Dog’s Movie House: “The Babysitter: Killer Queen” Goofy Horror Entertainment!
“Killer Queen” picks up two years after the events of the first film, finding our hero Cole (a returning and definitely grown Judah Lewis) navigating his junior year in high school. Not only does he have the normal high school problems but everyone (including his ditzy but well-meaning parents) think the events of the first film are all in his mind. The only person who believes him is his best friend/potential true love Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind) who is a constant source of support and comfort.
When Cole learns his folks are going to commit him for psychiatric care, he ditches school with Melanie and her group of friends to go boating on a lake. Sounds like a good idea, but once things get going on the houseboat, events take a turn for the worse and Cole now finds himself fighting for his life against foes both new and old. His sole ally is the new girl from school, Phoebe (Jenna Ortega) a young woman with a past of her own.
Now you don’t necessarily have to have watched the original “Babysitter” to enjoy “Killer Queen” but it definitely helps. When the original group of young folks who tried to attain power through demon summoning and human sacrifice show up again, there are several amusing call-backs to the first film. There is the over-the-top gore and sometimes inventive sight gags (emphasis on the gag, heh) the everyone in the cast seems like they’re having a very good time chewing on the scenery. Then, interestingly enough, Samara Weaving shows up as Bee, the original’s demonic babysitter, and things suddenly take a turn for the emotional. I’m not talking the end of “Braveheart” here, but there is actually some believable emotional nuance here that adds to the pleasure of watching the film, including a plausible explanation for Bee’s actions in the first film.
Like I said, the cast of “Killer Queen” is uniformly good, with Lewis carrying the load as the frustrated Cole. He’s matched by Ortega’s Phoebe and their chemistry is important in getting you to believe in the love story which is necessarily truncated by the film’s running time. Also fun in goofy returning roles as Cole’s parents are Ken Marino and Leslie Bibb. Marino in particular has fun as the almost totally clueless father and his scenes with Juan (Chris Wylde, channeling his inner T. J. Miller), who just happens to be the stoner father of Melanie, are among the funniest in the film.
Returning stars Bella Thorne, Robbie Amell, and Andrew Bachelor are matched by newcomers Lind, Maximillian Acevedo, and Julioceasar Chavez as the next generation of entitled young people looking for power. And, of course, Weaving just kills it in her brief (but important) time as Bee.
Not all of the jokes work and the flashbacks were particularly annoying. There’s a fight between Phoebe and Melanie toward the end of the film that the scenarists felt necessary to film as though it was a street fighting game, complete with power bars in the corners of the screen. Might have worked for something like “Scott Pilgrim” but felt waaaay out of place here. Trying to be to clever by half, that particular scene was a swing and a miss.
But overall, “The Babysitter: Killer Queen” hits all of the same marks that made the first film so popular and manages to advance the story at the same time. With some decent comedy and some suitably gory kills, “Killer Queen” is a worthy sequel that will satisfy all of the fans of the first film and maybe garner some new ones in the process. 3 1/2 Out Of 5 On Kendog’s Barkometer! So Sayeth The Kendog!