BETTER WATCH OUT (2016) Reviews and overview


‘Christmas gets ugly’

Better Watch Out – aka Safe Neighborhood – is a 2016 Australian black comedy horror thriller feature film directed by Chris Peckover from a screenplay co-written with Zack Kahn. The movie stars Virginia Madsen, Olivia DeJonge and Patrick Warburton.


On a quiet suburban street, a babysitter must defend a twelve-year-old boy from intruders, only to discover it’s far from a normal home invasion…


“From the get-go, the film never takes itself too seriously, and practically demands to be seen with a large group of the right people (the film could prove disastrous if seen with an unresponsive audience). Kahn’s script is sharp and witty, an impressive feat for being his first feature film.” Bloody Disgusting

Better Watch Out is smart, funny, superbly constructed and undeniably nasty in places – though it’s unlikely to become perennial Christmas viewing owing to the fact that once its secrets are revealed, the impact will be inescapably lessened on repeat viewings. But don’t let that stop you from giving it the attention it deserves.” Dread Central

“It’s funny, gory, over-the-top, startling in its intensity, and jammed full of kitschy holiday decorations. At one point, a group of carolers sing outside the front door of a house where a hideous murder scene sits just out of view — tonally, that’s a microcosm of the whole thing.”

Peckover keeps the ketchup flowing enough that gore fans will not feel shortchanged, especially during the last act, although Brian Cachia’s busy score hits what feels like too many upbeat notes.” The Hollywood Reporter

“This film will keep most audiences on the edge of their seats, gripping just a bit tighter on their popcorn, as an involuntary smile crosses their faces. It not only demands to bring wonder back to thecinema, it also wants to make sure you don’t have time to analyze it. The running time whirs by at a frenetic pace…” Downright Creepy

“An undercurrent of lovingly infused humor runs through it too with one paint-can gag referencing the world’s most popular home invasion film earning well-deserved (albeit guilt-infused) laughs. Better Watch Out is a rarity that pairs immense entertainment with dark, vicious thrills…” Film School Rejects

” …after the first big twist about a half-hour into the film, you might think you’re in for an icky, misogynist torture p*rn, and momentarily wish to leave the theater. (I did.) But stick it out, because the film will continue to defy your expectations.” A.V. Club

“It really is a lot of fun, and you can tell that it was Peckover’s intention because so much of this film is fueled by its ridiculous sense of humor—just look no further than his perfectly executed (and brutal) homage to Home Alone. But where it couples that humor so well with horror, Better Watch Out desperately struggles to give its violence any real meaning.” The Missing Reel

“Miller and Oxenbould are a great double act as the nightmare representation of internet-weaned millennials who fear nothing and no one’s authority. DeJonge’s fight until the bitter end is an untypical last girl standing journey. Better Watch Out smartly subverts most genre expectations, without ever losing sight of the influences that inspired it in the first place.” Britflicks

“This is a movie that does an excellent job of twisting and turning at just the right moments to keep the audience guessing and engaged. Yes, there are plenty of obligatory jump scares, but there are just as many plot shocks as well.” Screen Anarchy

Buy Blu-ray | DVD:

Choice dialogue:

Ashley: “Oh, not with the duck tape again.”

Main cast:

  • Olivia DeJonge … Ashley – The Visit; Scare Campaign
  • Levi Miller … Luke
  • Ed Oxenbould … Garrett – The Visit
  • Aleks Mikic … Ricky
  • Dacre Montgomery … Jeremy – Stranger Things
  • Patrick Warburton … Robert Lerner – Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated; Bad Milo!; Scream 3
  • Virginia Madsen … Deandra Lerner – Dead Rising: WatchtowerThe Haunting; Candyman
  • Alexandra Matusko … Scary Movie Girl
  • Georgia Holland … Scary Movie Girl
  • Beau Andre … The Mangler


Well Go USA Entertainment released Better Watch Out in theatrically and on VOD on October 6, 2017.

Filming locations:

Fox Studios, Moore Park, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Running time:

85 minutes

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