The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020)
Directed by: McG
Written by: Dan Lagana, McG
Starring: Andrew Bachelor, Bella Thorne, Emily Alyn Lind, Hana Mae Lee, Jenny Ortega, Judah Lewis, Ken Marino, Leslie Babb, Robbie Amell, Samara Weaving
The surprise Netflix horror hit from 2017 gets the obligatory sequel treatment and with it, becomes The Hangover II of the horror genre…..
If you are the creators of a new original horror film that stands on its own and away from any established franchise and it also becomes a huge unexpected hit with fans and critics alike, then thoughts immediately turn into “can we make a sequel?”
Did the Blair Witch need a sequel with the word “book” in its title a year later? Did Carrie need to show her “rage” many years later? and do not get me started on Troll 2!
The Babysitter hit a chord with horror fans when it was released in 2017, not because its a horror masterpiece but because it stuck out like a sore thumb. In an age where horror has become serious with the the likes of Hereditary ruling the roost, McG’s slasher flick was so dumb and gory that it felt like an old fashioned horror treat and it was received with open arms by fans who embraced the dumbness, mostly because of the fantastic star making performance from Samara Weaving, which of course led the way for her Ready or Not outing.
The film itself had a beginning, middle and end which really did not scream out for a sequel, but here we are, with most of the cast back, apart from Weaving who has moved on, along with the original writer Brian Duffield whose witty writing is badly missed.
Right before I sat down to watch the sequel, I actually re-watched the original and sadly it was a big mistake on my part. We start with a recap of the last moments of that ending, which is not a problem, I mean if it worked for Halloween II, then how can we complain here?
We then skip two years where our young once 12 year old Cole Johnson (Judah Lewis) is now turning into a young lad whose still fancies his neighbour sweetheart Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind). Cole is still traumatised from the events of that babysitting night, made worse by the fact that no one believes the events that occurred.
Much like in Fright Night 2 where Charlie himself does not believe anymore he fought the Vampire next door, a plot vice of “no one believes” never makes sense to me and already I had a massive problem with this sequel.
What about the young boy who was murdered in his house? What about the two coppers who were brutally killed? Why would Cole get in a car and drive into his own house and why isn’t anyone asking “where the heck is babysitter Bree?”
But brushing that aside, the main problem is that the sequel lazily copies scenes from the original and as this runs all the way through most of its opening hour, you can not help but scream out for some bit of originality as you thought we were watching a sequel – not a remake!!
Worried about their son, Cole’s parents (Ken Marino and Leslie Bibb) try to send him off to a psychiatric institution, but instead Cole along with Melanie and her boyfriend (Maximilian Acevedo), Diego (Juliocesar Chavez) and Boomboom (Jennifer Foster), head off to lakeside party.
Its here that Cole’s worst nightmare happens as a tiny twist in the tale (trust me its sign-posted) sees the return of Max (Robbie Amell), Sonya (Hana Mae Lee), Allison (Bella Thorne), and John (Andrew Bachelor) return from the dead for vengeance and what we get is the same gory set-pieces that many of us relished, but now feels kind of stale.
Killer Queen, really is The Hangover II of horror. That comedy sequel was blasted by fans and critics for basically ripping off the entire premise of its original and here its no different.
We are seeing the same characters killed again, but in a different way, even thought the script does offer some in jokes of what happened before in hope that fans will snigger in which trust me, many of you won’t.
While The Babysitter had this effortlessly charm to it, with its vibrant colours and humorous script, the sequel feels like everyone behind the scenes are trying to hard to make it relevant. Many of the jokes miss the mark and if there is a lull in the plot, then its just filled with more bloodshed and stupidity.
Only Jenny Ortega as Phoebe feels like a welcome addition to the mess and while the last fifteen minutes does offer a delightful surprise that makes you wish it happened sooner, a ridiculous twist of redemption not only manages to ruin it all, but somehow does the unthinkable and may have spoiled its original.
A very short post credit scene suggests a third outing for this new horror franchise, but much like a certain character who had some in their eye, I can only ask…..”are you taking the piss?”