Like many other parents, we struggle to have a date night alone. Usually, the family helps to look after the girls, and this only happens once every few months. One of the reasons is that we have yet to find a babysitter. It could very well be my fault. More than once, when we brought up the subject of ordering the babysitter, I hesitated. “You can’t rely on babysitters today,” I told my wife. “What if we fall for some crazy person with some malicious plan? Or will the babysitter witness unusual events at home, for example, a scary clown that comes out through the television?”. My wife was not impressed and looked at me with disdain. “You and your horror movies again,” she said firmly. “Oh, look. There’s the show we wanted to see in the theatre. I’ll see if my mom can care for the girls”.
The truth is, I have an inexplicable fondness for babysitting movies. There is something about these films that makes them enjoyable to me, even if their quality is far from perfect: the fact that they tend to be entertaining, this threat which arrived in a place that should be safe, the moments of tension and jump scares, the pretty hot babysitters… It’s a guilty pleasure for me, and thankfully the other decades have seen quite a few babysitter movies. Most of them are fun, and some are even very successful. So how many babysitter movies are there that you can consider as “Horror”? And what are the best scary babysitter movies?
Babysitter Horror Movies We (Kind Of) Liked
Halloween (1978… to date)
Not sure that the first thing you think about in the context of the horror classic Halloween,” which introduced Michael Myers to the world, is that it is a babysitting movie. But the fact is that the plot of the first film focused on Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), who looks after two children on Halloween and discovers that a psychopathic killer with an expressionless mask and an extraordinary ability to move from place to place quickly even though he walks very slowly, is chasing her.
Then came something like another 11 films in four timelines and three generations, which pretty much spoiled the final impression. But still, the first “Halloween” is a masterpiece, one of the most influential films in horror cinema and a film that every horror fan must see at least once.
When a Stranger Calls (1979 and 2006)
Let’s go to 1979, when “When a Stranger Calls” was released. The plot here will remind you of many other, less successful nanny movies in which a babysitter is chased by a specific person who phones her over and over again and later, of course, also tries to murder her. The original film, with Carol Kane’s excellent performance as the babysitter, is considered very influential. It includes the immortal sentence “The call comes from inside the house,” which has received many quotes and references and influenced, among other things, THAT famous opening scene from the first “Scream.” It combines a horror film with detective-thriller elements, which is mostly very successful.
In 1993 there was also a sequel, with a large part of the original cast, called “When A Stranger Calls Back.” In 2006 we saw a “When A Stranger Calls” remake with the attractive Camilla Belle, which was mediocre but still somewhat enjoyable. It is much more accessible than the original film, but we recommend seeing the original movie first.
Babysitter Wanted (2008)
A Confession: I like this little, low-budget movie from 2008. On the one hand, it doesn’t show anything we haven’t seen in other films. Here, too, a young babysitter (Sarah Thompson) arrives to take care of a child, and here, too, it is quickly discovered that someone – or something – is chasing her. The film includes elements that you will recognize from other films in this genre, including several that star on this very list. On the other hand, the twist did work on me, and I found quite a few moments of relatively successful suspense and horror.
The House of the Devil (2009)
“The House Of The Devil” is one of the first films of Ty West, who is known today mainly for the excellent trilogy with Mia Goth: “X,” “Pearl,” and the final film “Maxxxine,” which is yet to reach us. In The Devil’s House, which is a clear homage to the horror films of the 70s and 80s, a young student (Jocelyn Donahue, who had relatively minor roles in “The Conjuring 2” and “Doctor Sleep”) arrives at an isolated house of family and comes across a long series of strange phenomena that are related – as you can perhaps conclude – to the devil and any pagan rituals.
The film combines several genres, for example, ghost films and slashers, and it certainly shows the potential of Ty West, which we all know today.
All Hallows’ Eve (2013)
We have already written quite a bit on the website about our fondness for the character of Art the Clown and Damien Leona’s excellent Terrifier movies. “All Hallows’ Eve” is our first profound encounter with a character who could very well be a horror icon: so it is true that already in 2006 there was a short film called “The 9th Circle” with Art the Clown, but it is likely that most of you You have not encountered him. In All Hallows’ Eve, a babysitter (Katie Maguire) finds a mysterious VHS that shows three horror stories centered, among other things, on Art the Clown. Not all of these stories are successful – yes, we mean mainly the second story, from which what we remember is a dancing alien – but in our opinion, it is worth seeing, especially to be exposed to Art the Clown, played here by a guy named Mike Giannelli (in the following films, David Howard Thornton replaced him).
We especially liked the last scene, which connects the frame stories and brings horror to the house where the unfortunate babysitter is. It’s a slightly psychotic and wildly exaggerated scene, but also scary, which showed the future direction these films would go.
“Emelie” is one of those “there’s something wrong with the new babysitter” movies, and that’s just fine by us. Emelie (the excellent Sarah Bulger) arrives to babysit the family’s three children, posing as another nanny she kidnapped. Very quickly, the children discover that “something is wrong with the new babysitter,” includes the killing of a pet, a scene bordering on sexual harassment in which she inserts a tampon into her body in front of the lingering children, another scene bordering on sexual harassment in which she shows the children a sex tape of their parents and of course some malicious programs as well Regarding the family members.
It’s hard to say this evil nanny movie is too successful or believable, but it is fun and does the job.
Better Watch Out (2016)
In this tremendous comedy-horror film, Ashley (the excellent Olivia DeJonge, “The Visit” and “Scare Campaign”) is a young babysitter who looks after a boy named Luke (Levi Miller) on Christmas Eve. Beyond that, it is recommended not to know too much about this film, which presents some pretty convincing twists about the pursuers’ identity and motivations. “Better Watch Out” is one of the films that surprised me the most in this subgenre, and I found it enjoyable from start to finish – and even a little surprising.
The Babysitter (2017)
You didn’t think we’d do a babysitting movie review and not include this hit Netflix horror comedy, did you? It starts like a lot of people’s fantasies: 12-year-old Cole (Judah Lewis) discovers that his babysitter is none other than Samara Weaving (“Ready Or Not”). When he follows her at night and finds her participating in a hot game of “Truth Or Dare,” which also includes a kiss with Bella Thorne, he declares that he is in love. But very quickly, after the evil babysitter murders a poor man, the film turns into a game of cat, mouse, and nanny. You will also find some weird deals with the devil and a few touches of blood, humor, and Samara weaving.
The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2019)
The sequel “The Babysitter: Killer Queen” arrived two years later. The film follows the same heroine, this time in high school, who tries to recover from the same murderous events, encountering new brutal events and cult stories that don’t quite make sense. Although Samara Weaving’s role here is as the evil nanny is quite limited, the best part here is Jenna Ortega. Today you know her as one of the hottest actresses in Hollywood and a favorite, especially for horror lovers, following her roles in Tim Burton’s “Wednesday,” “X,” and, of course, the last two films in the “Scream” franchise.
Do you have any recommendations for other babysitting movies? Do you know someone who is not psychopathic and is available to look after two cute girls, who doesn’t beling to any cult? Feel free to contact us.