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ikkegoemikke's Movie Reviews (564)

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Better Watch Out 
Horror and Christmas ? What a jolly combination!
3/4 stars

“I am not drunk and I am not a kiddo.
You’re 12.
Thirteen in a few weeks. I’m mature for my age.
I know.
If I were your age, I’d date you.”

Believe it or not, I found this “Home Alone” slasher version reasonably amusing. If you think this is the umpteenth horror with a home invasion as subject, you’re in for a surprise. It’s not just the unexpected twist at the beginning of the film, which results in a completely different concept. There’s also this moment when you think “Jesus, what a bright boy” and yet again they come up with a smartly conceived apotheosis. “Better watch out” isn’t only unnerving. At the same time it’s also pretty funny at times. Though, in an obscure way. It’s not really frightening. But after a certain period of time that unpleasant feeling comes over you when you realize such disturbed, youthful individuals exist in the real world.

I do like horrors set during the Christmas period. The contrast between this peaceful feast when everyone is happy and cheerful while celebrating this atmospheric period with their family and the bloody story filled with hatred, is immense. You can compare it with the enormous contrast between an extremely white snow carpet and the dark red blood that usually flows abundantly. And to be honest, I love watching movies such as “Krampus“, “Santa’s Claus” or this “Better watch out” instead of the traditional Christmas movies, like “White Christmas” for example. It’s more fun than the usual mushy Christmas scenes full of cheerfully singing people.

I advise you to ignore your prejudices the first thirty minutes. And don’t jump to any conclusion too soon. This time your patience will be rewarded. This movie isn’t like these immeasurably other films where you are patiently waiting for a change. A change that’ll make it less boring and go into a more interesting direction. And most of the times that change isn’t showing up anyway. In “Better watch out” the twist has such an impact, the story is completely turned upside down. Unbelief will have hold over you while witnessing how a “Hush” -like scenario suddenly turns into a demonic, psychotic master plan.

Also, nothing but praise for the youthful actors. Luke (Levi “Pan” Miller) is a cuddly, innocent-looking 12-year-old teenager who thinks he is mature enough to seduce the love of his life before she disappears from his life for good. On the other hand, under his bed there’s this device that produces the sounds of an uterus. He firmly believes that teenage girls get horny when they are scared. And that’s what he’s going to do. He’s going to put his theory into practice in order to get to “second base”. And the one he’s trying that theory on, is Ashley (Olivia DeJonge), a 17-year-old beautiful girl. A future Miss Beauty who probably gets lots of male attention. If only I had such a babysitter when I was 12. And finally there’s Garrett (Ed Oxenbould), the nerdy-looking friend of Luke. Little does he know he’s being manipulated by his so-called best friend. These three key figures acted convincing and full of enthusiasm.

You could say that “Better watch out” is an ingenious, surprising and a brilliant movie, to say the least. Maybe it all sounds rather vague, but this is necessary so I won’t spoil the fun. For me, this can be regarded as a Christmas classic and use this as a replacement for the annually recurring “Home Alone” broadcasts. Even though it’s a sort of a horror and the undertone is pretty disturbing, it’s a movie everyone can handle. No bloody or gory scenes in this movie. Just a constant sense of threat. And also, thanks to this short horror film, the eponymous Christmas classic among the Christmas songs suddenly sounds more lugubrious.

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