Welcome, dear readers, to Substream’s 31 Days of Halloween. While every holiday captures the hearts and minds of the Substream staff, Halloween holds an especially important place in our hearts. Now that we’ve entered the month of October, it’s time for us to share our love for this holiday with you.
Every single day in October, our collection of spooky staff writers and ghoulish guest contributors will walk you through a horror or Halloween-themed movie they adore. The goal is to both celebrate the titans and icons of the season while also introducing you to new films and scares to fill your autumn nights. Lock your doors, check under your bed, and settle in as you join Substream for our 31 Days of Halloween.
Day 13: The Babysitter (2017)
What do the movies Halloween, When a Stranger Calls, and Childs Play all have in common? The babysitter character is either the unlikely heroine that saves the day, or the unfortunate casualty. It’s a common trope in horror films because writers can either use the sex appeal of the young female to her detriment (sex=death in the rules of surviving a horror film) or they can heroize the character by saving the children while the parents are always conveniently out of the picture. But what if the babysitter is the antagonist? What if you had been lured into a false sense of security for years only to find out that the person employed to oversee your safety was using you as part of a ritualistic blood sacrifice to the devil? The Netflix original movie The Babysitter is a fresh take on the horror comedy genre.
Cole (Judah Lewis) is a geeky, pubescent 12-year old boy who is in love with his babysitter, Bee (Samara Weaving). Honestly, who could blame him? She’s the ultimate cool girl, who nerds out to Star Trek and Alien, quotes The Godfather Part II, and defends Cole against the neighborhood bullies with a foul mouth and sassy attitude. But Cole soon finds out that his dream girl isn’t all she is cracked up to be. Neighborhood friend Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind) convinces Cole to go rogue one night while his parents are away and stay up to see just exactly what Bee does after he falls asleep. Expecting to see her canoodling with a boy, he finds his beloved Bee performing a satanic blood sacrifice ritual with her friends in his living room. Here we are introduced to Bee’s cult who check all the slasher film character boxes. You have the conceited, mouthy cheerleader, Allison (Bella Thorne), the muscular jock quarterback, Max (Robbie Amell), the comedian, John (Andrew Bachelor) and the weird goth girl, Sonya (Hana Mae Lee). Each actor plays their stereotypes well with noteworthy comedic performances from Amell and Bachelor especially. When Cole discovers that he is a part of the master plan and his innocent blood is needed for the ritual, it becomes a cat-and-mouse game with the cult and its leader as Cole tries to survive the night.
The Babysitter has the wit and sarcasm of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, mixed with the campiness of Evil Dead and the teenage horror-comedy slasher vibe of Scream. Stylistically speaking, this film is beautifully done. Director McG’s (Charlies Angels, Terminator Salvation) vision for the production design and filming is top notch and really made the movie something you would want to watch again and again. The vibrant colors, the slow motion effects during the more precious scenes with the neighborhood girl, the self-aware dialogue, and even the on screen text cues are all part of the appeal of the film. But let us not forget, this is indeed a horror film. McG spared no expense on the blood and gore so if you’re looking for a scary yet campy film to add to your next Netflix and chill session, The Babysitter is a promising choice.