Friday, January 17, 2014

You're Next Movie Review – "Our Family's Being Targeted"

Runtime: 95 minutes
Release Date: August 23, 2012 (U.S.)
Rating: R
Director: Adam Wingard

You're Next opens with a grungy guy and a woman, who is way out of his league, having sex in his home. When he comes back from taking a shower, he finds her dead and a note that warns him that he's next. A masked killed steps out from the shadow and dispatches him.

The film then jumps to the Davison family. Aubrey (Barbara Crampton, Re-Animator) and Paul eagerly await the arrival of their children. Crispian and his girlfriend Erin are the first to arrive, and when Erin offers Aubrey some help, she sends her next door to get something. We then learn that the house in the beginning is the same house next door. Though Erin knocks and hears loud music playing, no one answers the door.

The rest of the family slowly arrives, including sons Drake with his wife and Felix with his girlfriend, as well as their daughter Aimee and her boyfriend (played by horror director Ti West). As they sit down to dinner, Tariqu, Aimee's boyfriend, stands up to look out the window, and an arrow comes flying through the window, killing him in seconds. In the ensuing free for all, Drake receives an arrow to the back. Upon finding that their cell phones don't work, they decide to send Aimee for help. As the night goes on, Erin steps up to the plate to show her strength, while the killers roam freely through the house.

You're Next is one of those movies that I wanted to see from the moment I saw the trailer. Though it received a number of bad reviews, I really liked it. One of the reviews I read was from a horror fan who claimed it made him ashamed of other horror fans after seeing their reviews. Really dude? I managed to make it through The Conjuring, which I thought was a flaming pile of dog pooh, so this was like a vacation for me.

One of the main complaints about You're Next was that the characters didn't act in realistic ways. Seriously? Who can really guess what would go through your mind if you just found out that a group of masked killers wants you and your family dead? I actually thought most of their reactions were right on the nose. After learning that his wife was dead, one character in particularly fights with a few others in the hopes of seeing her, while they smartly keep him away from the body. When we learn that another character had a role in the murders, he clearly doesn't know what to do and goes to great lengths to lie about his role.

The thing I liked about this film is that it gave us some new deaths. Did I expect to see someone have his head shoved into a blender and the blender turned on when I sat down to watch this? Absolutely not. Did I think that someone would be decapitated after running straight through a well hung wire? A similar trick worked in Ghost Ship, and it worked here too.

I also really enjoyed the character of Erin. It took me some time to figure out why I knew the actress before remembering that she had a leading role in Bait, another horror film that I liked, though it was fairly cheesy. Erin is definitely the type of horror movie character that we need to see more of in the future. While strong women popped up in roles a few years ago, they seemed to die off recently, so it was nice to see someone kicking butt and not laying down to whine or cry about how life is so unfair.

You're Next was a fairly pleasing horror movie. It had some disturbing scenes, a strong female lead, and it kept me entertained from start to finish.

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