If it isn’t scary it’s certainly relentless

A Christmas horror film sounds like a genre mash-up the world, especially in its current state, did not need. And, ultimately, it is. Better Watch Out wants to take a Home Alone vibe and make it into something far more sinister, an idea that apart from not sitting right, comes across as vulgar and outdated.

Luke (Levi Miller) is left home with his babysitter, as almost a farewell to their friendship as she prepares to leave town forever. Planning to confess his love for Ashley (Olivia DeJonge), Luke puts in place his plans for how their night will play out, yet when it seems there is an intruder in the house, things take a sharp turn for the worse.

Better Watch Out is truly bizarre, as it plays off some horrendous undertones as just misguided feelings, not far from being substantially offensive. It’s massively crude, as it’s twist, applauded by some, just comes off as unimpressive and irritating.

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The young actor’s performances really are what save it, yet its jolly demeanour and outrageous story go a long way to removing much of the impact the actors have. After its twist is revealed it becomes an increasingly linear storyline.

Better Watch Out is there to shock, but it’s often annoying rather than surprising, as it’s jolly demeanor contrasts the horrors that are carried out fairly continuously on screen. If it isn’t scary it’s certainly relentless.

With a nice cameo from Patrick Warburton and Virginia Madsen and an interesting opening section, Better Watch Out does have its moments. It’s just that the rest of the film is viciously, and horribly vile.

2/5

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