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Andrew Bachelor, Bella Thorne and Robbie Amell in The Babysitter: Killer Queen.TYLER GOLDEN/Netflix

  • The Babysitter: Killer Queen
  • Directed by McG
  • Written by McG and Dan Lagana
  • Starring Judah Lewis, Bella Thorne and Ken Marino
  • Classification N/A; 101 minutes

Rating:

2 out of 4 stars


Here’s something that I never thought I would write: Good for McG.

Despite pummelling theatrical audiences for years with his unbelievably annoying and smug sensibility through Charlie’s Angels, Terminator Salvation and This Means War, the one-named wonder has found a bountiful second life through Netflix. Over the past three years, the director has delivered three films for the streaming giant, each of them seemingly made to appeal to certain search keywords – “hot cheerleader,” “'eighties movies,” “Stranger Things” – and each apparently drawing in enough eyeballs that the company keeps giving him work. So: good for McG. Bad for discerning audiences, though.

Because while McG’s latest Netflix production, a quick sequel to 2017′s horror-comedy The Babysitter, is oh-so-very McG – loud, gross and hyper-stylized to within an inch of its life – it is, well, extremely McG. Either you’re able to stomach the filmmaker’s bad taste, or you’re going to immediately sense the nausea to come and turn the thing off in 90 seconds flat (just before Netflix counts your time spent as an official “view”).

The film stars Judah Lewis as Cole, who runs off with his crush for a weekend at the lake.TYLER GOLDEN/Netflix

For those who survived more than two minutes of the original Babysitter, Killer Queen is exactly what you think it might be: a bloody riff on the high-school comedy movie, full of stereotypes stretched out to the point where comedic effect is negligible and slathered with buckets of gore. Those might be useful ingredients for a self-knowing filmmaker interested in experimenting and parodying genre forms, such as Joseph Kahn, but McG does not seem to be interested in anything other than surface-level slickness.

Picking up two years after the events of the first film, in which lonely virgin Cole (Judah Lewis) survives an attack from a Satanic cult led by his babysitter Bee (Samara Weaving), Killer Queen finds its hero haunted by the incident and abandoned by his family, who don’t believe his tale of terror. But maybe one weekend at the lake can change a man, and so off Cole goes with his crush Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind) for some fun and sun, only to find that his tormentors are back from the dead, eager to finish what they started.

What follows are already-dated pop-culture jokes, a decent singalong to Alannah Myles’s Black Velvet and a lot of splattery Final Destination-style deaths. Oh, and Ken Marino is back as Cole’s affable dad, cementing his reputation as Netflix’s favourite oblivious suburban father figure after last month’s The Sleepover.

It is all a lot of exhausting mindlessness, although I’m sure McG acolytes (some of you must be out there) will enjoy it. And at least no one is trapped inside a darkened theatre with Killer Queen. In this new era of McG movies, you can simply turn his film off, walk a few steps to your bedroom and go to sleep.

The Babysitter: Killer Queen is available to stream on Netflix starting Sept. 11

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