I love horror year-round, but there is just something very special about holiday horror. For this December-themed series, I first wrote about the 1974 classic Black Christmas, but I am a huge fan of some newer holiday horror as well.
Better Watch Out was released in 2017, and I love its mixture of straight-up slasher/stalker style horror and campiness. You will definitely get some laughs from the dark comedy elements and from the very clever script.
12-year-old Luke (Levi Miller) has a crush on his 17-year-old babysitter Ashley (Olivia DeJonge), and even tries to hit on her while she is babysitting him during the Christmas holiday season. Of course, that doesn’t work out, but she definitely appreciates him when it seems like someone is outside stalking them.
A brick is thrown through the window of the house, and written on it is a threat: “U leave and U die.” But, as happens in many very clever horror films, things aren’t as they seem, there is more afoot here than just a psycho lurking outside in the cold.
Better Watch Out, directed by Chris Peckover, has a few different twists and turns along the way, and the snowy weather and inside Christmas décor give it a definite holiday horror atmosphere. The young actors are convincing, particularly Levi Miller, and we get a nice surprise with the addition of Patrick Warburton and Virginia Madsen as Luke’s parents.
Better Watch Out is definitely holiday horror.
The only downside of Better Watch Out for me was the lack of realistic gore. Though there are a few good kill scenes, the blood in one particular scene doesn’t look real, and we don’t even get to see the actual impact.
That said, it’s still a good horror film, with a sharp script, plenty of dark humor and great characters. You can currently catch Better Watch Out on multiple streaming platforms, including Shudder, Tubi and Peacock.
What’s your favorite holiday horror film? Tell us about it in the comments section.