This isn’t a very long film, so it doesn’t warrant a very long review. Better Watch Out is a Christmas psychological horror film that tells the story of one terrifying night. Ashley (Olivia DeJonge) is a 17-year-old babysitter who is taking care of 12-year-old Luke (Levi Miller) when strange things start happening around the house. Phone lines cut and doors being left open tell Ashley that something isn’t quite right. Luke, who has a crush on Ashley tries to act tough in order to make her like him. After a brave attempt to stop the bad guys it is revealed that the whole thing was a prank of Luke’s design aided by his friend Garrett (Ed Oxenbould). But after the prank is revealed, things take a turn for the worse.
While I don’t mind these sorts of films I thought that Better Watch Out was just one in a crowd. While the film has an interesting take, it’s not anything I haven’t seen before. The three leads are all young Australian actors and they all do a great job in their respective roles. Admittedly it is a horror film and it’s not crucial that they can all act but it is nice to see them stick to their character and keep the audience invested. Levi Miller captured the 12-year-old manipulative psychopath very well when the character screams or yells sometimes his voice cracks (not sure if it was real or purposefully done but), it gave a reality to the character. The Christmas setting doesn’t do all that much to the actual storyline but it adds some little touches to a story that could only happen at Christmas.
While not scary at all, I felt that the film was a bit sadistic in parts and very much played on a horny 12-year-old boy not getting what he wants and turning to terrible things to get it. This could rub people the wrong way because of the ages of the characters. I didn’t mind the film but I wasn’t on board with some of the choices the characters made. That, however, did help with the way I felt about all of the characters in the film – uncomfortable.
Better Watch Out is an Australian-American co-production that features a lot of Australian actors. The director, Chris Peckover is an Australia-Canadian dual citizen and wanted to make a film outside of LA after his last film, Undocumented. This resulted in a decent horror film that is fun to watch but won’t be topping any ‘best of’ or ‘worst of’ lists for 2017.
Better Watch Out: Average