Badass B-movies

Better Watch Out (2017)

Better Watch Out (2017)

3 Beers

Swing, batter batter, swing.  Thwack!  And just like that, poor Frosty’s head is knocked clean off, splattering snow and ice everywhere.  That opening scene is a microcosmic hint at the demented and underage shenanigans headed your way in Better Watch Out, a cinnamon-spiced cup of holiday cheer and jeer. 

Luke (Levi Miller) is going through with the plan.  He has a target and he is going to make the night count.  You see, Luke has himself a big ol’ crush on, of all people, his teenage babysitter, Ashley (Olivia DeJonge).  She’s too old for him but hope springs eternal in the young lad.  Unfortunately, on the night he makes his move, the Christmas spirit – as well as the bloodied axe – is in full SWING.

And it all begins with light-up Santa Claus that keeps moving around Luke’s house.  Who is doing this?  The mind races.  Could it be the pizza deliveryman?  His best friend Garrett (Ed Oxenbould)?  Or are Luke’s mother (Virginia Madsen) and father (Patrick Warburton) punking the kids?  Based on their interactions between each other, anything is possible.

Turns out it is none of the above.  It’s worse than that.  And it’s entirely too twisted to spoil right here.  Better Watch Out is a successful twist on a home-invasion movie.  It’s tense and tough on the gut.  It’s also completely twisted, making you believe all sorts of crazy shit about 12-year-olds in heat. 

With car tires punctured and phone lines cut, these three sex-obsessed kids are trapped and tormented mercilessly in a holiday-themed home invasion movie that puts the massacre back in Christmas.  And the movie arrives just in time to save us from all those annoying holiday cheers from out in-laws. 

Canadian-Australian director Chris Peckover delivers a nasty little package under the tree this Holiday season with Better Watch Out, a horror-comedy from co-writer Zack Kahn.  This is Peckover’s second feature – a horror mockumentary about anti-immigration radicals in New Mexico called Undocumented – was his first trip down Mockingbird Lane – and his confidence is definitely growing.

Forget about Santa Clause and his bag of gifts.  The surprise in store here with this black comedy is pretty unforgettable.  It might not always keep you on the edge of your seat, but it does question your sanity with its willingness to tip the scales and present you with a highly toxic situations in which one teen goes off the rails with his own misunderstood version of masculinity. 

With Better Watch Out, we get a bizarrely demented take on Home Alone by way of Black Christmas, complete with exploding heads and handguns.  The aesthetics in the house are full of yellow warmth, but the cold, cold heart of an abbreviated adolescence challenges the any glow emanating from the fire.  And there’s little chance that anyone is getting out the house alive.  Co-starring Aleks Mikie and Dacre Montgomey (who seems to be in everything these days, including Stranger Things), Better Watch Out is all sorts of crazy-eyed demented.  Psychos are everywhere…and some of them might even be ringing a bell this holiday season.  Better watch out indeed.

Currently playing in select theaters due to its distribution by Well Go USA, Better Watch Out is also available through streaming services and will be out on Blu-ray by the end of the year.  

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