A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting (2020)

dir. Rachel Talalay

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting quite possibly has the most childish title of all time. Go figure – it’s a kids’ movie, following a young babysitter who goes on a magical quest to save the boy she was supposed to be looking after. He’s been kidnapped, which would pretty much render our protagonist the worst babysitter of all time; nevertheless she’s permitted to join the secret society of annoying monster-fighting babysitters. The kidnapper is the Grand Guignol, a leader in the world of monsters, played with acutely cringeworthy aplomb by a career-meandering Tom Felton, who looks like a mix of Edward Scissorhands and a Ring-seduced Sméagol. The thing with A Babysitter’s Guide is, while it’s a kids’ film, some of the imagery is genuinely terrifying, like eerie skulls floating in smoke, or monsters getting totally gutted (but their blood is blue, which ostensibly means it’s not gory to see them lying in pools of it). An expectedly stupid, but also surprisingly perturbing, experience.

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