M.L. Miller here and welcome to my tenth anniversary Best in Horror Countdown! I have also compiled a list of horror films that worth noting to tack on to my Best of Countdown. Some of these films just barely missed the main Best of list and some are just films released through the year I thought stood out in one way or another. Do not forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. And please chime in down in the comments and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or you can counter with your own darn list! Enjoy this Best of Horror Extra!
Released on September 10, 2020. Streaming exclusively on Netflix!!
THE BABYSITTER: KILLER QUEEN (2020)
Directed by McG
Written by Dan Lagana & McG (screenplay)
Starring Judah Lewis, Jenna Ortega, Emily Alyn Lind, Hana Mae Lee, Robbie Amell, Bella Thorne, Andrew Bachelor, Amanda Cerny, Maximilian Acevedo, Leslie Bibb, Ken Marino, Chris Wylde, Juliocesar Chavez, Carl McDowell, Jason Rogel, Nandini Minocha, Samara Weaving
Find out more about this film here!
While it stumbles over a few sequel tropes, THE BABYSITTER: KILLER QUEEN is a welcome return to the surprise McG hit from a few years ago that introduced the world to the wit and wonder of Samara Weaving. Weaving delivered a one two punch in 2018 with MAYHEM and THE BABYSITTER and horror fans fell in love. Now McG is back and while Weaving’s presence is missed, the story continues focusing on another member of the cast, Cole, played by Judah Lewis, and delivers a lot of the same brand of fun the original was overflowing with.
Cole remembers that fateful night clearly, when his babysitter Bee (Samara Weaving) turned out to be the head priestess in a Satanic cult searching for immortality. After successfully surviving that night, Cole still has nightmares and flashbacks. Worse yet, no one believes him that all hell broke loose that night. Now two years later, Cole’s parents (Leslie Bibb and Ken Marino) are concerned he might need some serious help and plan to take him to a psychiatric school for help. Getting wind of this secret plan, Cole decides to ditch with his best pal Melanie (DOCTOR SLEEP’s Emily Alyn Lind) who was there the night shit went down two years ago but doesn’t remember much of it. In order to avoid institutionalization, Cole ditches school and heads to a party on a lake. Unfortunately, some of the Satanic cult is back for vengeance and a second chance at immortality.
If you’re a fan of the original THE BABYSITTER, there’s a lot to love here. McG seems to be able to capture that hyperactive style that makes even the most gruesome of deaths all kinds of fun. Not confined to a suburban home, the size and scope of the mayhem has intensified tenfold, but the humor still works for the most part. There are a couple of groaners. Some of the schtick is repeated from the original and wore a little thin at times. Still, I laughed quite a bit at THE BABYSITTER: KILLER QUEEN, especially returning characters like shirtless Max (Robbie Amell) who is both trying to kill Cole and make him a stronger man all at once. For some reason, I found Andrew Bachelor and Bella Thorne’s evil characters to be less fun here than in the original, but they still have their moments—some of them meta-commentary on horror and the cliched rolls they play. There are a lot of gruesome scenes of carnage here with tons of blood sloshed and spattered around everywhere (especially the face). This makes for an over the top good time reminiscent of EVIL DEAD 2, which again is a quality inherited by the original film.
Judah Lewis is solid as Cole and though he is older and an awkward teen, he still seems like he made that transition from quirky kid to teen without losing his appeal. There’s often that off-kilter look and feel to a returning kid character who has grown in the interim between two films, but that really isn’t the case here. Newcomer Jenna Ortega is fantastic as an outcast with a troubled past who falls into this game of death by accident. And Emily Alyn Lind proves that she can be both a bad and good girl and still make it all work. Add some funny scenes of Ken Marino and Chris Wylde simply doing their thing and the fun banter made by the reincarnated cultists from the first film and you’ve got a bawdy and bloody sequel.
There are quite a few surprises that I won’t reveal here. These BABYSITTER movies are not meant to be taken too seriously. There’s a comedic tone even in the goriest of scenes. Still, what made the original standout was the amount of heart the original had. A lot of that had to do with Samara Weaving and while that quality is lacking for the most part in the sequel, Lewis, Ortega, and Lind (along with Marino and Bibb) make this one just as heartwarming and downright precious at times. That doesn’t mean that this sequel lacks an edge, but the soulful stuff makes the whole gore and explosions seem less gratuitous. Look to be surprised in the final moments. I was surprised at how much I liked this film and plan on watching it again this weekend. It’s one of those films that never forgets to make you laugh, after drenching the set with blood, that is.
THE 2019-2020 EXTRA!
#20 – THE BABYSITTER 2: KILLER QUEEN
#21 – UNCAGED
#22 – WOUNDS
#23 – VFW
#24 – #ALIVE
#25 – AFTER MIDNIGHT
#26 – MONSTROUS
#27 – AQUASLASH
#28 – SWEETHEART
#29 – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE
#30 – WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS
#31 – THE SHED
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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