“The Babysitter: Killer Queen” is a sequel to the teen death-cult comedy “The Babysitter,” which all the cool kids gathered round the TV to “Netflix” back in 2017.
The sequel, in which finding fresh slasher comedy laughs shows, first scene to last, isn’t anything to skip (home) school for.
And there’s just enough down time, –in between the frenetic butchery, manic off-color one-liners, teens behaving badly, teachers cursing students and parents taking bong hits while they play VR “Halo” — to ponder the imponderable.
McG? What HAPPENED to you, man?
Granted, in this “post-director” filmmaking environment, where you’re either a legend or just this week’s hack who talks a good game and works cheap (Russo Brothers, cough cough), just finding steady work is a challenge.
But McG, real name Joseph McGinty Nicol, directed “We Are Marshall.” He survived the Cameron/Lucy/Drew “Charlie’s Angels” franchise (barely). He even got to do a “Terminator” sequel.
And here he is, just a couple of years after getting that AARP card in the mail, producing and directed a little TV here and there and making disposable shlock-shock comedies for Netflix.
“Killer Queen” has our once-babysat fraidy-cat Cole (Judah Lewis) coping with high school bullies, parents (Leslie Bibb, Ken Marino) who never believed his babysitter was mistress of a Devil Book cult. The only “friend” who could verify the events of that awful, blood-stained night they survived two years ago is Mel (Emily Alyn Lind), the school hottie who refuses to ding her rep by confirming his worst nightmare was true.
As consolation, she invites him to a Teens Gone Wild houseboat party down on Lake Mead or Lake Powell (in the desert). And damned if the SAME murderous things go down, with many of the same villains. He and we are puzzled when Allison (Bella Thorne), Sonya (Hana Mae Lee) and John (Andrew Bachelor), among others, show up for more ritualistic “play.” Didn’t we see Allison’s head explode in a shotgun blast last time out?
“What can I say? The Devil gives good head!”
Maybe the new Goth girl, fresh from “juvie” and named “Phoebe” (Jenna Ortega) can help.
Every joke is a piece of low-hanging fruit, every gag sophomoric, every “zinger” a dated bit of teen-friendly innuendo.
Melanie? She’s “DTF,” her stoner-Dad (Chris Wylde) cracks. “Ditches (school) Thursday and Fridays.”
Some of the effects are OK, and the night shots around the lake show some sophistication.
But the script is utter crap, the performances pro forma and the “threat” even sillier, if bloodier, than it was last time around.
And any minute now, we’ll witness the last Bella Thorne movie performance. She’s found an easier, more lucrative means of shaking her money maker.
McG man, come on. You’re better than this. I think.
MPAA Rating: TV-MA, graphic bloody violence, drug abuse, profanity, innuendo
Cast: Judah Lewis, Jenna Ortega, Emily Alyn Lind, Leslie Bibb, Ken Marino and Bella Thorne.
Credits: Directed by McG, script by Dan Lagana, Brad Morris. A Netflix release.
Running time: 1:42