The best unknown Christmas horror comedy: why you should see Better Watch Out

It’s been a while since the 2016 horror comedy Better Watch Out was released, yet it seems this film could still be relevant even now, six years on.

Even though Christmas is generally associated with good cheer, merriment and presents, the holiday has always had a dark side, and there’s no denying that.

A few years before Halloween in 1978, director Bob Clark’s 1978 release Black Christmas set a trend for Christmas “slasher” horror films.

One of the most controversial slasher films ever released is called Silent Night Deadly Night, while Gremlins turned out to be pretty creepy themselves, for creatures that were meant to be, at least initially, cute and harmless.

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Back to the Australian production Better Watch Out, which, despite being relatively low budget, which is why there were no sequels, is quite good, relative to its genre.

The detail that makes the difference in Better Watch Out

In Better Watch Out there’s talk of a house being invaded and you get a brutally dark twist that turns absolutely everything you thought you knew upside down.

Like The Babysitter, Better Watch Out takes on the simple premise of a nanny who gets into a jam. Obviously, we can’t tell you much more, but we assure you that if you’re a fan of this subgenre, you’ll appreciate the film for what it is.

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What makes Better Watch Out such a success story, among so many Christmas horrors, is its balance when it comes to the script.

Better Watch Out also balances humor and horror in a weave that works. Perhaps the best thing about Better Watch Out is the realization that while it’s a subversive horror film, it’s also a Christmas comedy.

The combination shouldn’t work, but in Better Watch Out, these divergent tones make for an excellent holiday horror film that’s funny, surprising, genuinely tense, and yet parodic enough not to strike terror into the deepest corners of your soul.

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