Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Movie Review: "Better Watch Out" (2017)

Director: Chris Peckover
Year: 2017
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes

A babysitter faces a home invasion-style assault, but it's when she finds out who is behind the attack that things really get out of hand.

We absolutely love Christmas, and nothing gets us in the Christmas spirit quite like a bloody horror flick. "Better Watch Out" is directed by Chris Peckover, who also wrote the screenplay with Zach Kahn. The feature stars Olivia DeJonge, who plays Ashley, the teenaged babysitter of 12-year-old Luke, played by Levi Miller. Their night starts out normal enough, just like any other night she has babysat him in the past. Ashley and Luke have fun and watch movies only to have it all go to hell when Luke's home is invaded by someone looking to cause them harm. Also in the film are Ed Oxenbould, who plays Luke's best friend Garrett, and Virginia Madsen and Patrick Warburton, who play Luke's parents.

What starts out as a typical, almost cliche home invasion horror movie quickly makes a turn into something much more interesting, sinister, and dark. It is really hard to talk about the crux of this movie without spoiling it, but we will do our best. This winds up being a very tense, sufficiently disturbing horror/thriller with an underlying bit of dark comedy. We felt a little lulled into complacency at the beginning of the film. We remained engaged but needed something more. Once the home invasion aspect starts taking place, it amps up the pressure as a constant game of cat and mouse is played by the protagonist and antagonist. This is a film that takes the audience in one direction only to quickly yank it in another. It does so more than once, but it never feels forced or unnecessary.

We didn't know much about this film prior to seeing it, and that's a good thing since it made the twists and turns that much more effective. "Better Watch Out" is a super unsettling movie, and if you're looking for a non-traditional festive film, we definitely recommend this to fans of Christmas-themed horror flicks. We will add this title to our holiday rotation and revisit it when we sufficiently want to get creeped out.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: ~6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~91%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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