Wednesday, September 11, 2013

You're Next Review

You're Next Review
When I first heard about this movie, it was written in review form from 2011's Toronto Film Festival. Anytime I hear about a big breakout festival film, especially one from the horror genre, something gets inside me. I am hooked and I cannot wait to lay eyes on it. It would not be until 2013 when this film finally found a distributor and a release date. For the period between September 2011 and August 2013, well... its been a period full of anticipation and angst. But I am happy to that "You're Next" has finally been released to the masses.

Too much hype is not a good thing. When many critics agree upon something and/or when word-of-mouth is so positive, it can be contagious. It can easy to be blinded by the hype and then walk into the movie and be disappointed by it. Especially for a film that has been on the shelf for nearly two years. Shelf life can be a bad thing too. Despite all of this sorriness, the hype has turned to reality in terms of "You're Next." If you haven't had a chance to make to the theater to see this, please stop what you are doing right now and get to it.

At this point in the game, anybody whose anybody can make a home invasion horror film. Heck, "The Purge" tried it earlier this year, with disappointing results. On paper, I'm sure most of you will think "You're Next," is just another home invasion horror film, but its not. Director Adam Wingard decided to take "just" out of his vocabulary. Because of this, horror fans everywhere will be richer for it.

What separates "You're Next" from other home invasion films is...well...almost everything. The film centers around a family getting together for a reunion at the family's vacation home in Missouri. As the film sits down to dinner, it is pretty clear the family has many issues. None of the family drama seems to matter once arrows begin flying through the windows, killing guests. But what is surprising is how the family reacts, "You're Next" benefits from a clever script, where the killers are smart, but so are the family members. Sure, the family makes a couple dumb errors when the attack initially starts, but as the film plays out we have characters that make smart decisions, which isn't always the case with horror films. And honestly, we can't really blame the family for the beginning mistakes, they have no idea what they are in for and neither does the audience.

"You're Next" also benefits from having a story to actually tell, another asset which seems absent in the home invasion genre. There are several characters at this family reunion who possess secrets, and as those secrets begin to reveal themselves through out the movie, its great fun. But hardcore horror fans shouldn't regress, as the film features many big, brutal kills that work effectively. Part of what makes "You're Next" work on a horror level is the violence. Its treated in a very matter-of-fact way which is truly shocking. There is some style to killings, but for the most part it is handled in a realistic and sadistic manner.

The film stars Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, A.J. Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Barbara Crampton, Rob Moran and Ti West. I have to give Wingard lots of credit for creating an effective film out of a cast of nobody's, that is always refreshing. (Although many hardcore horror fans will remember Crampton from the horror classic "Re-Animator.") Everybody does very good work in this movie, and I especially liked Vinson. She plays the Australian girlfriend to one of the family's brothers and as the attack starts, she is the one who calls the family to arms and gives orders. It's refreshing to see a movie with a female lead kicking ass and I am sure audiences will lover her too.

"You're Next" is a clever horror film. A great audience film. Definitely worth your time and attention.

FINAL GRADE: A

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