Apartment 143 over at Top Horror Movies Club. Check it out when you get the chance. For here, I decided to watch the next film from Netflix that I have had for a good while now, You Better Watch Out (1980), which is also known as Christmas Evil.
Things start off in the past while a young Harry and Philip watch with their mom as Santa comes down the chimney and starts putting presents under the tree. After he leaves, Harry gets mad at Philip for saying that Santa isn't real, and that the Santa they saw was really their dad. Harry sneaks back downstairs and sees Santa, who is in fact his dad, rubbing his mothers legs. With his dreams of Santa being real shot all to hell, Harry runs back up the stairs. Now years later, Harry (Brandon Maggart) works at a factory that makes toys. He is unhappy with the toys, finding them cheap and not worthy for kids, and unhappy with some of his fellow employees, whom he believes doesn't have the Christmas spirit. His brother Philip (Jeffery DeMunn) has a family of his own now, and downs Harry a lot it seems according to his wife (Dianne Hull). Philip has his own idea of what success is, which isn't Harry at all. Instead of excepting his big brother for who he is, he tries to make Harry fit the mold Philip believes in. Harry believes in Santa so much that he is going to prove that he is real by becoming Santa. He spies on the neighborhood children, and has a who is naughty and nice books where he writes down good or bad deeds. Harry is obviously not a stable person upstairs, and it only gets worse as Christmas gets closer.
Not knowing all that much about You Better Watch Out before I went into it, I was a little disappointed that it was a film released by Troma. As the movie went on though, I could see that it wasn't what I have come to expect from a Troma film, mainly jokes that guys mostly laugh at. From what I was reading on IMDb, You Better Watch Out was promoted as a slasher type film at the time it was released. I didn't read too many reviews, but the ones that were looking for that type of film was pretty disappointed. While there are a couple of scenes that could fit into a slasher type film, You Better Watch Out is more in the vain of watching someone slowly slipping into madness. If you eventually decide to give this one a watch, if you haven't already that is, be warned that it is a slow moving film. It takes a good while before anything horror happens. Once it does, scenes like it are few and kind of far between. I admit that I was on the verge of getting bored with it, but I pride myself on sticking with a movie. I have only given up on one film thus far, and I will hopefully never make it to two. If you stick with it though, you might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.
There isn't really much for effects. Some blood that I thought looked pretty bad. An eyeball getting poked by a toy sword and someone gets their throat cut, which didn't look as bad. The acting was actually really good. Brandon Magart did a very nice job with his role. He really shines even more once he becomes Santa. I wasn't as impressed with Jeffery DeMunn, but the story is about Harry after all, not his brother.
I have mixed feelings about You Better Watch Out. On one hand I found it almost boring, but on the other it ended up bizarre enough for me to end up liking it at least a little bit. I enjoyed the character development, I guess we can call it that, but I didn't find it interesting enough at times. Towards the end, and the ending itself went out in left field somewhere, but it is explainable. I will give it the higher rating of the two I was debating on. For a low budget film, at least I have to assume it was, it didn't turn out too bad. I can forgive the effects a little bit since it was released back in 1980. I can't promise any of you would like it if you gave it a chance, but I will still suggest doing just that. One never knows after all.
3 out of 5 I will think twice about sitting on Santa's lap
5 days ago