The Babysitter was never going to start a cinematic revolution, but its wacky brand of comedy horror proved popular when it hit Netflix in 2017. Billed as Scream meets Home Alone, the film followed Cole (Judah Lewis), a young boy who discovers his babysitter Bee (Samara Weaving) is actually the ringleader of a satanic cult. On paper, it’s a little ridiculous, and on screen, even more so, but streamers loved the cartoonish characters, over-the-top action and refusal to take itself too seriously. To this day, it’s still one of the best original movies that Netflix has produced.
Surprisingly, the sequel is even better. Armed with a clever narrative that gives the whole series a newfound emotional weight, Killer Queen is a more solid effort than before, but still manages to have plenty of fun.
Reintroduced two years after the original, Cole is the same dorky outsider and despite his kiss with Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind), they’re still only friends. Nobody believes what happened in the the first film, and the whole school thinks he’s crazy. Eventually, the “psycho breakfast club” – John (Andrew Bachelor), Max (Robbie Amell), Sonya (Hana Mae Lee) and Allison (Bella Thorne) – pop up again and try once more to complete the ritual. Those characters are entertaining enough to carry another movie, but rather than retracing the same steps, Killer Queen finds plenty of new space to play in.
Elsewhere, the film flirts with social commentary and deals with themes like teen peer pressure and privilege. The Babysitter tackled similar issues well, but never forced its message down anyone’s throat. This time around, the points are a little more on the nose, but it never takes the place of the thrills and bloody spills. Self-aware as ever, Killer Queen accepts that no one’s watching a dark comedy for in-depth philosophical discussion.
Poking fun at slasher and teen movies as well as including plenty of Saw-gore, director McG (not a typo) is very much in on the joke. More Cabin In The Woods than Scary Movie 2, his cult hit toys with any expectations while winking knowingly at the camera. “That’s some post-Jordan Peele era movie horror progress,” explains Andrew Bachelor’s John (one of the series’ few Black characters) when he finds out his character isn’t the first to be killed off. With a more unpredictable storyline, time to elevate the characters from caricatures and the freedom to pull from a wider variety of influences, The Babysitter: Killer Queen takes a good movie and makes it great with an outrageous sense of fun throughout.
- Director: McG
- Starring: Bella Thorne, Samara Weaving, Leslie Bibb
- Release date: September 10 (Netflix)