Better Watch Out (2016) Review


It’s that time of year again, the Christmas moviefests begin and I’m always trying to find some Christmas horror to watch but decent Xmas themed horror is hard to find. My missus was looking at the local cinema listings and for some reason they were showing this despite it being a year old. Normally we’d hop in the car and head to go watch, however if you live in England you’ll be aware that our whole infrastructure fails massively when it snows. So after looking out the window and seeing far too much snow to deal with we settled down to watch our first Christmas movie of the year from the comfort of the sofa.

Director – Chris Peckover

Writers – Zack Kahn and Chris Peckover

Stars – Olivia DeJonge, Levi Miller, Ed Oxenbould, Aleks Mikic, Dacre Montgomery, Virginia Madsen and Patrick Warburton.

Run Time – 89 minutes

Tagline – You Might Be Home But You’re Not Alone Link

I’m not usually a fan of horror that involves someone being stalked in a house but this works really well. It starts with babysitter and stereotypical horror teenager Ashley heading to babysit 12 year old Luke, it’ll be the last time she does as she’s due to move out of town. Luke and his best friend Garrett are messing around in Luke’s room and we find out that Luke has a plan to seduce Ashley even though he’s only a child.


Luke puts his plan into action but as you’d guess it doesn’t work and he hears a phone call between Ashley and her boyfriend that annoys him, so he starts to drink and try to act like a man. This still obviously doesn’t impress Ashley and it’s not long until the couple are joined by Garrett after he scares the crap out of Ashley.


As she starts to settle down things go from weird to bad, a brick through the window with a threatening message on it followed by someone outside stalking them, doorbells ringing and things moving round, Ashley is well and truly spooked. This is where the movie excels, I did not see any of it coming and it goes from average break in/stalker film to something totally different.


I can’t say what as it’ll spoil things massively so you’ll have to see for yourself but I will say it’s a really good watch with a great and surprising villain. We also get to see what would truly happen if one of the traps from Home Alone was recreated in the horror world instead of the family comedy world. There’s some nice twists at the end that keep you guessing and we also get an appearance from the double denim wearing 80’s teen hunk from Stranger Things.

The Good

  • As soon as Luke’s parents played by the wonderful Patrick Warburton and Virginia Madsen start swearing and arguing I knew I’d enjoy this film.
  • What the film starts as and what it becomes is enjoyable to watch unfold.
  • The main villain is really well acted, he makes you want to jump in and punch him in the face yourself.
  • The gore is nice, there’s not a great deal of it and some is well filmed so that you see just enough and it’s spot on for this type of film.
  • All the actors are at least solid.
  • As I’ve said before on this blog, I like films with a small cast set in one place. I mean I prefer it if it’s one room but still this all takes place in one house. Add the that the fact that the majority of the film is only 3 or 4 people at once then it’s bound to appeal to me.
  • Perfectly paced, from start to finish I never got bored once.
  • Loved the ending.


The Bad

  • I liked Ashley’s character and it’s just a minor annoyance but she goes from being scared and easily startled to being brave and confident and then back to being scared too much for my liking. Either make her develop some grit and determination as the film goes on or don’t, just don’t mix it up so much.
  • The gore is nice but I’d have liked to see just a couple more kills, nothing over the top but I do love to see as many victims as possible.
  • Not much replay value in my opinion.

That’s about all the negatives there are in this film, I consider this one of, if not the best Christmas horror I’ve seen in a long long time. It’s nicely paced with some good characters and a bit of humour chucked in here and there. The Home Alone scene is almost enough of a reason to watch on it’s own. So if you’re looking for some Christmas horror to watch then add this to your list!

Overall Rating 8/10


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