A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
It's OK to be scared. A lot of things seem scary when you're 12, but as you get older they won't be so scary anymore. You have to figure out what you want and then do what you can to get it. Melanie points out that just because the babysitter is a psychopath, it doesn't mean all women are evil.
Positive Role Models
Cole and his best friend, Melanie, are loyal to each other, and Melanie is a supportive friend. Cole endures bullying without retaliating or telling on the bullies. He comes up with some clever solutions to avoid or destroy the bad guys, and becomes brave enough to do what's necessary to put an end to the evil cult for good. Cole's parents aren't very available or helpful beyond telling him that things will change when he's ready. The babysitter and older teens are sadistic members of an evil cult that promises to make their wishes come true in exchange for blood sacrifice.
Violence & Scariness
Lots and lots of blood, sometimes played for comedy, spewing violently, drenching people, and spattered in the background on furniture, floors, etc. A cult ritual requires blood both from a human sacrifice and from an innocent virgin. Gory stabbings, including a victim with two knives in his skull who remains alive, a throat is slit, an accidental hanging breaks someone's neck, a corpse is used like a puppet, a fireplace poker is thrown through someone's head and slowly pulled out while the victim is still alive, gunshots and wounds with blood dripping, knives sticking out through body parts, and a head is blown off. An explosion engulfs a teen in flames; screaming is heard. Kicking, including hard kicks to the crotch, punching, breaking a door down. Bullying includes hitting the victim in the head with balls while yelling "p---y," shoving to the ground, and verbal abuse. A car crash destroys the side of a house, crushing the bottom half of a victim who remains alive long enough for an extended conversation. Lots of dark, eerie atmosphere, tense music, and jump scares.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Older teens kiss several times in a game of Truth or Dare with same-sex and opposite-sex partners. One kiss is prolonged with exaggerated tongues and lip biting. Tweens kiss once briefly and suggest making out next time. Cole notices Bee's breasts and her attractive body in a swimsuit. Speculation that babysitters sneak boyfriends in to have sex after the kids are in bed. Some sexual innuendo and references to getting AIDS and STDs. A teen talks about and imitates "motorboating." A teen mentions "jerking off" with hand gestures. A married couple simulates manual manipulation under covers. "Pap smear" used in name calling.
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"Ass," "p---y," "s--t," "damn," "bitch," "d--k" (body part), "perv," "hell," the "N" word, "boob," "t-tties"; "f--k" is said a couple of times and written on the screen once. A teen calls a younger kid a "pap smear."
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Products & Purchases
Some pop culture TV shows, movies, and characters mentioned. Apple phones and laptops visible briefly once or twice. The Google search screen visible once or twice. Hennessey, Hyatt, and Invisalign mentioned briefly.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Babysitter gives 12-year-old Cole a shot of alcohol that's later revealed to be drugged. Cole pretends to drink it, and the babysitter drinks a shot herself. Cole is scared of an immunization shot; a scary close-up of a dripping needle is shown, and he's bullied into getting the shot. Teens lie about smoking pot and briefly mention it positively. One close-up shows drawing blood, inserting the needle twice, and blood smeared on the needle afterward.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Babysitter is a violent, gory, and sometimes even funny movie with a lot of appeal for teen horror fans. A cult ritual requires human sacrifice and the blood of an innocent, so there's lots of blood dripping, spewing (mostly played for comedy), and spattering everywhere and on almost everyone. Many violent deaths by stabbing, shooting, hanging, and falling, and even by a fireplace poker run all the way through someone's head. Main character Cole, 12, is bullied verbally and physically. The eerie, dark atmosphere is enhanced by tense music and several jump scares. Teens kiss as part of a Truth or Dare game, both same-sex and opposite-sex, and one prolonged scene shows lots of tongue and lip biting. Tweens kiss once and suggest making out next time. A married couple simulate manual manipulation under covers. A teen talks about and imitates "motorboating." Lots of strong language including "s--t," "f--k," "d--k," and "p---y." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Loads of appeal here for teen horror-comedy fans: attractive teen characters, inept adults, comic hysteria, childhood nostalgia, extended kissing scene, and, oh yeah, buckets and buckets of blood. The Babysitter sits comfortably somewhere in between the smarter-but-less-gory Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the gorier-but-cheesier Evil Dead franchises. Absolutely not for kids because of the extreme violence. Also not for anyone who's not a fan of horror.
But mature viewers who are fans will enjoy this one. The story's well constructed, the actors are pretty good, and the action keeps things moving at a good pace. It doesn't break any new ground, but it's entertaining for those who enjoy a good, gross scare every now and then.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.