Review: You’re Next

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Director: Adam Wingard
Starring: Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen
My Rating: 5 out of 5 creepy animal masks: it navigates the home invasion genre with a stylish sense of satirical humor and over the top brutality. I felt it was a refreshingly and brilliantly executed horror flick for how easily it satisfies the given formula’s need for gore but how it never takes itself too seriously in doing so either.

You’re Next tells the tale of a wedding anniversary getaway turned bloody, when three masked invaders begin killing off the celebration’s attendees with arrows, trip wire and machetes. Sounds typical? It’s not. I promise, the premise is not the source of this film’s perfection. It is the dialogue, the twists, and the genuine terror that makes this film scary and entertaining and I’d even argue original. Sharni Vinson is a revelation, not to sound trite. She is the pinnacle of kick ass horror heroine as the one guest who no one anticipated could bite back at these animal baddies.

As I mentioned, the film’s script provided genuine laughs not in just the conversations alone but even in some of the more violent moments as well. The yuppie cynicism and mumblecore sensibility of these filmmaker friends who collaborated in cast and crew provide us with the comic relief, even as dark as it may be, that we need in a movie like this and it isn’t often that that is afforded to us viewers, I suppose because what should be funny about a story so horrible anyway? In the case of this story specifically and the unique, sophisticated way Wingard is telling it: as it turns out, actually a lot.

As for twists, there’s not much more I can say about that except for, again, don’t go in thinking you’re getting your run of the mill home invasion movie: whoever said (and I wish I could go find and quote and cite officially whoever did say this) that this movie is like The Strangers meets Home Alone definitely got it right, and just to be clear, I didn’t come up with that but there were so many moments where I wish that I had. And the giddy plummeting sensation we feel as we near the gruesome conclusion seals the film wonderfully, precisely because of how grueling and messy it is.

I had so much fun with this movie and I’m sure whether you were drawn in by the [perhaps mis-]marketing (please read my Redhead Temper post about marketing horror comedies by the way on that subject) or have been waiting for two years for Lionsgate to give it to us already, you will be pleased with this entry into the genre. And in a year that gave us The Conjuring and Insidious Chapter 2 next month, it’s certainly nice to see so many entries worthy of respect.

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