The Babysitter

 

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Marvel at this collection of 29-year-olds playing highschool students

Sigh…

It’s exhausting watching a movie that is so convinced of its own shit. This movie thinks it is hottest shit to ever grace the screen. This movie thinks everything it does is completely and utterly awesome. And it is convinced you are laughing hysterically alongside your mind being blown at it’s oppressive awesomeness.

There’s barely any plot, but the plot such as it is is that Cole is a twelve-year-old who likes his next door neighbor and has a hot, sexy, hot-sexy, sexy-hot baby sitter. He discovers she is leading a human sacrificing Satanic cult. And cut to Cole being chased by murderous cultists for two hours.

Really everything terrible about this movie boils down perfectly into one moment in one scene. The cult are ostensibly playing truth or dare, and Bee (Cole’s babysitter/cult leader) is dared to kiss everyone in the room. After some tiring performative lesbianism entirely for the benefit of the male gaze she then gets to kissing the clearly-out-of-place nerdy guy. And then out of nowhere stabs two knives into his skull, with the words “What the Fuck” superimposed onto the screen.

When I say out of nowhere, I mean literally that. She is not holding knives. There’s nowhere for the knives to be hidden. No one gives her knives. The knives teleport into her hands off screen so you are only left with the impact of the scene and not of the details of setting it up. Over and over and over and over and over throughout the film people and objects teleport about to places they clearly could not possibly be in order to make the most dramatic impact possible.

But the incessant off screen and impossible movement of things is emblematic of all the flaws in the movie. The director can’t be bothered with the tedious work of set up. If it isn’t the tyrannical boot heel of cool being slammed into the audience’s face, he isn’t interested. All the details and consistencies the make narratives work are simply thrown away.

At least twice in the movie Cole manages to cleanly escape from the cult. They aren’t in the middle of the woods, they’re in suburbia. Any direction he chose to walk in would result in multiple people who could have helped in within a range of about thirty feet. Instead he simply returns to his house because…? Even more puzzling at various points the cult members simply let him go. Again, because…? But don’t worry, they only cease pursuing him for the exact length of time it takes for the movie to make some insipid jokes about Cole and then the movie decides the cult probably should keep pursuing him.

The ending of the movie is entirely invested in Cole’s emotional stakes with both the girl-next-door and his (formerly) beloved babysitter. Which ignores that the movie had almost gleefully mocked the very concept of having emotional investment in its characters.

Nothing in this movie is cool, edgy, transgressive, funny, awesome or even generally competent. But what makes it so grating to watch isn’t merely that it lacks all those qualities… it is that it is so convinced it is overflowing with them. If the film managed to have some degree of perspective on the material, it would at least be tolerable. Instead it is the movie that expects you to find the cheerleader whose sole personality trait is that complains about being shot in the breast hilarious.

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