For some odd reason, babysitters have been a focal point in pop culture since the 80s. You have Adventures in Baby Sitting, The Baby-Sitters Club, Don’t Tell Mom the Baby Sitter’s Dead, The Babysitter, and so on. More times than not, the babysitting films are actually good, so why not keep going with it? Director Kohl Glass takes the babysitting concept and flips it on its head by adding a cult, brutality, and a babysitter that takes her duties quite seriously.
Babysitter Must Die centers babysitter Josie (Riley Scott) as she is watching over a young Sophia (Scarlett Hazen) while her parents are out at a Christmas party. Unbeknownst to the two, the parents come home early as the party was a dud. Josie had already ordered pizza, and the family says they may as well wait for the pizza to get there before she leaves. In the meantime, the parents and some friends drink to pass the time while Josie is still in charge of watching Sophia.
Time passes, and the doorbell finally rings. The pizza is here!…or is it? Instead of the pizza guy being at the door, it is an intruder with a gun. Panic ensues as the family and friends try to figure out was is going on as they plea for their lives. Two more intruders join the party, and the family is held hostage. The family is unsure why the trio of intruders is there, but the family is pretty well off in terms of money, so they believe that these three criminals are there for money. Well, it turns out that the trio of intruders are not there for money but are there for something much more sinister than just to commit a burglary. They are there to make a cultist sacrifice.
“…something much more sinister than just to commit a burglary, they are there to make a cultist sacrifice.”
Babysitter Must Die does a few interesting things. For one, the babysitter Josie grew up going to summer camp where she earned badges (much like a girl scout), so she has a bit of experience in just about everything imaginable (even parkour). Josie takes her badges and job very seriously. So much so that she has some of her most prized badges on a belt that she wears to show off some pride in her camp. This particular feature in the film is utilized to show how and why Josie is able to do the things that she does while sneaking around a house of cultists, trying to figure out a way to save Sophia and her family while attempting to not get caught herself. This is an easy way to answer questions that audiences often find themselves asking in action films when an average joe can take on a group of trained assassins. With that being said, the film does not go too overboard in making Josie a type of Beatrix Kiddo where she is just easily kicking a*s and has a solution for everything, though I will admit, I found myself hoping for that as the film went on. I wanted to see Josie just flip a switch and become this badass assassin, but that is just my own preference for the character.
Another interesting feature in this film is that it takes place during Christmas. I would not consider it a Christmas film by any means, but it does give off a vibe of if Home Alone was rated R. Sounds pretty awesome, right? Yes, I still want to see a Rated R Home Alone film, and this is probably the closest I will get.
If you are looking for a film to just kind of get away from the real world, I think this would be a good one to turn to. I did feel that the film did take risks, and I always give credit for that anytime I come across it because we all know that Hollywood has shied away from that concept for some years now. Did all of the risks pay off? Not quite, but not all risks do. The film had some twists in it that were actually surprising rather than predictable, as I often see in films these days.
"…I still want to see a Rated R Home Alone film..."