The Babysitter: Killer Queen ★★

A glance around letterboxd would suggest it is a hot take, but I honestly loved 2017's The Babysitter. It's actually a movie I view as one of the funniest of the last five years and a pretty daring genre blend in its jarring approach. I loved the character work on the young protagonist, the dialogue, the way Samara Weaving went about making a very layered role likable, the cool variety of shots (including POV), the jarring brash tonal shifts, the Home Alone style survival antics, the gore, the awkward sexual tension, the cute neighbor romance, really just all of it!

Killer Queen's reputation by average score is only slightly lesser on this site, and yet I've seen a common refrain from others who LOVED the first one like me that this was disappointing. Most of the people that actually did like this one seemed to either dislike the first one or just found both to be mediocre-to-okay. I'm firmly in the boat of disappointment, and unfortunately, stronger disappointment than I could have imagined. While this was watchable and definitely funny in spurts (nowhere near as clever or consistent as the original), I was so actively upset with some of the character development and plot choices that pretty much crapped all over a lot of what made the first movie so likable. The first ten minutes or so were comforting. I felt like this would be a solid enough, if unnecessary, sequel with decent humor. As the plot began to unravel, it didn't take long to see that the writers had no tricks up their sleeves except for completely ruining any level of empathy for two of the three most likable characters from the first film and leaving the third one out almost entirely.

Basically the same downgrades from Kick Ass (one of my all time favorite films) to Kick Ass 2 were made here. a.) A formerly likable and brave protagonist was suddenly changed into a spineless high school goof cliche outcast in an obvious attempt to manufacture drama away from the horror parts of the film, b.) an important endearing supporting character was unrealistically completely ruined for no logical reason, and c.) A key main character was essentially scrapped and missed badly. The plot of this sequel falls apart even further than that by completely rehashing events from and almost retconning all of the progress from the first film in the laziest way imaginable.

Besides having occasional glimpses of the horror/comedy blend that made the original such an absolute blast, I really don't have many good things to say about this film. It's upsetting and unnecessary, frankly. I'll say that former Disney kid star Jenna Ortega was a welcome addition. I liked what her character brought to the film right out of the gate. Unfortunately, too many of the other characters and plot redux bs made me too pissed to care about her or the protagonist's eventual fates.

Special Agent Cooper liked these reviews