A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting is poised to become the next family Halloween classic

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting: (L-R) Tamara Smart as Kelly Ferguson, Ian Ho as Jacob Zellman, Oona Laurence as Liz Lerue. Cr. Justina Mintz/NETFLIX © 2020
A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting: (L-R) Tamara Smart as Kelly Ferguson, Ian Ho as Jacob Zellman, Oona Laurence as Liz Lerue. Cr. Justina Mintz/NETFLIX © 2020 /

If you’re looking for a Halloween film for the entire family, A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting might be the perfect choice for you.

With Halloween just a couple of weeks away, streaming platforms like Netflix are bringing movie and television lovers plenty of spooky content to enjoy. And Netflix’s latest Halloween movie is gearing up to become a new favorite for kids. You’ll want to add A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting to your family’s queue — because it’s setting itself up to become the next family classic for those Spooky Season movie nights.

Based on Joe Ballarini’s middle-grade book of the same name, A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting is set in a world where pre-teen babysitters must protect their charges from the very real monsters that exist — and the Boogeyman who controls them.

Of course, the average person in this world doesn’t know about the monsters, the Boogeyman, or the babysitters. And our main character, Kelly (Tamara Smart) is among those ignorant of all these developments, even if she had her own inexplicable run-in with the Boogeyman, better known as The Grand Guignol (Tom Felton), when she was younger.

Kelly quickly discovers that her childhood experience wasn’t just her mind playing tricks on her when she’s forced into babysitting for her mom’s boss on Halloween night. When the monsters and the Boogeyman come for Jacob (Ian Ho), the little boy she’s supposed to be watching, she’s swept up into this world of chaos and adventure.

With the help of Liz Lerue (Oona Laurence), a monster-hunting babysitter with plenty of prior experience under her belt, Kelly attempts to track down The Grand Guignol, save Jacob, and get him back in bed before his mother gets home from her Halloween party. She’s nothing if not ambitious. And Liz has a whole team of babysitters and a secret lair to help.

The dynamic between Kelly and Liz is enough reason to dive into this film, and the pair is at the heart of some of the movie’s best moments. Really, they’re polar opposites; while Kelly is more reserved and unsure of herself, Liz is straightforward and no-nonsense. The two play off of one another well, and they bring to life the type of female friendship movies need more of — particularly those geared toward younger audiences.

Of course, the remaining young talent shines just as bright, even if they aren’t onscreen nearly as much. Ho plays Jacob impressively, and Liz’s monster-hunting team is made up of quirky, fun characters we only wish we’d gotten to know a little better before the film’s end.

The adult characters also make fun additions to the film, though none quite so much as Felton’s villain, who’s creepy and has a tendency to burst into song while doing his misdeeds. It’s interesting to see the Draco Malfoy actor step into this vastly different role, and he’s more or less unrecognizable by how much he nails it.

As far as the plot and the action goes, it’s important to understand that The Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting is aimed at kids first and foremost. Adults aren’t going to turn this movie off and have trouble sleeping at night, and they shouldn’t. The film walks a good balance between being spooky and being comical and entertaining, making this everything a Halloween feature for kids should be.

For older audiences, A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting will have the same sort of appeal as movies like Hocus Pocus or Halloweentown. They’re fun, they’re zany, and they have all the elements necessary to get us in the Halloween spirit — even if they may no longer be intended for us.

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A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting is currently streaming on Netflix. Will you be adding it to your October watch list? Sound off in the comments below.