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Movies & TV

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting (2020)

Typically in my house, we always do what I want to. I get to pick what music we listen, what we watch on the TV, what we eat etc etc. I’m not a dictator, my partner just really struggles at making decisions. So, we always do what I want. As long as I don’t brush my teeth alone, we are golden. Seriously, she has a weird thing about that. It’s the one thing I get in trouble for. Anyway, with her birthday coming up (today actually, happy birthday dingus) I thought I’d let her pick last night’s movie. That was a mistake on my behalf. You have her to thank for the next thousand words or so, which will no doubt be filled of sarcasm, sass and anger.

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting is another film distributed by Netflix, based upon a book that I have never, ever heard of. I take comfort in the fact that if I ever decide to make a movie (which I plan on doing one day) that Netflix will pick it up, no questions asked.

The film was written by Joe Ballarini and is based upon his book, of the same name. The really good news is it’s the first part of a trilogy. Yippee. Ivan Reitman was attached as the prouder, but even his considerable talent couldn’t save this one.

The “star-studded” cast was lead by Tom Felton, who you probably remember from playing the snot nosed brat, Draco Malfoy. He is the reason we had to watch the film, primarily because my fiancé wants to sleep with him. The years since the Hogwarts battle have not been kind to Draco, he now goes by Grand Guignol and has aged considerably. He still hates Harry Potter and is planning on using magic to destroy him. Ok, ok, I admit it. That’s not the real. I made my own and it was far more entertaining.

The real plot line was for more drab, so instead of my normal in depth breakdown, I’m only going to do a quick summary and then will highlight some of my favourite (the dumbest) scenes. Basically, a loser called Kelly had to babysit the child of her mother’s boss. Because she was obviously a loser, her mother assumed she had no plans and volunteered her to babysit. She almost instantly fails and the child is kidnapped, by the Grand Guignol.

Without her asking, a Justin Bieber wannabe turns up to help her get the kidnapped boy back. Turns out there is a whole secret society of babysitters that fight monsters. Monsters that look like they are a toy from a Happy Meal. Anyway, they team up and save the day, bringing the kid back and getting him to sleep. They set up for a sequel and call it a day.

Now that that is out of the way, let’s get to the “good” stuff. Kelly is making a halloween costume and is soldering something. What are you, Ironman? On that note, what is she, Ironman? What was with all the Jarvis like calculations anytime she was asked a question? Maths can’t solve everything. Apparently, it can though.

When Kelly is first left alone with Jacob, the boy she is babysitting, she sends him to bed instantly. Literally. To be fair, he actually sent himself to bed. Weirdo. That’s when he gets kidnapped. Kelly witnesses the monsters dragging him away, but she is too busy playing tug-of-war over a goose lamp to help him. She just watches the whole thing, refusing to let go of the lamp. Priorities!

Enter Justin Bieber. I was going to do an “AKA” and put her character name in, but I can’t find it or remember it. Liz? We will just have to call her Biebs. So, Biebs rocks up, uninvited, to help save Jacob. She brags about being an amazing babysitter, meanwhile she has a baby on a motorbike. For real? If you’re such a good sitter, it would at least be in a sidecar. I dread to think of the damage the helmet is doing to the poor things neck.

Babysitter of the year, Biebs, has the idea to use the baby she is caring for as bait, in order to lure out the monsters. At least she is consistent in not caring about the child’s welfare. The plan is going off without a hitch until Kelly get’s cold feet. Kelly shouts “I can’t do this”, charges a monster, gets scared and runs back, diving into a ball pit. Nice. Way to stuff up everything, Kelly. Biebs rambles on about something and says “this is worse than I thought”. That makes two of us, Biebs.

Later we see Grand Guignol attempting to get Jacob to sleep. “Why are you singing?” Jacob asks. That’s a good question, kid. Grand Guignol also gives him about 12-13 glasses of warm milk. That’s gonna make for some explosive diarrhoea on those sheets, GG. I’m pretty sure Jacob is lactose intolerant as well. That or his mother is over protective. Either way, I’d probably just throw those sheets out.

Speaking of GG, he literally just straight up tells Kelly the secret to killing him. They don’t even try and hide it anymore or have the villain accidentally slip up in a monologue. He just straight up comes out with it. Maybe he wants to die.

All that milk has given Jacob the ability to do his own watered down version of a Masenko. Kelly does some quick mathematics in her head and turns into a super hero. Maybe that was explained more in the book. Or maybe I just zoned out one too many times. Both are feasible. Anyway, Kelly kills GG with a “monster punch”. Unfortunately, she didn’t go full anime and scream “monster punch” as she delivered the killing blow. GG then cemented his status as the greatest character with his last words. As everyone is walking away, leaving him to die, he says something like “Wait. Wait. You’re a loser, Kelly”. What an amazing ending that left me saying “What the eff just happened?”.

The soundtrack was awful, but I am 100% out of touch with what is considered cool these days. So, maybe it was cool. But for me, it was awful. “That’s not music” screamed my inner old man. Then I realised, the inner old man now lives on the outside. There are some lyrics I wish I’d written down last night to include in this section, but I didn’t. I’d look it up now but I really need to go to the toilet and this thing is starting to run long.

In short, I hated this film. But, I’m a thirty year old man and I am obviously, not the target audience. I’m sure the kids and possible preteens would enjoy it. Maybe some of the parents as well. That being said, I don’t even think my partner liked it. I’m sure if I was 6, I would have enjoyed it. I dread to think of how bad some of the movies from my childhood are, but I remember liking them.

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