By Nicolas Rontanini
As Halloween fast approaches, you may be wondering about how to get in the spooky mood. If you’re seeking some veritable frights, then you can find your fix in “Home Alone.”
No, I’m kidding. However, my actual pick is not too far off the base in that regard. The movie I’m speaking of is 2017’s “The Babysitter.” Though the film is fairly campy and is funnier than anything else, it’s still worth a watch, especially for this holiday. The film’s background centers on main protagonist 12-year-old Cole whose constant fears lead his parents to hire a babysitter, Bee, to help him try to face them.
The main plot here revolves around Cole being left, well, home alone, while his babysitter is downstairs with her friends trying to enact a satanic ritual by playing spin the bottle with someone who would be their first victim-to-be. Here the group is introduced through title cards (likely an easy way for the film to introduce them to the audience). After inadvertently stumbling onto this, Cole is eventually spotted and is tied to a chair in the middle of his living room. To make a long story short, the group needs the “blood of an innocent” to complete their ritual, and lo and behold, they intend to use Cole. As he tries to escape the murderous group’s machinations, he neutralizes them one by one while facing his fears, like arachnophobia (by hiding in the house’s crawlspace) and standing up for himself to a local bully. By the film’s end, Cole has overcome his fears–and no longer needs a babysitter.
For a movie that’s labeled as horror, has the tropes and hallmarks of being one, and was even released on Netflix in October 2017 on Friday the 13th, the film is arguably more of a comedy–as it is labeled. While some moments of the film struck me as based more on the horror side, like Cole coming back to his house to find the blood cleaned up from earlier, the film doesn’t seem to try to scare the audience very much. So, it begs the question: Is it a good movie to watch for Halloween?
Personally, I would argue yes. While it can be pretty campy at times, having legitimately funny dialogue, “The Babysitter” has a genuinely spooky atmosphere to accompany it. It’s not too funny, but not too frightening either, which lends it a nice balance. With all the stress accompanying current events, like coming out of a global pandemic, economic worries and now a new public health crisis, a movie that will make you chuckle might be what you need, and this movie will do that for you.
Overall, while the movie isn't perfect, it’s genuinely entertaining,and will help get you in a spooky mood. But don’t just take my word for it; go and give the film a watch on Netflix and see what you think of “The Babysitter.”