What’s The Work
Better Watch Out is a 2016 psychological horror film. The film initially appears to be about a home invasion and a babysitter trying to protect a couple of kids that she is supposed to look after, but it turns out that a much more sinister scheme is going on.
Who is the Candidate? What Have They Done?
Luke Lerner is the protagonist villain/main antagonist of the film. He is a twelve year old who wishes to seduce his babysitter Ashley. After concocting a theory that fear turns you on, he stages a home invasion with his “friend” Garrett in order to get the attention of his babysitter. When Ashley discovers the trick, she prepares to call Luke’s parents (who are away from home), only for Luke to knock her unconscious and tie her up. He proceeds to spend the rest of the movie tormenting her. In a twisted game of “Truth or Dare”, he sexually assaults her.
He then texts her boyfriend to come over to his house before knocking the boyfriend unconscious and tying him up too. He taunts the couple, tries to force them to have sex in front of him, and calls Ashley’s ex-boyfriend Jeremy to come to his house too.
While he is waiting for Jeremy to arrive, Luke bashes Ricky’s head in with a paint can as a shout-out to Home Alone, much to Ashley and even Garrett’s horror. When Ashley manages to escape from Luke’s house, he knocks her out again and ties her up with Christmas lights.
When Jeremy arrives at his house, Luke convinces him to write an apology letter to Ashley for spreading rumors about her having sex with him. Once Jeremy is done, Luke sneaks up behind him and hangs him. He goes back inside his house, only to catch Garrett trying to free Ashley. He shoots Garrett dead before stabbing Ashley in the neck and framing Jeremy for all of the murders.
Unfortunately for Luke, Ashley survives the stabbing by stopping the bleeding with duct tape. In a mid-credit scene, Luke asks his mother if he can visit Ashley at the hospital, clearly intending to finish her off.
Freudian Excuse/Mitigating Factors
As for Freudian Excuse, Luke mentions towards the end that his mother used to tuck him in, but she suddenly stopped one day. Well, not only is this an insanely weak excuse for what he does, but his arrogant smile when she hugs him out of relief that he is safe at the end of the movie shows just how unconcerned he is about her, and he clearly just wants to manipulate her and nothing else.
As for redeeming qualities, he actually breaks down out of remorse after killing Garrett, but just seconds later, he coldly brushes him off as an annoyance and drops all remorse. There is a scene where Luke spares his pet spider, but this is shown to be nothing but a selfish act. He has no problems with killing Garrett’s pet hamster, so there’s no way his sparing of his spider (which is his anyway) can be truly considered a sympathetic act.
He’s the only villain aside from Garrett, who merely follows Luke’s orders anyway. While his body count isn’t very high, he does enough given his age and resources, and he spends the entire movie torturing Ashley. He sets it easily.