Better Watch Out – Australia, 2016

‘Christmas gets ugly’

Better Watch Out – aka Safe Neighborhood – is a 2016 Australian black comedy horror thriller directed by Chris Peckover from a screenplay co-written with Zack Kahn. It 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…

Well Go USA Entertainment released the film in select US theaters and on VOD on October 6, 2017.


“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.” Trace Thurman, 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.” Gareth Jones, Dread Central

“Set almost entirely indoors, the action is intelligently staged and makes fine use of various household items, including the requisite flashlight, kitchen knife and lawnmower (though not in the way you think). 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.” Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

“This film will keep most audience 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 the cinema, it also wants to make sure you don’t have time to analyze it. The running time whirs by at a frenetic pace…” Eric Havens, Downright Creepy

“Each new turn of events ramps up both the suspense and entertainment, and at a breezy eighty-five minutes the film never threatens to overstay its welcome. 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…” Rob Hunter, 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.” Katie Rife, A.V. Club

“It really is a lot of fun, and you can tell that it was Peckover’s intention because so much of his 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 motivation driving its characters is flimsy at best…” Ryan, 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.” Stuart Wright, 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. It’s pretty easy to guess why a film like this would be green lit from the concept alone and it’s super refreshing to see a film deliver on its premise so well.” Ryland Aldrich, Screen Anarchy

Main cast:

Virginia Madsen (Dead Rising: WatchtowerThe Haunting; Candyman), Olivia DeJonge (The Visit; Scare Campaign), Patrick Warburton (Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated; Bad Milo!; Scream 3), Dacre Montgomery (Stranger Things), Levi Miller, Ed Oxenbould (The Visit), Brendan Clearkin, Tara Jade Borg, Aleks Mikic, Tricia Mary Hennessy.

Filming locations:

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

Running time:

85 minutes



Categories: 2016, Australian, comedy horror, home invasion

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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