“Better Watch Out” is the Christmas horror movie we’ve been waiting for since “Black Christmas”.
This film caught me by surprise. Better Watch Out delivers as a successful Christmas horror film, and will become instant holiday favorite.
One of my favor overall films of 2017! There’s something about a solid cast, script and story that attracts me to a film. I think my favorite thing I did (which I recommend if you haven’t seen this) was go into this blind. I had never heard anything about it before I watched it. I was doing my weekly Shudder scrolling and this popped up as a “shudder exclusive”. If you don’t know what Shudder is, it’s an amazing streaming sight for horror films. It’s a very reasonable monthly subscription, and haven’t used Netflix since subscribing!
Moving forward, I think this is up there with Black Christmas (1974) and Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984), and will become a horror Christmas cult favorite. Better Watch Out is directed/written by Chris Peckover, as his second feature film. It stars, Olivia DeJonge (The Visit), Levi Miller (Pan), and Ed Oxenbould (The Visit). There’s nothing, but positive things I can say about this cast. After all, I did enjoy The Visit and quite enjoyed the acting in that as well. But it really shows how good they are in Better Watch Out. Everyone was totally believable and it was easy to connect with some of the characters. I never found myself getting distracted, or doing something else as I watched this, as I was fully engaged; never a dull moment. The pace of the editing was what really stood out to me. The scenes were well timed, and even though there was only one location the whole time, it felt like we went to many. The twists just kept coming as I found myself consistently saying, “WHAT!”. I’ll explain what specifically stood out to me in spoilers below.
Before we (the viewer) found out who the invader is, I had many speculations. My first thought was that it was (obviously) a stranger, simply breaking into a house in a robbery attempt. Quickly after, I thought that was bland so I thought about the parents. You don’t see more than one intruder in one shot, but there quite possibly could’ve been more than one. I wasn’t sure what motif they would’ve had, but that’s what the twist is about! A few other theories come to mind, but my last speculation was that it was Lukes friend, Garrett. I was wrong about the motif though. I had a feeling he was actually crazy, and wanted to actually take them hostage. But we all know that the intruder was in fact Garrett, as Luke had wanted to prove his manhood to Ashley by rescuing her from an intruder. This let to Luke actually showing he’s the crazy one, taking Ashley and her [eventual] boyfriend hostage. What started out as a joke, quickly turned into something serious. We all know that Luke had this plan on his mind the entire film.
I won’t go on forever, but something that I loved in this, was the Home Alone reference. When Ashely’s boyfriend, Ricky is tied to a chair, Luke tests his “device”. We see Luke appear at the top of the stairs above Ricky. He is holding some paint buckets that are tied the post. Luke mentions that he saw this trick on Home Alone and wanted to test it out. Luke throws one of the cans over the side of the stairs, and it misses Ricky’s head. Everyone else in the room, even Garrett are freaking out, saying that this has gone too far. Luke then get’s angry it didn’t work, and throws another can off. It swings and makes Ricky’s head explode, which was SUPER effective.
Thanks for reading my thoughts on, Better Watch Out! I hope that I convinced you to watch this, and that you can enjoy it as much as I did. It’s always a good thing to spread the word on solid films, that may be under some people’s radar.