Better Watch Out

***

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Better Watch Out
"Careful what you wish for because a more subtle version of torture porn is back"

The teen slash killer thriller died with Jason and Freddy, didn't it?

Good riddance, you say.

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Careful what you wish for because a more subtle version of torture porn is back, admittedly unplanned, but painful nevertheless.

Twelve-year-old Luke (Levi Miller) has a crush on Ashley (Olivia DeJonge), his babysitter. He and his best friend Garrett (Ed Oxenbould) concoct a plan that will force the star crossed lovers (not!) together. The trick is to frighten the life out of her so that she will swoon into his arms like a dying swan.

This elaborate scare scenario involves a rifle that shoots real bullets, a balaclava and an unlocked French window. Who is the intruder? Luke thinks it must be Garrett, but maybe not, he's doing it too well. Ashley tells him to stop being silly in her formal head girl voice. No response. Suddenly she realises this isn't a game anymore, it's serious.

And then - heavy shockerama music - things go psycho and the film catapults into horror. All that you can say is, "Please don't, I have a family," or better still, "Please don't, I'll do anything."

There comes a point when gruesome becomes gruelots and a kind of madness takes over. Normally, in the bad old days, this would not be a prob because the concept was daft from the get go. Not this time. It starts so politely and so decently and Ashley is the perfectly packaged teenage babysitter, despite Luke not being a baby.

Afficionados of the truly disgusting won't get out of bed for this although nervous fans of homegrown horror might feel the hairs on the back of their hands bristle.

There are not enough sparks to light a fire, but enough to see the lake of blood at your feet.

Reviewed on: 08 Dec 2017
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Better Watch Out packshot
As a 12-year-old prepares to confess his romantic feelings for his babysitter one Christmas Eve, something starts trying to break into the house.

Read more Better Watch Out reviews:

Jennie Kermode *****

Director: Chris Peckover

Writer: Zack Kahn, Chris Peckover

Starring: Levi Miller, Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Aleks Mikic, Dacre Montgomery, Virginia Madsen, Patrick Warburton

Year: 2016

Runtime: 85 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Australia, US


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