The McG’s Directing Style in The Babysitter: Killer Queen Movie (2020)
The babysitter: Killer Queen is directed by McG or Joseph McGinty Nichol. He is also the director for the Charlie’s Angels film series (2000–2003). According to Celebrity Net Worth, he admits he is a quiet and introverted person. As a result, he became very involved in art and it was there that he began to devote all his time and effort to the art world. His work has now made him known for working with some of the biggest recording artists, such as Smashmouth, and winning Billboard’s Pop Video of the Year in 1997 for their video, Walking In The Sun. He also worked with the popular band Sugar Ray, for which he won Pop Video of the Year from the Music Video Production Association for the video Fly Sugar Ray, a song he also co-wrote.
The babysitter: Killer Queen (2020) is a teen comedy-horror movie and the reunion of the first film The Babbysitter (2017) and it takes place two years after the first film premiered. Still with the same characters including some of the characters who died in the first film. The main character Cole (Judah Lewis) who is still traumatized by the events of the satanic night, can’t prove to everyone that Bee (Samara Weaving) is part of the devil because no one believes him. In this second film, Cole also interacts more intensely with his best friend Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind). Likewise, the story in this film is very mindblowing and has a plot twist as well.
Unfortunately, after one week the sequel of The Babysitter was released, it received a lot of criticism. Some think this film is not as funny and exciting as the first film, not creative, so underrated, and many regret Melanie’s poor acting. Some also say that this film does not represent the first The Babysitter film at all. However, of all these criticisms, the most interesting thing to discuss is the style and characteristics of the director of this film, Joseph McGinty Nichol or more popularly known as McG. How he created his character, plot, and brave style to display the gore scenes in this film.
However, before that, the writer would like to explore how the genre of this film and McG’s auteurship is portrayed through this film. Through this genre and auteurship, the author will describe how both of them are related to McG’s personality in his success in making The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020).
A. The Auteurship of McG And The Genre of The Babysitter: Killer Queen
Nowadays, when viewers watch a film, they can see who the director or screenwriter is. For example, based on camera movement, directing style, storyline and so on. However, it is not for all films because only an auteur who has an auteurship can show their style and theme in their own film. The writer here will discuss the auteurship of McG in this topic. According to (Caughie, 2013), an auteur is an artist whose personality is ‘written’ in film.’ That is, the auteur has its own style and theme in each film..
The Auteur is the sole artist who controls all aspects of creative work in the entertainment world. This term is used to refer to a film director who has a style, characteristic, and uniqueness in making films at that director that can be recognized by viewers (Caughie, 2013). Joseph McGinty Nichol also known as McG, is an American director, producer, and former record producer. He has produced music videos in the 90s including All-Star — Smash Mouth, Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) by The Offspring, etc. With Drew Barrymore, he later turned to film directing. His first film was Charlie’s Angles which became the highest-grossing film for his directorial debut at that time in 2000. He then directed several other films such as Terminator Salvation, This Means War, 3 Days to Kill, and many more.
McG’s film style stands out with his bold satirical creations. In McG’s production, the plot of the film is made to appear complicated and colorful. Most of the music videos he makes also feature goofy but funny scenes, as well as movies, featuring iconic ideas and moments that stand out. He always considers the actors and actresses who will play in his films and during production, emphasizes that the hallmark of his films comes from the energy of the actress or actor. His fun style is always shown in the storyline of the film. McG presents his film with Matrix-style superb image technology. It keeps up with the times and technology. He includes a modern director because he often directs films that have imaging technology such as Charlie’s Angels and Terminator Salvation. Meanwhile, McG in the film The Babysitter also presents gore and bloodied action but still with a witty style. The storyline for this sequel is unpredictable and audiences are asked to guess who brought them all back. For the question why the title is Killer Queen, viewers will find it at the end of the film. Moreover, McG gave an unexpected surprise. Furthermore, McG is able to bring various genres in one film at once.
