “Forrest Gump” nod to a Tommy Tutone shout-out in the same line, I thought maybe I was being punked.

Bizarre references aside, “Killer Queen” is simply less competently made than the first movie in every way, something that’s amplified by its less engaging story. The first film had the benefit of simplicity—pretty people in a house dying in extreme ways—and Weaving’s fun performance. This one is rushed and haphazard from beginning to end, from its more nonsensical story to some truly choppy editing—flashbacks to how each of the worshippers from the first film originally came under Bee’s spell look almost intentionally horrible in terms of basic filmmaking. 

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