Review: Netflix sequel 'Babysitter: Killer Queen' one blood soaking good time
Courtesy of NETFLIX
When “The Babysitter” landed on Netflix in 2017, the McG directed horror-comedy was popular for about a week. I checked it out just to pique my curiosity, and slowly started to buy stock in Samara Weaving who played the bloodthirsty leader of a satanic cult out for virgin blood. Since then, Weaving headlined “Ready or Not” and was hilarious in this year’s “Bill & Ted: Face The Music” playing the daughter to Alex Winter’s iconic character. Her presence is missed in the surprisingly decent “Babysitter: Killer Queen,” but McG, along with writer Dana Lagana, manage to introduce enough fresh crops of faces and intermingle old ones to compensate for Weaving’s absences.
Two years has passed since the events of “The Babysitter,” where Cole (Judah Lewis) managed to outsmart and dismember a group of social media influencers, I mean, teenagers who tried to sacrifice him to the Devil (Bella Thorne getting her head blasted with a shotgun was quite fun). Nobody believes Cole and attributes his delusions of “blood cults” to puberty, stress, or a psychotic break. He is ridiculed at school, his therapist/nurse (a scene stealing Carl McDowell) doesn’t have answers, and the girl he likes, Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind) is dating a sleazy frat boy with no morals.
When Cole catches word that his parents (Leslie Bibb and Ken Marino – returning) have plans of enrolling him into a mental institution, the teen ducks out with Melanie and her friends for a harmless weekend getaway to ease his troubles. This lands him in the trap of former cultists, Max (Robbie Amell), Sonya (Hana Mae Lee), John (Andrew Bachelor), and Allison (Bella Thorn) whom manage to work out a deal with the Devil, which gets them out of limbo if they successfully skewer the virgin teenager.
This opens the floodgates for a fresh batch of gory, albeit, hilarious deaths that make “The Babysitter” look small by comparison. Cole once again has to go on the defense, trying to protect himself until sunrise with the help from the new girl at school (Jenna Ortega) who's got serious baggage and manages to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
To be sure, McG and Lagana keep a few admirable twists and turns up their sleeves, giving “Killer Queen” – which is mixed with a retro soundtrack of needle dropping hits ala “I Wanna Know What Love Is,” “867-5309/Jenny” and of course “Killer Queen” – a leg up on its predecessor. A fitting nod considering characters in the film mention how “Terminator: Judgement Day” is one of “five” sequels that’s better than the original. I’d argue “Killer Queen” could be the sixth.
There’s a healthy dose of nostalgic slasher vibes harking back to “Sleepaway Camp” and “Friday The 13th” mixed in with a variety of richly timed pop cultural touchpoints (“Tik Tok”) and one nod to Wakanda that, in the wake of Chadwick Boseman’s death, seemed ill-timed. But the giddy, heavily stylized deaths prove the winners here, with the filmmakers devising clever, more ambitious demises to the point where you almost need a mop from all the blood spilling into the living room.
But the film never forgets to have fun. At one point, a character gets slashed and a giant, ‘80s arcade graphic stating “WHAT THE FUCK” prompts on screen, immediately setting the tone McG is going for. “The Babysitter: Killer Queen” wastes no time poking fun at the campiness of its premises, existing as a spiritual cousin to “Tucker & Dale Vs Evil,” giving Netflix a rare sequel that maintains consistency and laughs.
THE BABYSITTER: KILLER QUEEN is now streaming on NETFLIX.