Today we’re talking about the 2020 film A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting.
A by the numbers spy/secret society/urban fantasy first episode. This is an example of not just playing into the tropes but embracing them fully.
The story isn’t new, but it is well executed with extremely good set up. Predictable but fun.
The main genre team tropes are all there: the science nerd, the tech nerd, the bad-ass with a tragic backstory, and of course the special kid who was destined to be the hero with a special power. (I like that the power is math.)
Overall, these characters should be flat and boring, copies of copies, but somehow through writing and acting the characters are likeable and unique.
Tom Felton chewed up the scenery, relishing the role, as a weird cross between Jude Law as Pitch in Rise of the Guardians and Michael Keaton’s Beetlejuice.
The dialogue was standard YA and with the exception of Tom Felton and the kidnapped kid there wasn’t much good dialogue. Nothing cringe, just bland.
Visuals and Music
Surprisingly pretty and wonderfully shot. The movie uses every horror trick except the expanding corridor and uses them well. When the movie wasn’t in full horror mode it was bright colours and beautiful sets.
The music was subtle but effective. A lot of half used pop songs but they were effective and pushed the urban fantasy feel.
I think this was just the perfect scary level for my daughter but she’s a horror fan. It was a little scary for my Mother In-Law though. I found it a lot of fun but it did suffer from the need to set everything up for this movie and the next 2. (Assuming they’re doing all 3 books.)
It was definitely handled better than Society for Second born Royals but not as well as Enola Holmes. That being said, I look forward to re-watching this one.
A fun movie with a few flaws. Easily a new favourite Halloween movie and I’m excited for the next ones in the series. Not perfect, but a lot of fun.
Final Score: 4 stars out of 5