Two years ago, Cole (Judah Lewis) was a young kid with a crush on his babysitter, Bea (Samara Weaving). Turns out, Bea was using him to become a sacrifice to Satan so she and her friends could gain ultimate power in this world. Cole successfully fought them off, winning the day, and endearing himself in Bea’s eyes in a way she never thought possible. Only thing was, she disappeared and nobody believed his story. Even his parents thought he might be looney-tunes. Jump ahead a couple years, and Cole is in high school and he’s not adjusting well. Other than his steady best friend Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind), he has no real friends. Along comes new, weird girl Phoebe (Jenna Ortega) and although intrigued, Cole stays away from her because she seems dangerous. His parents have decided to commit him to a psychiatric high school but Melanie promises him a fun weekend getaway on the lake with her and a few friends. Cole opts to take the lake route, hoping things will get better for him. They don’t. Soon and very soon, he finds himself in a very familiar situation, with certain people wanting to sacrifice him to Satan to gain ultimate power. Only this time he teams up with Phoebe and together they try to kill the killers and stay alive until sunrise, when they will be safe.
The Babysitter was a somewhat divisive movie amongst horror fans. Some thought it was stupid and cloying, trying too hard to be clever, while people like me thought it was wonderful fun, full of great comedy and some really bloody gore. I truly enjoyed the first one, so this sequel had a lot to live up to. Initially, while it was funny (the teacher calling Phoebe a “crazy bitch” made me spit-take) it felt a bit hollow. But then the killings started and I was onboard. What I didn’t expect was the heart the film would eventually show, a tenderness and sentimentality that I did not see coming. And I was glad for it. The warm-fuzzies aren’t a thing I normally care for in any movie, but this one had them, and most importantly, it earned them. But yes, the humor is sharp and clever when it needs to be, and broad and slapsticky when that’s called for (like in the first one). The gore is great, even though a lot of it is CGI blood (look, it’s a thing we’re all going to have to live with; I hate it, too, but this is our world now). A painful beheading (that will please Only Fans content providers), a head chopped-off via a flying surfboard, deer horns through the eye, and much more await your visceral pleasure inside this manic offering. This one is as funny and bloody as the first one, and you’ll know pretty soon where you stand with this. Either you like it (like the first one), or you think it’s dumb and insulting.
It’s hard for a sequel to be as good as the original, and while The Babysitter: Killer Queen doesn’t quite reach that height for me, it’s a damned good follow-up that left me thirsty for more. I hope there’s a third film (as hinted at by a mid-credits sequence) that will round this out into a nice trilogy. Movies like this are simple and enjoyable and should be taken for what they are: some empty entertainment that also manages to say a thing or two without getting heavy about it. This sequel takes what is best about the original—the humor, the gore, and the heart—and resurrects those high marks with an injection of steroids. You know, exactly what a good sequel should do.