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SEVEN­TEEN-YEAR-OLD babysit­ter Ash­ley (Olivia De­jonge) is taken aback when her long-time charge, pre­co­cious 12-year-old Luke (Levi Miller), cracks open a bot­tle of cham­pagne and starts mak­ing ro­man­tic moves on her after his bick­er­ing par­ents (Vir­ginia Mad­sen and Pa­trick War­bur­ton) leave for a Christ­mas party. How­ever, the evening is to be­come even more dis­con­cert­ing.

First a mush­room pizza ar­rives that hasn’t been or­dered. Then a brick gets thrown through an up­stairs win­dow. And a shad­owy hooded fig­ure is lurk­ing out­side…

Films in which teenage babysit­ters are ter­rorised by a de­ranged psy­chopath are noth­ing new, but di­rec­tor and co-writer Chris Peck­over has a few nasty new tricks up his sleeve in this de­li­ciously dark festive hor­ror com­edy, a grisly twist on Home Alone.

It’s best not to know too much go­ing in, save that the film has an un­ex­pect­edly sadis­tic streak – and that both Ash­ley and Luke turn out to be far more res­o­lute and re­source­ful than you might at first imag­ine. 2016, 15, 89min

OLIVIA AND LEVI WEREN’T CON­VINCED SANTA CLAUS WAS COM­ING TO TOWN

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