Home Alone was so unrealistic. That movie failed to capture the true terror of a home invasion. And the violence was so cartoonish. Those elaborate traps would only bonk the burglars on the head and their screams of pain were equivalent to stubbing your pinky toe on the coffee table. Where’s the blood?! To quote Salma Hayek in Dogma: “Somebody sold their soul to Satan to get the grosses up on that piece of shit.”
Luckily, there’s a movie coming out with a similar plotline, but with a lot more realism. Playing on the sub-genre of Christmas horror with a comedic twist, Better Watch Out is far from family-friendly. The story is set in a nice suburban neighbourhood, where two foul-mouthed preteen friends (played by Levi Miller and Ed Oxenbould) are left at home with an attractive blonde babysitter (Olivia DeJonge). When the babysitter’s jealous ex-boyfriend breaks into the house, chaos ensues. The red-band trailer doesn’t reveal too much, yet guarantees danger, maniacal laughter and unpredictable plot twists. There’s even a reference to Home Alone when the boys try to recreate the traps in a torture scenario: “You’re fucking Home-Alone-ing him?!”
Better Watch Out is director Chris Peckover’s sophomore feature after 2010’s Undocumented. The film premiered at Fantastic Fest (under the name Safe Neighborhood) and more recently, played at the Fantasia International Film Festival, receiving rave reviews. Christmas will be coming early this year when Better Watch Out hits US theaters and VOD on October 6th. You’ll be hanging up Christmas decorations before you even get a chance to carve a pumpkin!