The Babysitter (2017)
Writer(s): Brian Duffield
Starring: Samara Weaving, Judah Lewis, Robbie Amell,
Hana Mae lee, Bella Thorne, Andrew Bachelor
The horror world has had some breakout talents/achievements in recent years that have definitely caught they eye of your FearTastic Vault keeper. You’ve had the rise of Jordan Peele, whose writing/directing talents gave a a fresh take on the popular trend of unique horror movies with a social message (e.g. Get Out, Us) that ended up being era-defining treasures in their own right. The introduction of the Shudder streaming network that allowed horror freaks/fans the opportunity to enjoy classic horror flicks, interesting documentaries and enough original content that more than justifies the monthly fee (check up my three-part write up on the Creepshow TV series, HERE)!
There is however, one area of horror that has been vacant for quite a while until recently. I’ve always felt that horror flicks have bred a great tradition of strong, female powerhouses. Although the horror tropes are always the damsel in distress running away from a macabre figure, horror movies, historically, have portrayed a long standing tradition of tough ladies that have either killed the monster or portrayed the most prolific villains themselves. Beyond the iconic scream queens that have graced our screens throughout the years, there have been plenty of legendary horror figures that were women who made their mark by terrorizing us in our sleep (e.g. The Grudge, Night of the Demons, The Ring). It has been a while however, since there was a central performer that embodied all these traits but recently, I have taken notice with my eyes and also my heart for one Samara Weaving and have taken notice that she’s been making her mark in the horror world with a charming attitude and a killer instinct that shines on the silver screen.
I’ve written about Samara’s powerhouse performance in Ready or Not (check it out HERE) but the first time this swell lady caught my eye was from a fun, horror flick that I loved from Netflix called, The Babysitter. The flick itself was surprisingly great and the only reason I said surprising was because the premise itself seemed to be something that would make a horror flick good, not great. The plot consists of a boy who discovers his incredibly attractive babysitter is actually a cult leader who needs to make blood sacrifices in order to make all their wishes come true. The plot itself seemed promising enough but by the time the flick ended I was a bit somber that it was all over so fast. It was a well delivered flick with the right amount of laughs and gore to make a solid mark in the horror world but the standout performance was definitely Samar Weaving’s character, Bee. As the titular character, her portrayal of hot babysitter would seem to be basic at first but because of Miss Weaving’s ability to be psychotically charming, the character brings a controlled sense of murderous chaos that plays well as the plot unfolds.
As much as I enjoyed the character of Bee, I would say the flick itself is an ensemble flick, with every character having their own time to shine as the cult that Bee leads ends up being a macabre homage to The Breakfast Club (e.g. hot girl, jock, class clown, weird girl, etc.) with each actor giving a refreshing take on High School archetypes. The hero of the story, Cole, played by Judah Lewis had such fantastic chemistry with Samara Weaving. The old tale of the little boy having a crush on his hot babysitter would seem to fall flat upon first glance but the Judah does an amazing job of playing a character who is constantly prevailing from one chaotic situation to the other to the point where by the end of the flick, he ends up becoming somewhat of a bad-ass himself but still retaining his boyish innocence.
It was quite a treat to see the flick play out as a fun and bloody romp with characters who committed to their roles. At some points, it feels like a John Hughes High School flick while other times it almost reaches a zany Home Alone feel with Cole chopping down each cult member (mostly by accident) as the cult members themselves start feeling confused how this shy kid is able to get the better of them. The biggest treat however, and I cannot emphasize this enough, is what a powerhouse Samara Weaving was throughout the flick. After her performance in this flick as well as other horror treasures, I find myself confidently stating that she is the HORROR QUEEN of the recent years and would put her up with the most recent and best trends that have graced the horror world.
Although, she is not exclusive to horror, Samara’s contributions to the genre thus far has already proven she’s scary talented (pun totally intended) and yes, she makes my FearTastic heart beat, just for a little bit.
Life is FAR more interesting when we take interest in things that scare us.