Another entertaining entry to Netflix’s Halloween 2020 collection, ‘A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting, ’ tells the story of a seemingly ordinary teenager Kelly Ferguson (Tamara Smart), who reluctantly agrees to babysit her mother’s boss’ son. When the young boy is taken by the same monster that traumatized her when she was a child herself, she must embark on an incredible but dangerous journey to rescue him.
She discovers that the world is filled with monsters, and there is a global clandestine organization of babysitters that fights them to protect certain gifted children. Directed by Rachel Talalay, the film is based on the first book in the young-adult trilogy of the same name. SPOILERS AHEAD!
A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting Plot Synopsis
The film begins when Kelly was still a child. As it is shown later through flashbacks, she used to be one of the rare children who has the “Gift of Dreams,” which manifests whatever they see in their dreams and nightmares into the real world. One night, she is visited by The Grand Guignol (Tom Felton), who wants to create an army of such manifestations. One of the seven Boogeypeople or top-tier monsters, his ultimate goal is to bring destruction down on humanity.
At the time, Kelly was saved by her babysitter, who turns to be a member of the Order of the Babysitters, as well as by her own ingenuity. Several years have since passed. Kelly is now an extraordinarily talented math wiz with typical teen issues, from mean girls to pretty boys to well-meaning but hapless parents. Some bullies at her school call her the “Monster Girl,” referring to her childhood trauma. It’s a nickname she later learns to embrace.
The high-school freshman’s plan to attend a Halloween party gets derailed when her mother volunteers her to babysit the son of her mother’s boss, Ms. Zellman. Once she reaches Ms. Zellman’s home, she is introduced to her son, quiet and shy Jacob. After the older woman leaves for an office party, Kelly learns that Jacob is also plagued by monstrous dreams and doesn’t want to fall asleep. Later that night, three goblin-like creatures (known as toadies in the film) show up and abduct him.
After the authorities dismiss her plea for help as yet another Halloween prank call, a girl shows up on a scooter with a baby strapped on her back. Kelly spots a different set of prints outside of Jacob’s room, indicating that some other creature than the toadies had been there during the abduction. Impressed by Kelly’s math and deductive skills, the enigmatic babysitter, Liz Lerue (Oona Laurence), lets her come along as she goes to look for Jacob.
A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting Ending
Liz is the vice president of the Rhode Island branch of the Order of the Babysitters. Kelly learns that some of the most renowned historical personalities, both men and women, have been members of the secret organization. Their main job is to protect the children with the Gift of Dreams from monsters. Liz takes Kelly to their base, where she meets three other members, Curtis Critter (Ty Consiglio), Berna Vincent (Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson), and Cassie Zhen (Lynn Masako Cheng).
When Kelly figures out that the same monster that came for her all those years ago has taken Jacob, a horrified Liz says that this can’t be happening again. It is later revealed that her brother Kevin was also abducted by The Grand Guignol. The toadies take Jacob to their own base, where The Grand Guignol has set up a massive infrastructure to harvest the nightmarish creatures from the young boy’s dreams. But Jacob turns out to be a smart and willful child who refuses to fall asleep.
One of the toadies leads the girls to the house where a shadow creature waits to devour them. It happens to be the same house where the student party is hosted. Ingenious as ever, Kelly knows that the creature’s one weakness is light. She vanquishes it by telling her schoolmates to take pictures of her while she jumps from the first floor. With all the phone camera flashing, the creature is forced to retreat. The Grand Guignol realizes that he needs an artifact known as the Cat’s Eye Amulet to make Jacob fall asleep.
The babysitters come to the same conclusion, and Liz and Kelly go to the only supernatural being that possesses one such item in the locality, the silent-era movie star turned witch Peggy Drood (Indya Moore). Once there, they are easily overpowered by Peggy and The Grand Guignol. The latter remembers his history with both girls. He leaves with the amulet and Liz. Peggy orders her cats to attack Kelly, but she manages to escape.
The Enthralling Climax
Back at the base, Curtis prepares Angel Fire, the only concoction that can kill The Grand Guignol. However, it’s not enough. Angel Fire needs to be driven into the creature’s heart with a powerful move known as the Monster Punch, and it’s almost impossible to execute. The babysitters realize that the monsters have set up their headquarters at the Qeeqong lighthouse. Kelly tries to sneak into there but is caught by The Grand Guignol. She fools the toadies and escapes again, only to be attacked by a hypnotized Liz. Kelly helps her remember who she is by speaking about her brother.
In the meantime, the babysitter base is attacked by the shadow creature. Berna leaves for the Qeeqong lighthouse with Angel Fire, while Curtis and Cassie successfully trap the shadow creature. Kelly and Liz fight against The Grand Guignol, and this is when Berna shows up. Kelly calculates the exact amount of force she needs to push Angel Fire into The Grand Guignol’s heart to bring him down. Berna and Liz distract him while Kelly leaps and shoves the magical concoction into the creature, killing him.
Afterward, Kelly gets Jacob home right before his mother arrives. Ms. Zellman asks her to babysit Jacob the following day as well, and Kelly happily agrees. Her crush, Victor, video calls her and asks her out on a movie date the next day. She politely declines because of the babysitting commitments. Liz tells her that she will speak to the president about accepting Kelly as a babysitter-in-training. Life seems to be going great for Kelly.
A Promise for a Sequel
Before Liz leaves, she gives Kelly a tablet containing the eponymous guidebook, which lists all the known monsters in the world. The Grand Guignol was the younger brother of Serena, the Spider Queen. Also a member of the Boogeypeople, Serena is ruthless, conniving, and likes to drink people’s blood – “the younger the better.” Furthermore, Kelly promises to Liz that they will find Kevin together.