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Parents' Guide to

Better Watch Out

By Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Violence, language, drinking in snarky, twisty thriller.

Movie R 2017 89 minutes
Better Watch Out Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 13 parent reviews

age 15+

Clever but Rapey

This Review Contains Spoilers: The movie was clever and twisty and the acting was great across the board. It is marketed as a horror film so not much needs to be said about it being violent or scary (that's usually what people are seeking when they watch horror). Something does need to be said about the nature of the violence. It could be summed up as rapey and misogynistic. If there was some deeper commentary on this, I missed it. SPOILERS BELOW The movie revolves around a 12 year old boy terrorizing his 17 year old baby sitter after his plan to seduce her before she goes to college goes awry. He then proceeds to sexually assault her while she is bound to a chair, probe into her sex life, try to get her boyfriend to have sex with her in front of him, then murder her other male interests-all because she had the audacity to turn him down. The whole thing seems like a pubescent boy's horror wet dream.
age 18+

It was ok

Better Watch Out was ok and very gory, but not that good!!!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (13 ):
Kids say (20 ):

It's never too early for a Christmas-themed horror/thriller movie, if it's as original as this one. Better Watch Out shifts gears several times in some delightful ways, gleefully blurring into which genre it actually fits. "Delightful" might seem like a strange description for a film in which some truly hideous things happen -- including torture, murder, and assault -- but for those who go in for twisty, twisted, violent thrillers, the film likely has enough surprises to make it fun. Nice-girl teen babysitter Ashley is moving soon, but she welcomes the chance to care for 12-year-old Luke one more time in the family's cushy suburban neighborhood. Luke is about to put the moves on her when someone starts terrorizing them. To reveal more would ruin the experience; let's just say there's much more to the story than that.

Better Watch Out's spins on a dime recall the Duplass brothers' underappreciated Baghead, though this film definitely aims for a more sinister kind of entertainment. It plays at times like a John Hughes movie remade by Eli Roth. There's a puckish humor beneath it all; director/co-writer Chris Peckover definitely maintains a meta-view of the genre(s) and keeps things moving entertainingly. Miller has collected a few awards for his lead performance, and DeJonge is very good in a role with more dimension than the usual damsel in distress. Better Watch Out isn't for kids, but for horror/thriller fans, it's a nice holiday surprise.

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