Better Watch Out
DVD + Blu-ray
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This holiday season, you may be home, but you re not alone... In this fresh and gleefully twisted spin on home-invasion horror, babysitter Ashley (Olivia DeJonge) must defend her young charges (Levi Miller, Ed Oxenbould ) when intruders break into the house one snowy night or so she thinks.
MPAA Rating: Rated R - for disturbing violent content, language throughout, crude sexual references, drug and alcohol use - all involving teens.
Subtitles: English SDH
Frightful and delightful. --The Hollywood Reporter
...a smart, surprising, and viciously entertaining holiday thriller. --Film School Rejects
To describe Better Watch Out in movie terms would be to brand it a cross between Home Alone, Black Christmas and When a Stranger Calls. --Cinapse
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Lucas (Levy Miller) and his teenage friend (Ed Oxenbould). But Lucas jumps out of the closet as a psycho-deranged, precocious, homicidal manic to commence a series of bizarre incidents from beginning to end that results in a bizarre casualty count - and beyond the conclusion. The three teen actors are worthy of a five gold star rating for remarkable performance throughout the movie. Caution: In fiction there can be truth and here is a positive illustration that anything can happen when drug abuse is involved.
It fits into the home invasion genre and is wickedly well written and acted. Warburton and Madsen steal their scenes in the beginning but when they leave the kids home alone, that's when the fun starts. Olivia DeLonge and Ed Oxenblud from The Visit and Levi MIller from Pan take us on a roller coaster ride that doesn't stop until the credits (and maybe a bit after).
I'm not going to go into it too much further because I think this is one movie that it's best knowing as little as possible. Buy it now for yourself and then show it again at Christmas to show your friends so they'll be blown away by this gem that they've never seen. It'll be our little secret.
Two people who are not Aussies are Deandra and Robert Lerner (Virginia Madsen and Patrick Warburton) who are all dressed up and planning big night out. Their only child is 12, almost 13-year old Luke (Levi Miller, from “Pan”). His long time babysitter, Ashley (Olivia DeJonge, “The Visit”) is maybe 16 or 17 and very cute of course. Now the first thing I’m asking myself is why does an “almost 13-year old boy” need a babysitter. The convenient answer provided by Zack Kahn’s story and screenplay (with Chris Peckover) is that Luke has a history of sleepwalking. I won’t go into detail but the always-a-problem issue of smart phones in so many movies these days, is also dealt with in the story.
The big deal here is that the seemingly shy and likeable Luke has plans to take his babysitter crush to new romantic heights, hoping to round the bases. His best friend Garrett (Ed Oxenbould, also in “The Visit”) thinks they should just get stoned. He gives Luke chances just slightly above zero to seduce the older girl of his dreams. Ashley is dating a new guy named Ricky (Aleks Mikic) having just broken up with Jeremy (Dacre Montgomery who you might recognize from the “Strange Things 2” TV series).
In any case nothing is scary here beyond Luke popping the cork on a bottle of Champaign and lighting a couple of candles to set the romantic stage. Ashley seeing what’s what puts a stop to Luke’s awkward attempts at romance. The film takes a slight turn when it appears the home might be the target of a home invasion. Without giving away too much here, everything isn’t what it seems.
The meat of the story and frankly where it lost me, is Luke’s shift to a serial killer in training. I’ll give Miller credit however for maintaining that seemingly friendly demeanor on the outside while have a dark interior. Kind of reminds me of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character Negan on “The Walking Dead.” All smiles on the outside, sinister on the inside. The filmmakers, directed by Chris Peckover in his first feature film, clearly have a humorous intent, but it mostly left me cold. The likelihood of Luke being able to orchestrate the final act is what had me laughing just a bit, but not in a good way. Disappointing.
Most recent customer reviews
this has enough killing to satisfy me
and a great plot too