Better Watch Out is the perfect horror comedy for the Holiday season. It could easily become my Christmas tradition to watch it yearly!
Better Watch Out perfectly sets the Christmas mood with carol singers and decorations. However, there’s no real “spirit of Christmas” otherwise.
Instead, we get a real Christmas gift in this perfect horror comedy.
While my love of the horror comedy genre is no secret, neither is my immense disappointment when a movie doesn’t deliver. With Better Watch Out I get everything I could wish for. Or rather, I get even more than I wished for.
The thing this movie really has going for it is the fact that it keeps surprising. And while it may be horror comedy, it’s also very intelligent.
Also, there’s drama and violence which is often served with a perfect dash of satire. Just to keep us on our toes, but not ruin the horror comedy vibe.
Yes, I am very happy with this movie. In fact, I can’t wait to watch it again though I will wait till we’re closer to Christmas.
This cast is a Christmas miracle
The right cast is important for any movie, but for a horror comedy, the need for comedic timing and kick-ass characters suddenly become even more important.
From the very beginning, the mood is set when Virgina Madsen (Candyman) and Patrick Warburton (Netflix’s Lemony Snicket) are introduced as “the parents”. The dialogue between them is so sharp, dark, and funny that I knew I was in for a treat with this movie.
Their son is portrayed by Levi Miller (Pan), who is brilliant in this movie. You have to watch it to really enjoy all the nuances in his performance. Personally, I wish he would do horror comedies (or any kind of horror) regularly from now on.
His best friend, Garrett, is played by Ed Oxenbould, while his babysitter, Ashley, is portrayed by Olivia DeJonge.
All three younger actors are Australian, but their accents are spot-on, so you’d never know.
Also, you’ll probably recognize Ed Oxenbould and Olivia DeJonge from M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit. They stared in the movie as siblings. And trust me, they’re just a perfectly cast in Better Watch Out as they were in The Visit.
The best babysitter ever!
While I definitely enjoyed watching Levi Miller in this movie, Olivia DeJonge is the one I wanted to high five a million times.
She never really allows herself to be scared since she has to be “the adult” as the babysitter. There’s no backing down or giving up under any circumstances.
Also, I loved when she had to keep the lovestruck kid she’s babysitting at bay. At first, she’s sweet but stern about it and later on, she just puts him in his place.
Not everyone will notice this, but the message is so important these days; The very simple task of getting someone to accept the word “No”. Especially when the word no comes from a female.
Olivia DeJonge is someone I’d want in my corner for any kind of horror movie. Kick-ass and funny, but very real and honest.
Fresh horror comedy powers
Better Watch Out was directed by Chris Peckover and this is only his second feature film. Chris Peckover’s first feature film was the 2010 horror movie Undocumented. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ll be looking for it now to check it out.
Peckover also co-wrote the script with Zack Kahn, who came up with the story in the first place. Zach Kahn wrote for the Mad TV-show, so dark comedy is something he’s used to.
This movie is one of the most wonderful surprises. I certainly felt that Christmas had come early when watching it.
The original premiere was back in September 2016 at Fantastic Fest. Since then it’s been at film festivals all across the world and now it’s beginning to come out in wide release.
Better Watch Out came out on VOD and in limited US theatrical release on October 6, 2017.
It will also be out in New Zealand this November and in the UK and Ireland in December. Just in time for Christmas!
Director: Chris Peckover
Writers: Zack Kahn, Chris Peckover
Cast: Olivia DeJonge, Levi Miller, Ed Oxenbould, Virginia Madsen, Patrick Warburton
On a quiet suburban street, a babysitter must defend a twelve-year-old boy from intruders, only to discover it’s far from a normal home invasion.