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Rachel Talalay's A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting Looks Like Spooky Fun

Liz (Oona Laurence) and Kelly (Tamara Smart) prepare to bust some Halloween invaders.
Liz (Oona Laurence) and Kelly (Tamara Smart) prepare to bust some Halloween invaders.
Photo: Justina Mintz/Netflix

It’s Halloween, and a babysitter realizes the boogeyman is real! It’s a familiar plot for horror fans, but a new Netflix movie takes that same premise and puts a far more family-friendly spin on the whole thing. However, as the trailer makes clear, A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting is definitely stuffed with monsters.

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Fortunately for the kiddos, the movie also features a posse of babysitters (who are kinda more like teenage secret agents) who know exactly what kind of action to take once those monsters start popping up.

Directed by Rachel Talalay (whose credits include Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Tank Girl, and a ton of TV including Doctor Who, Riverdale, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), Babysitter’s Guide was adapted by Joe Ballarini from his book series of the same name. And yes, that is Tom “Draco Malfoy” Felton positively hamming it up as the main nightmare-obsessed monster dude; the cast also includes Indya Moore (Pose), Tamara Smart (Artemis Fowl), and Oona Laurence (Pete’s Dragon).

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A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting hits Netflix on October 15.


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DISCUSSION

Looks alright. I like “secret society of <stuff>-hunters” premises (though they work better as episodic TV show, IMO, but those are sadly dying) and I admit that baby in a backpack had me laughing my ass off.

My only problem is with the villains. Felton looks like he is enjoying himself maybe a tad too much, which makes doubt he’ll manage to be even a smidge menacing. And then there are his “toadies”, which looks way too cartoony and incompetent. I know this is for kids, but good intimidating movie villains do exist: Judge Doom, Samuel L. Jackson in Miss Peregrine, Oogie-Boogie, Sivanha and the Seven Sins demons, Angelica Houston in the Witches, etc. These villains look too goofy for the tone they seem to be going for elsewhere.