Film Corner: The Babysitter

The Babysitter

Okay, I am sick as fuck and have the flu maybe so instead of working on edits, I'm going to attempt The Babysitter on Netflix.

"What class did you learn that in?"
"No one learns anything in class, Cole. That's why we have the internet."

Why are school bullies always portrayed as fat? Fat kids are overwhelmingly more likely to BE bullied. There's no reason other than fat stigma to signal instantly to the audience that this person is bad *because* they are fat. The head bully is also a black kid because OF COURSE a fat black kid is going to have more social power in a white school + white suburbia than his skinny, attractive, white male victim.

Look, the trailer was good so I'm hoping it gets better. Cole has been rescued by the most beautiful girl in the world. She is scarily affectionate. The trailer has teased that she will try to satanically murder Cole in a sorta cheesy Home Alone thriller. This pleases my flu-addled brain. I... really like Cole's mom. I was not expecting that. No, I actually love her.

Cole's adorable-and-age-appropriate girl friend warns him that his overly-affectionate hot babysitter probably has guys over while he sleeps. He determines to stay up and be sure for himself because the babysitter has creepily groomed him into a 'relationship'. To the movie's credit (I think? I've been burned before), it is presented as SUPER creepy and NOT OKAY how the older girl is grooming Cole. I know the movie is supposed to be cheese, but I really hope they do this right because I've been hammering on about how we don't take male victims seriously.

Mom and Dad leave for the weekend so now it's just Cole and Bee the Babysitter. Oh my god, this is like CRACKS but with a boy being creepily groomed instead of girls. (I like CRACKS but it's NOT a safe movie for everyone.) The babysitter girl even kinda looks like Netflix budget younger Eva Green. (She's very good in this role, whoever she is.) She tries to give Cole alcohol and Cole pours it in a potted plant instead YES MY GOOD SON YES.

God, I know some of this is going to play into the "hot girls are liars and you can't trust them" problematic trope, but I almost feel like this is an EXCELLENT picture of grooming and how to guard against it. Cole pretends to fall asleep and hears a bunch of people downstairs. He crawls out to investigate and my heart is in my throat.


Yeah, I have no idea how to live-tweet this movie and will probably have to stop tweeting because trying to WORD at it is very hard. Taken in a vacuum, it is surprisingly good so far at showing how vulnerable men can be groomed and abused. Which... we don't really have enough of, so... good? Taken in the surrounding cultural context, there's definitely shades of "hot women can't be trusted" which we have WAY TOO MUCH OF, so... less good?

But if they'd made the babysitter a boy, then we'd fall into Predatory Gay tropes. And if she was plain, we'd fall into Underage Grooming Of Boys Is Only Abusive If She's Not Hot tropes. So I have no idea how to rate this movie but I will definitely be watching it further. Thanks for sticking with my extremely short live-watch thread. Oh gosh, they even addressed that just because Bee is evil doesn't mean all or even most women are. It's like they KNEW the trope was lurking in the background.

Wow, okay, that was a wild ride, but I guess I liked it? I don't know. Note there is fat-shaming and racism in addition to the abuse grooming triggers.


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