A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there's plenty of violence in this Canadian-made TV movie (later made into a series), but most of it is obscured to the point that little actual blood is really seen. Fist fights, stabbings, and, in one scene, multiple vampire bites that presumably kill human victims and steal their souls are common fare, but little of the gore is actually visible to viewers. It's clear that the show isn’t out to push any positive lessons, but there's merit in the heroine's struggle to resist peer pressure, which is worth bringing to tweens' attention. Because there's a campy air to the series, underscored by its obvious parody of the Twilight movies, and the onscreen violence is minimized, it might be an OK alternative for some older tweens.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Ethan (Matthew Knight) is mortified when his parents insist on hiring his attractive classmate Sarah (Vanessa Morgan) to babysit for his younger sister, Jane (Ella Jonas Farlinger). But the evening turns out to be a memorable one when he discovers that Sarah is actually a fledgling vampire who's fighting the urge to feed, which would complete her transformation. Ethan and his best friend, Benny (Atticus Mitchell), learn that Sarah's ex-boyfriend, Jesse (Joe Dinicol), leads a den of vamps at the teens' school. Soon after, the three friends uncover the vampires' dark plot to get revenge on the town for what Jesse sees as a longstanding wrongdoing against his kind. But with some unexpected help and a few magical powers, the heroes set out to save the townspeople and eliminate Jesse for good.
Is it any good?
The unimpressive MY BABYSITTER'S A VAMPIRE is a Canadian-produced comedy/fantasy that taps into tweens' and teens' thirst (pun intended) for all things vampire. And for anyone even remotely familiar with the Twilight phenomenon, its teen-vamps-assimilating-into-high-school-life plot will sound a little trite. What's more, the substory follows the characters' obsession with a vamp-themed movie series called Dusk, clips from which are interspersed throughout the show to draw similarities between its story and the series' in a manner that spoofs both the Twilight plot and fans' affection for it.
Unoriginality aside, the series offers little that's noteworthy. The acting is strained (although its exaggerated style adds to the show's overall campiness), and the plot is unimpressive. On the plus side, there are some fleeting teaching moments to be found in Sarah's determination to stand up to the vampires' pressure to drink human blood and in offhand remarks that speak out against teen drinking and drug use. This series is too scary for young kids, and there's a lot of violence, but because it's got a certain campiness that lightens the mood and it obscures much of the biting and greatly limits the gore, it's probably OK for a slightly younger crowd than Twilight attracts.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about peer pressure. In what ways does Sarah resist temptation? Why does she do it and others don't? How does peer pressure appear in your life?
Is it always easy to identify ill-meaning people around us? What dangers exist that are hard to see? How can you keep yourself safe?
Do you believe in the supernatural? Why do you think stories about vampires and werewolves are such a draw for kids? How does fantasy change our view of reality?
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