Everything involved in Better Watch Out lives in a strange place. From genre and tone, to its characters and script, this film seems to constantly hop between two states and, as a result, never truly finds its way.
To its core, Better Watch Out is a home invasion film. 17-year-old Ashley (Olivia DeJonge) is spending the night babysitting 12-year-old Luke (Levi Miller) when suddenly they realise they might not be the only ones in the house.
What follows is a mash-up between Scream and Home Alone which has neither the horror of the former or the joy of the latter, but plenty of visual references to both. Unfortunately Better Watch Out doesn’t really care about any of its characters, instead reducing them to poorly motivated, over-the-top caricatures which I ended up not caring about either and finding them placed somewhere in between the mildly-boring-to-shut-the-hell-up scale. It also doesn’t help that the majority of these characters are meant to be underaged, therefore some of the situations they are put in are unsettling at best.
That being said, Olivia DeJonge delivers a good performance, but it’s a case of doing the best she can with what she’s given.
In the end, Better Watch Out had me spend more time tearing my hair apart with frustration than covering my eyes with fear.
Better Watch Out is out in cinemas now