The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020)

I am one of the folks that loved McG’s 2018 horror comedy “The Babysitter.” It was a weird, gory, and funny horror comedy with an excellent cast, including Samara Weaving, who could take any role and turn it in to gold. When I heard of the sequel coming up shortly after, I was skeptical, if only because there didn’t seem to be anywhere else to go. Oddly enough the writers go in a completely new direction and for the most part it’s a raucous and fun follow up.

Two years after fighting off the devil cult led by his babysitter Bee, Cole is back and is now in high school. Sadly, he’s still very awkward and searching for a direction, and he finds stability in his only friend and next door neighbor Melanie. When he goes away with her and her friends for the weekend, Cole faces Bee’s devil cult once more, all of whom are out for his blood and vengeance. Now Cole has to figure out how to survive through the night as he crosses paths with Phoebe, the mysterious new girl in school.

There’s a lot about “Killer Queen” that’s meant to be kept a secret so it’s tough to review this movie without giving away major plot twists. Suffice to say much of the teen commentary and killer gore is present and accounted for, along with a new direction that I didn’t expect. I was certain Bee would be back to torment another new child in her charge, but McG re-joins Judah Lewis who reprises the role of Cole. The gorgeous Emily Alyn Lind is also back as Cole’s emphatic next door neighbor and childhood crush that sees the best in Cole, even when he doubts himself. It’s also tough not to have fun with Bella Thorne and Robbie Amell, both of whom aren’t given as much screen time for this outing, but have a blast in their respective characters skin.

“Killer Queen” watches a lot like a twisted take on Hellraiser where the cenobites are not so much twisted beings, but the very epitome of superficial and shallow. The villains here are proud of that fact, and will do whatever it takes to retain that part of their persona, no matter who they plow through. New character Jenna Ortega is also great, playing beautifully off of the established characters. “Killer Queen” has so many plot twists in its corner that it definitely avoids the doldrums of repetition and a monotonous follow up. It always kept me guessing and I mostly loved what it had in store. That said, the pop culture references get absolutely tiresome after the first forty minutes, and the writer never seems to go a minute without winking to some eighties film or TV show.

I also had a hard time swallowing the finale, which just didn’t make a ton of sense. I could not wrap my head around the explanation no matter how hard I tried, and it felt like a cheap excuse to write out one of the film’s big stars from the series mythos, in case we get a third film and fans wonder where they went. That said, “Killer Queen” is flawed but a lot of fun, and has a good time with its gore and grue as the original did. I doubt this is the end of the film series altogether, but if it has to be, I’m absolutely satisfied with how it’s all resolved. I hope if we get a third one the writers think outside the box once again and deliver something unique and fun.

Streaming exclusively on Netflix.