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Parents' Guide to

A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Fantasy violence, brave teens in book-based monster tale.

Movie NR 2020 98 minutes
A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 11+

Definitely for 9+ (and maybe watch the first 30mins without them to be safe)

Netflix have this on the kids platform, rated PG! We watched it with our five year old, before checking Commonsense - it is NOT for kids anywhere close to five years! Even I was freaked out by the bedroom & closet scenes!!! PG Nightmare On Elm Street more like. All the other scenes with the kids and the monsters were fine, but the bedroom scenes would scare anyone Watch the first 30mins to make your own mind up - that sets the tone
age 11+

Fun, just scary enough, good role models, good diversity

My 11yo girl loved this movie. She is not super-sensitive, but we are careful with what we let her watch, so I wouldn't say she's desensitized to violence or scary stuff. The scare factor in this movie was perfect for her current level of tolerance (and mine - I AM kind of sensitive). I loved the realistic and positive messages for girls throughout the movie. We both loved the soundtrack. I loved that Kelly's crush, a cute boy, got protected and ALSO de-prioritized by the girl in this movie - the greater good was more important. It was also really nice to see the biracial partnership and budding friendship between the 2 girls. It was great to see a really fun, action-packed heroes-vs.-villains movie where boy/man heroes were actually under-represented for a change.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (22 ):

A combination of Halloween-timed scares, teen angst, and girl power make this a fun watch for tweens. There's plenty in A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting for that target group. Smart and Laurence make a solid duo, and an early slow-motion scene of Kelly walking down a high school corridor manages in seconds to capture the loneliness and anxiety of an insecure teen. Harry Potter fans are likely to be drawn by Felton (aka Draco Malfoy) and may see echoes of Potter dementors in Jacob's nightmare creatures. Likewise, the shadow monster feels reminiscent of Stranger Things' demogorgons.

Felton is a little over-the-top in his Mick Jagger-inspired boogeyman. He's not meant to be a realistic character, but he's neither fully scary nor solely campy, and it's a mix that never quite gels. One funny sequence sees him desperately trying everything to get a child to sleep; parents and babysitters will relate. The filmmakers have done a good job of bringing the imagined world to life, infusing the secret babysitter society with historical references and international flair, and setting it all to a moody pop soundtrack. The action is limited to a single, dark night (Halloween), and the sets range from everyday houses to colorfully cartoonish lairs and darkly gothic mansions. Surely a franchise is in mind, considering the film is based on the first in a trilogy of books and ends with a detailed look at the Grand Guignol's sister, Serena the Spider Queen, who is still at large with a main character's kidnapped brother apparently in her web.

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