2017’s The Babysitter is one of my favorite movies. A lot of people like trashing it but I have no shame in my love for it. It’s a witty, slumber party slasher and I was thrilled when they announced a sequel with the original cast. The Babysitter: Killer Queen! Cole Johnson a.k.a the Channing Tatum of murder (an actual quote from the film) returns to once again battle the Satanic cult that terrorized him years before. However, where The Babysitter was a clever horror-comedy, Killer Queen is a dumbed-down guilty pleasure. Not a bad one though.
Like most sequels, Killer Queen is nothing special. It’s got a clunky beginning, somewhat boring CGI kills, a weak ending, and a few poorly developed plot twists yet, it is remarkably self-aware. It knows that it’s not better than the original and embraces it, dives headfirst into the weird without bothering to second guess whether such a decision is a good idea or a bad one but like it’s predecessor, it has a unique wit.
By the way, if it feels like director McG sounds familiar but you can’t pinpoint the name, he’s the same McG that appears under the title “Executive Producer” for every single episode in every season of Supernatural.
[Major spoilers!] The Babysitter: Killer Queen picks up two years after the events of the first film and Cole is about as well off as he was before. He’s made the same mistake that a lot of horror movie survivors make which is tell people what they’ve experienced. Big surprise, no one believes him. They all think he suffered a psychotic break, so when he finds out that his parents are planning to commit him to a psychiatric school for troubled teens, his neighbor/best friend Melanie talks him into skipping school to hang out with friends at a lake party. Just when Cole thinks that things are finally starting to look up, the lake becomes the setting for yet another bloodbath.
As I said, the sequel has a clunky beginning. This is likely a result of Samara Weaving’s absence. The Babysitter used her relationship with Cole to jump-start the plot, but she’s no longer around so the sequel has to find another way to introduce the story that’s more or less the same. A few extra ingredients have been added but it’s basically the same story, only wackier. The character of Melanie, once again played by Emily Alyn Lind, serves as Weaving’s replacement but she is a pale stand-in.
In the Horror Queers podcast episode for I Know Who Killed Me, one of the hosts described a character as white bread without a crust and that’s how I see Melanie. She’s white bread, no crust, that tries to evil itself up with some almond butter spread. She has her own demon team to add to the mix but they too are very forgettable and die very quickly after having very little screentime.
At the party, Melanie reveals herself to be a member of the same cult from the first film and brings back Max, John, Sonya, and Allison, the original group of devil worshippers from the grave. It’s only when they arrive that the film starts to pick up. By the way, if you’re like me and loved the dynamic between Max and Cole from the first film, then you’ll be happy to know that none of that has changed. Max, forever shirtless, continues fanboying over Cole whilst he’s trying to kill him. Taking the time to shout out how much he missed him before running after him with an ax. Talk about a complicated friendship. Someone give me a spin-off of Max vs. Cole. I’d watch the s**t out of that.
Meanwhile, there’s a new girl in town named Phoebe (Jenna Ortega) who comes in to shake things up. Or she tries to. She’s brought in as a love interest for Cole that shares a connection to the cult but because the bulk of the film takes place within a single night, their relationship falls flat. The only real shake-up is the return of Samara Weaving who reprises her character of Bee as part of the grand finale. The film holds up fine without her but her surprise appearance is one of the better parts of the movie.
Randy Meeks was right. Sequels are indeed bloodier and this is no exception even if it’s very tame in its execution. Nothing about The Babysitter: Killer Queen is scary or disturbing. It’s just funny.(3.5 / 5)
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