On a cold December night, after his parents leave for a party, twelve-year-old Luke prepares for an evening at home with the girl of his dreams – his hot, older babysitter. Things turn dark when an intruder breaks into his home, leaving Luke with no option but to stand and defend the woman he loves. This might sound like a romantic story at heart, but all is not what it seems with little Luke, and he’s not the innocent child he portrays himself to be. Actually, if you’ve seen the trailer for the film, this movie isn’t what it portrays itself to be, either. While plot descriptions and absurd critics have been comparing this to a “rated-R Home Alone”, and I would have loved it to be that, instead we get a psycho little boy who just enjoys killing people. There are no intruders.
For those who have seen the trailer, you might be confused right now, or even let down. It’s OK – I was, too. The “intruder” is just Luke’s friend, Garrett, who pretends to break in and stalk Luke and his babysitter to provide some sick setting for Luke to prove himself a man to her. The kids get busted pretty early on, and I for one was immediately let down at the realization that there were no intruders. This was followed by the realization that the movie I was about to watch was not what I was led to believe it was, putting me in a sour mood from the beginning. With that being said, I decided to still give this movie a fair chance, keeping the false advertising in the back of my mind. Luke pistol-whips his babysitter and ties her to a chair, in a surprise twist, revealing himself to be the “bad guy” of the film. The remainder of the movie depicts this twelve-year-old torturing and killing literally everyone else in the movie.
I have to admit this is the first movie of the year to physically make me cringe while watching it, but for all the wrong reasons. Luke, being the perverted, immature creep that he is, decides to up the creep-factor by doing things like “feeling up” his bound babysitter, joking about making her have sex with her boyfriend in front of him, and professing his love for her. This kid is one of the most annoying antagonists I have ever seen. He speaks in stereotypical “movie villain” dialect, giggling sometimes when he speaks to emphasize how crazy he is, only it comes off as forced and not natural. I don’t buy this kid suddenly becoming this crazy all at once with no signs or red flags, nor do I buy him as a killer. Sure, he throws tantrums and screams a lot, but that doesn’t make him a good “bad guy”. It’s OK to want your audience to hate the villain, but don’t make us hate even seeing the villain on screen. I felt relieved any time Luke would leave a scene because it gave me a break from having to witness the sideshow of his terrible acting.
Eventually, Luke lures his babysitter’s boyfriend and her ex-boyfriend to the house, where he kills them using rigged contraptions in the only scenes reminiscent of Home Alone. The babysitter’s boyfriend is killed using the same “paint can falling down a stairway” method displayed in Home Alone, only since this is supposed to be real life, it kills him. Don’t get too excited, because we don’t get to see it happen – it’s presumed his head explodes but there’s no on-screen money shot. Her ex-boyfriend is hung outside by the tire swing somehow, but then Luke just gets lazy and uses more traditional methods of killing as he shoots his friend, Garrett, with a shotgun and stabs his babysitter in the neck. He then doctors the room to frame his babysitter’s ex-boyfriend for the murders and tucks himself into bed. Paramedics arrive at the house once Luke’s parents return home and find the grizzly scene, and Luke discovers his babysitter is still alive, alluding to the conclusion that Luke had not gotten away with the murders. There is a post-credits stinger of Luke asking his mom to visit his babysitter in the hospital, so who knows, maybe he kills her after all.
This movie is a perfect example of someone having a script and adding irrelevant content in order to sell a movie. Let’s start with the title – “Better Watch Out”, a lyric from “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. Why is that the title of the movie? No one dressed up as Santa, Santa wasn’t in the movie in any capacity, nor was Mrs. Claus or any reindeer. Well, the movie did take place during Christmas-time, but when you think about it, that also didn’t matter. This movie could have taken place during any other time of year and it would not have affected the plot one bit. They could have titled the film “Spring Break” and had it take place during April and wouldn’t have had to change a single thing about the movie. The fact is, Christmas horror movies grab your attention because they are such polar opposite concepts that your mind can’t help but be drawn in. Home Alone took place during Christmas, so when it was decided to deceptively edit the trailer to resemble Home Alone, having it take place during Christmas only reinforced the lie, and I’m sure the “death by paint can” scene was added in after they came up with this brilliant marketing ploy.
This movie is all over the place and I can’t find any redeemable qualities. I honestly wanted to give this movie a fair shot after my initial disappointment, but going back and looking at it again only reinforced my feelings.
This movie is…
Oddly enough, we got two back-to-back horror movies about blonde babysitters watching 12-year-old boys, only this one had the kid go crazy instead of The Babysitter.
Cheers and goodnight.