On a quiet suburban street tucked within a ‘safe neighborhood’, a babysitter must defend a twelve-year-old boy from strangers breaking into the house, only to discover that this is FAR FROM a normal home invasion.
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What seems to start off as the generic babysitter slasher takes a sudden turn to the subversive and disturbing. Peckover's seasonal horror flick features good casting and effective script writing but winds up oft-putting and frankly kind of sick.
The first act twist re-configures its typical home-invasion plot into something much more sinister, with an undercurrent of dark humor. Better Watch Out also creates one of the more unique lead villains in quite some time from there on out. Its problem is that narratively it's too stationary after that, never developing its creativity further in plot, story, or character. It does remain very watchable, though.
This is one of the most subversive yet decidedly unpleasant horror films I've seen in some time. The less you know about "Better Watch Out" going into it, the better - rest assured it's a novel reversal of the usual home invasion formula. The movie effectively showcase the ugliness of male entitlement run amok (shades of the Isla Vista shooter), but if you're like me you may find its nihilism overbearing before long.
Male entitlement is the greatest monster of all in this nihilistic horror comedy that smartly subverts expectations without ever letting go of its inherent silliness. Some of its most biting comments are more cutting than what a serious prestige film on the same matter could ever hope to achieve. The end is maddening and the whole experience, while exciting, is certainly more deliberately infuriating than fun.
I completely surprised myself and everyone else by selling it as a Christmas home invasion - really, just stop reading and watch it if you're at all interested. I found it really enjoyable and can see the shades of a twisted Home Alone but Kevin McCallister always struck me as a bit of psycho.