• Better Watch Out

    Released by: Well Go USA
    Released on: December 5th, 2017.
    Director: Chris Peckover
    Cast: Patrick Warburton, Levi Miller, Olivia DeJonge, Virginia Madsen
    Year: 2015
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    The Movie:

    It’s Christmas time and Robert Lerner (Patrick Warburton) and his domineering wife Deandra (Virginia Madsen) are heading out to a party and they’ve left teenaged babysitter Ashley (Olivia DeJonge) in charge of the kids for the night – two horny, younger, teenaged boys named Luke (Levi Miller) and Garrett (Ed Oxenbould). These boys have got other ideas, however. Luke in particular seems hellbent on getting it on with Ashley, even if she’s give years older than he and clearly not that interested. A little liquid courage helps, after Luke pilfers his parents’ liquor cabinet, but it’s clearly not going well.

    Things get complicated for all involved when a masked intruder sporting a gun breaks into the house – it all goes south from there.

    Co-written by Zack Kahn and director Chris Peckover, this one twists and turns to the point of ridiculousness, but if you don’t mind the fact that this aspect of the story is completely overdone you can have some fun with this. The movie takes the tried and true home invasion concept, works in some teen/slasher movie clichés and succeeds in doing something different with it. It’s a shame then that the characters aren’t written better, or that at least a few of them aren’t more likeable than they are. As the core cast of characters shifts from victim to villain and back again during the course of the movie, it’s tough for us to latch on to any of them. The ideas at play are interesting and occasionally quite well-executed but the characters that this all revolves around are thin and at times obnoxious.

    Still, Better Watch Out has enough going for it to make it worth seeing, even if it isn’t likely to bump any of your perennial favorites out of the top holiday horror slot. If the characters aren’t that interesting, at least the situations are. There’s a strong sense of dark comedy running through the film that keeps it entertaining, while there are too many twists her for the film’s own good, a few of them are admittedly quite effective. The performances are better than the writing in a lot of ways. If we don’t necessarily care much about the characters at least the cast members playing these parts seem to be giving their all. Patrick Warburton in particular is pretty funny here, a bit of a softie bossed around by his wife, equally well-played by Virginia Madsen. The younger cast members are a bit more uneven, but even they deliver work that falls somewhere between decent and genuinely good. Investing the principals with a bit more humanity would have gone a long way, but as it stands if the film has its flaws, so too does it have its strong points.


    Better Watch Out arrives on Blu-ray from Well Go USA framed at 2.39.1 widescreen in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer that generally looks very nice on this 25GB disc. A few scattered shots look a little bit soft, probably a stylistic choice, but outside of that the movie, which was shot digitally, is crisp and clean and colorful. Skin tones look lifelike and realistic and black levels are good. There are no obvious compression artifacts and detail is pretty strong throughout the movie. There’s no edge enhancement to complain about nor are there any problems with noise reduction. All in all, the movie looks good on Blu-ray.

    The main audio option for the feature is an English language DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track, and optional subtitles are provided in English only. This is a pretty active track that makes good use of the front and rear channels in the mix, particularly during the more active scenes. As you’d expect, there are no issues with any hiss or distortion and the dialogue is always properly balanced and has good depth to it. An alternate audio option is offered in English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo.

    The main extra on the disc is a lengthy fifty-two-minute-long making-of documentary made up mostly of cast and crew interviews. Pretty much all of the principals involved with the shoot are here, each having something to say about their involvement in the film. This piece is well put together and reasonably interesting as well, covering the origin of the project through to the shoot itself.

    Aside from that, we get two trailers for the feature, menus and chapter selection. Trailers for a few other Well Go USA properties play before the main menu screen load. As this is a combo pack release, a DVD version of the movie is also included. The disc also comes packaged with in a slipcover.

    The Final Word:

    Better Watch Out is more a twisted black comedy than a straight horror movie but it’s quite well done and, if you’re in the right frame of mind for it, pretty entertaining. Well Go USA’s Blu-ray release looks good, sounds good and contains an interesting making of documentary as its main extra feature. All in all, this s a pretty solid release for a decent enough film.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. John Bernhard's Avatar
      John Bernhard -
      If I was 40 years younger and this had boobs in it I might be in.