The Babysitter Killer Queen is as fun as the first film. Combining all genres including teenage romance, horror, thriller, comical, and certainly the most striking scenes of gore. But there is one interesting thing in the romance scenes in this movie that Cole still love Melanie. Each time he interacts with Melanie, the people around Cole moved slowly, as if the world only belong to both. But like the joke “Good girls like bad guys”, Melanie is actually dating Jimmy (Maximilian Acevedo), a handsome man with a burly body with an annoying personality typical of a frat boy. When knowing that his parents quietly put him at psychiatry school, Cole accepted the invitation to run away to spend the weekend to party in a lake with Melanie, Jimmy, and his friends.
Cole thought this was his chance to win back Melani’s affection. He has prepared everything and it seemed to be going smoothly at first until the bloody terror of the devil worship group came back to Cole. From here, many reviewers regretted that some of the scenes did not meet their expectations. But that’s how McG’s script along with other writers offers their own characteristics. They created that characteristic through their own creativity and desire. McG deliberately did not meet the expectations of their viewers in order to maintain the style of the film. This is what makes McG considered a modern auteur who focuses on what he knows and wants to appear in his films. In some chase scenes, there are scenes that show several players who die and then come back to life. A lot of criticism from viewers who say about this scene is very unreasonable and illogical. But McG seems to want to emphasize that this is kind of a “Shitpost Movie”. He did not expect everyone to understand the meaning and logic of the plot of The Babysitter: Killer Queen. It seems like McG wants to channel this film to horror comedy lovers only, to viewers who already understand that there is no logical thing to be found in comedy horror films but only shitpost scenes.
Moreover, we are introduced to the presence of Phoebe (Jenna Ortega) who is told as a new student who will then bring the background of Bee. In the sequel of The babysitter, all began to seem clear how a Bee finally decided to make a satanic sect. Everything seemed inconsequential when McG made the arrival of the devil who saved Bee suddenly and out of nowhere. The question arise, what was the underlying reason that the devil wanted to save Bee? And why do the devil wanted her to worship the devil? Not to mention the scene where Bee and his friends slaughtered a geeky teenager and made his blood splatter. This scene appears more and more often, almost in every death, which Mc later executes in a more gory, more over-the-top manner, also with creativity that still deserves praise in The Babysitter: Killer Queen. And as already mentioned, some absurd and random scenes are occasionally inserted, which as a result, can be annoying, but can also add to the enjoyment.
B. The Directing Style in The Babysitter: Killer Queen
McG remains a director who delivers big bursts of laughter and bloody deaths. His cheerful and energetic directing style fits well with the films he makes, and the result is a very enjoyable film that is full of personality. In The Babysitter: Killer Queen, McG tries aggressively to put on a different comedy horror film. The story provides an interesting set before moving on to a series of jokes, laughs, and flashbacks from some of the cast. Where the first film weaves humor built on teen romance and awkward relationships between family and peers. Screenwriters such as Dan Lagana, Brad Morris, Jimmy Warden, and McG himself seem to think about finding the creative and unpredictable side.
In the first film Cole is a boy. In his second film, McG creates a transition of Cole to young adulthood and he deliberately builds it based on his odd high school experience (Nofpodcast.com). His directing style is similar to the Flashdance he grew up on in The Sound of Music and Grease and the music videos he made for Quentin Tarantino in the 90s. The first thing that made him able to create greatness in the film The Babysitter: Killer Queen was the script that Brian Duffield wrote for the first film. For him, it is very lively and original as a horror lover. Its characteristics always make films that are never genre-specific. McG’s goal has always been to mix genres and synthesize tones that don’t traditionally coexist and it’s from there that The Babysitter 2 produces film as the originality. It’s the mixtape that goes against the genre.
Caughie, J. (2013). Theories of authorship. Routledge.
Celebrity Networth.com. (nd). McG aka Joseph McGinty Nichol Net Worth. https://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/directors/mcg-aka-joseph-mcginty-nichol-net-worth/
Headhuntershorrorhouse.fandom.com. (nd). McG Directors. https://headhuntershorrorhouse.fandom.com/wiki/McG
Nofpodcast.com. (Sep 11, 2020). [Exclusive Interview] Director Mcg On Pulling Together The Mixtape Sequel That Is The Babysitter: Killer Queen. https://nofspodcast.com/exclusive-interview-director-mcg-on-pulling-together-the-mixtape-sequel-that-is-the-babysitter-killer-queens