There’s something about babysitters that Hollywood just loves. Perhaps it’s because the scenario lends itself so well to such a variety of movie genres. From the slapstick adventures of children’s antics when Mom and Dad are away, to the terror of spending the night in a strange house alone, babysitters deliver the goods. See if you can spot some favorites of yours in this list of 10 cool movies about babysitters:
- Don’t Bother to Knock – Well worth viewing, if for no other reasons than its fabulous film noir vibe; plus proof positive for posterity that this gal named Marilyn Monroe wasn’t all just looks and lilt.
- When a Stranger Calls (1979) – “Have you checked the children?” That one line, a question repeated menacingly by the voice on the phone, begins a night of terror for Jill Johnson. It culminates in a chilling crescendo with the revelation that, “The call is coming from inside the house!”
- Adventures in Babysitting – Elisabeth Shue plays the role of Chris Parker who agrees to babysit when her date stands her up for the evening. Little does she know what’s in store for her when she comes to the aid of a friend in downtown Chicago. Best line of the movie:
Gang Leader: “Don’t @*%# with the Lords of Hell.”
Chris Parker (holding knife to gang leader’s face): “Don’t @*%# with the babysitter.”
- Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead – Is Keith Coogan in every babysitting comedy, or does it just seem that way? This time his babysitter is a geriatric taskmaster who doesn’t survive the night. Now the kids need to take over while their parents (and the sitter) are away Down Under.
- Halloween (1978) – Jamie Lee Curtis takes her turn as babysitter. Just her luck, it’s Halloween and Michael Myers is back in town, fresh out of the asylum after having murdered his sister 15 years ago. What’s a girl need to do to make an honest and bloodless buck these days anyway?
- Uncle Buck – Family black sheep Buck Russell (John Candy) comes to the rescue when his brother and sister-in-law are stuck for babysitting help. Now all he needs to do is get his teenage niece, Tia, to see things his way and see through her boyfriend’s scheming ways – with a little friendly persuasion, courtesy of Uncle Buck.
- Labyrinth – Jim Henson, George Lucas, David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly? Sounds like a winner to me. Connelly, as Sarah, is babysitting her younger brother when she accidentally surrenders him over to Jareth the Goblin King (Bowie). She’s got until midnight to bring him safely back home.
- Child’s Play – A word of advice to parents for the holidays: Don’t buy your gifts from a street vendor. Not unless you want your kid to wind up with a doll possessed by the soul of a serial killer, anyway. Just ask little Andy Barclay about his friend Chucky.
- Jerry Maguire – This story of a sports agent (Tom Cruise) who grows a conscience, and falls in love with his assistant in the process, is pure gold. The actual babysitter in the movie, Chad, plays a minor role – as “child technician” to little Ray Boyd. Jerry’s role in the life of the boy, however, grows along with his conscience and his love for Ray’s Mom, Dorothy (Renée Zellweger).
- Erin Brockovich – A single mom with no job badgers her lawyer into hiring her to work at his firm. Legal brilliance ensues, from the most unlikely of places. Julia Roberts is wonderful in the title role, as is Albert Finney as her harried boss. Aaron Eckhart does a commendable job as her biker friend who bonds with Erin’s children as she sets out to slay corporate dragon, Pacific Gas and Electric.