Better Watch Out (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes

Better Watch Out (2017)

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Critic Consensus: Carried by its charismatic young cast, Better Watch Out is an adorably sinister holiday horror film.

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Movie Info

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.

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Cast

Ed Oxenbould
as Garrett
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Critic Reviews for Better Watch Out

All Critics (51) | Top Critics (10)

Starts out as one kind of unpleasant, then switches gears to a higher level of unearned nastiness.

October 6, 2017 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

[Better Watch Out] is a silly-to-serious film that's sure to enter the canon of Christmas movies for people who prefer a bit of arsenic laced into Santa's cookies.

October 5, 2017 | Full Review…

If you want to gift yourself a holiday film that decks the halls with blood, this is one to put under the tree.

October 5, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

A consistently surprising and unusually well-acted thriller, which says pertinent things about suburbia, holiday entertainment and toxic masculinity.

October 5, 2017 | Full Review…

It's scary and fun, if your idea of fun involves occasional gore and torture, things like that. Plus: Christmas decorations!

October 5, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Just another depressing, nihilistic horror flick.

October 4, 2017 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Better Watch Out

This was a change of pace from the normal home invasion film and I applaud the screenwriters for creating something that was quite unpredictable. Peckover is a rising talent in the making and I hope he receives a new project soon. The casting is near perfect and the tone is right on cue. The ending is the icing on the cake, just perfect touches like this show my fondness for this film. I wish I had seen this film on release but the underrated value is what surprised me the most. This is not the film you would expect and I recommend staying away from spoilers if possible. The only thing that lacked was some of the unexpected moments needed a stronger budget, might have assisted with ramping up the tension. 19/06/2018.

Brendan Nicholls
Brendan Nicholls

Super Reviewer

Better Watch Out is a dark and twisted take on the classic John Hughes style holiday comedy. While Ashley is babysitting a home intruder breaks in and stalks her, but things soon take an unexpected twist and become more deadly and disturbing than she first thought. Olivia DeJonge and Levi Miller both give strong performances. Miller in particular makes for a really interesting villain; a psychotic Ferris Bueller who's ten steps ahead of everyone and is able to roll with unexpected complications. The violence is surprisingly graphic, yet kind of has a satiric edge to it. Still, at times it does tend to get a little overly cruel and mean spirited. While it pushes the envelope a bit too far at times, Better Watch Out is devilishly entertaining with a wicked sense of humor.

Dann Michalski
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

½

To be perfectly honest, it's very rare that a film is able to keep a secret from its audience without them guessing it earlier. Nearly everything has been done numerous times throughout cinema, so the element of surprise is sadly lost throughout the majority of film these days. Better Watch Out is a film that finds a way to differentiate itself from the predictable, becoming one of the most enjoyable horror films I've seen in a while. Although I'm going to pretty much praise this movie from start to finish, it's not for everyone. In fact, this movie will probably only please a very small audience, so this is going to dive into the movie itself and what makes it good, rather than gushing about how awesome it may be, which will inevitably let quite a few people down. Here are my thoughts on why Better Watch Out is a great addition to the horror genre, and why many viewers should be wary before viewing. We've seen films about kids who think their babysitters are beautiful and have an insanely large crush on them. It makes for some good comedy, so I'm surprised that more films haven't used that as a plot point, but that's not really what this movie is about. Quite honestly, the plot itself is a spoiler, so I'll keep it simple by saying that young Luke is left home alone with his babysitter and before you know it, everything you think you know is false and things really start to hit the fan quickly. Better Watch Out maintains a pace that will satisfy many viewers, but the plot of this movie will most likely anger certain audience members. I found myself cringing at certain elements, wondering how I could possibly be enjoying what was unfolding in front of my eyes, but this movie is made in such a way that just ends up being applaudable. Most people who view horror films are ready for anything, or at least should be. In terms of restricted horror movies, you should be well aware that there will be some scenes involving some pretty risqué scenery. From children swearing, to visible murder, Better Watch Out (although very restrained) goes for quite a few gutsy actions. Like all horror films, you should be ready for anything, but in terms of what's shown on-screen, this movie really doesn't overdo it in terms of gore. There are films that rely on gore to sell the movie, but Better Watch Out only shows it when the story requires it to, which was a nice change of pace in comparison with the majority of horror films nowadays. With the combination of restrained gore and the addition of solid cast, I can see horror fans getting a kick out of this movie. Starring Olivia DeJonge and Levi Miller, these to performers played off of each other in a fantastic way. I found myself believing most of everything they were saying to each other, even if there are admittedly some pretty cheesy lines of dialogue (but I think that was intentional). Levi Miller's portrayal of Luke is something that will always annoy me because the character himself is crazy, to say the least. Although these two leads were great, the standout to me was Ed Oxenbould. The best friend of Luke and the much more mature one of the two young boys, his character is truly the one to connect to when having to follow these lead characters. This film is strange when it comes to its characters though, because the ones you truly care about are the ones that hardly get any screen time. I don't think I've said that about another movie all year, so at least it went for something different. In the end, Better Watch Out is a little too cheeky to be called a horror classic in the years to come, but I can see a cult following for this film continuously building through the years. I had a blast watching this movie from start to finish. You may hate yourself for sitting through certain things and just having to be okay with it, but this is something very different than anything that a mainstream horror film would have the guts to do. If you're up for anything and can follow characters whether or not you have to accept that they're either good or bad people, then I can't recommend this movie enough. It's a fun watch on either Halloween or Christmas, so that's another plus. This is a really solid horror flick that goes from zero to ten in a matter of seconds and it's a great result as a final product.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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