Babysitter is a genre bending world premiere screening at the Sundance Film Festival. Cedric gets suspended from work after accidentally sexually assaulting a reporter on live television. He decides to work with his brother to write a book in order to apologize for his past misogyny. When he hires a new babysitter, it changes the lives of everyone in his family.
The camerawork is constantly keeping the audience off kilter. In the early moments of Babysitter, it looks like the film will be a satire of male gazing camera shots. There is a lot of that, but director Monia Chokri (who also appears in the film) uses all sorts of imagery. Babysitter is often a bright movie filled with pinks and blues, giving it almost the look of a fairy tale. The closing moments are something out of a horror movie and filled with tension. Throughout the film, there is excellent use of light and shadow. Many times, faces are blurred and sometimes not even shown to focus on other parts of the body. On the flip side, there are extreme close ups that seem to want to disturb the audience. It is all intentionally disorienting and titillating.
Each of the main characters are made to confront their sexual anxieties. The plot has a nice lead up with great sexual tension and some genuinely funny moments. The movie goes all in during the third act, and things get very weird very quickly. The entirety of Babysitter moves at a brisk pace, but a lot happens in a relatively short period of time towards the end. Babysitter is a different type of sex comedy. It is unafraid to resort to dick jokes and sexy maid costumes while also commentating on misogyny and hypocrisy. The film is filled with relatable people (for better and worse). The rapid fire camerawork and banter will turn some people off, but those who stick around should appreciate what the movie is trying to say.
The Sundance Film Festival is online January 20- January 30. Tickets can be purchased and a full lineup can be found here.
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