Well, its been a long two years since the filming of “You’re Next” concluded and it’s now officially been released worldwide in August of 2013. The films promotional hype and consistently stellar reviews from critics and audiences all around the world has been very impressive. It’s actually the biggest build up for any low-budget horror movie that I can think of. It’s a film that cost less than a million dollars to make and consists of a cast mostly known for work on independent films, yet somehow it found its way to cinema’s all the way over here in Australia! I thank a buddy of mine Adam Wingard (director of segments in V/H/S 1 and 2, and now You’re Next) for casting the beautiful Sharni Vinson (who is from Australia). I think that’s a big reason the film is being shown here because Australia is not a big supporter of independent cinema. It’s the first film I can think of on such a low-budget to ever make it to theatres over here, so well done Adam!
Anyway onto the film. You’re Next sees The Davison family along with their respective partners, celebrating Paul and Aubrey’s (The Parents) 35th wedding anniversary. Before they can even start the dinner they come under attack by a group of scary animal mask wearing intruders. Little do the masked maniacs know that Erin (played by Vinson), has some experience in combat and survival and that they may get more than they bargained for once inside the house. The film stars Sharni Vinson, AJ Bowen, Nicholas Tucci, Joe Swanberg, Wendy Glenn, Rob Moran and Barbara Crampton.
Keep in mind I only just watched this and will have more thoughts and maybe a different rating after a second viewing. I really like the majority of the cast, the kicker here is giving the audience a protagonist like Erin. Someone that audience can really root for is the key to rejuvenating the home invasion aspect of horror and making it a success. We haven’t seen a heroine like this since Sidney Prescott in the “Scream” quadrilogy, and I for one am glad that another girl is kicking ass and taking names! Sharni has that awkward but cute kind of vibe that was needed for her character of Erin. She also speaks in her Aussie accent, which is something a little different considering the rest of the cast are American. The supporting actors/actresses are all solid too. I thought Barbara Crampton over did it in a couple of scenes but she was still decent. AJ Bowen does a great job as Crispian (Erin’s boyfriend), the rest of the cast play characters that are kind of conceited and judgemental, but that’s ok because when the killing starts your cheering the body count along!
Majority of the camera work is really good, some clever use of ceiling camera’s and shots from underneath the bed and reflections in a window. The isolated environment made for some great shots outdoors. I thought It was a bit frantic and shaky when the opening crossbow attack strikes, it took a few minutes to level out, although I suppose it was depicting the Davison’s panicking. The sound effects were perfectly placed to help accompany the several jump scares that occur certain action sequences. Combine the creepy score with some fantastic old school synth and electro music, and what you end up with is a great nod to 70’s and 80’s slasher films like “Friday the 13th” and “Halloween”. I like that the film has several of the typical cliché’s we expect from the horror genre but at the same time it shows them in an original way. For one, the token sex scene you see in every horror film. is cleverly placed in the beginning of the film. Normally that type of scene is used to relieve tension but not here, I love that!
I thought the action sequences were really well done too. This contains some truly inventive and memorable kills that you will cheer for. Several types of weapons are used throughout the attack, such as axes, crossbow’s, machete’s and a very random kitchen appliance (haha). I thought that the special effects team didn’t quiet get the look of the blood right in the first two or three kill scenes, It was a bit too much like red paint or jelly. Fortunately as the film progresses it looks much more realistic and was applied heavier. Each one of the intruders have their own personalities and they are able to convey some creepy mannerisms, even from behind the scary animal masks. Yes the masks are a gimmick and a marketing ploy but I don’t mind that, the audience loves it so why not embrace it. This was not a run of the mill home invasion flick. Most of these type of films follow a certain formula, this one spends time on that formula but really does separate itself from a lot of the others that have been made over the years.
You’re Next is everything that I hoped it would be! It’s well acted, its suspenseful and it has a fantastic score along with great music. The most important thing was always going to be the body count and the effectiveness of the blood and gore. The body count was every bit as good as I hoped it would be, however I do think there could have been more blood and I think they missed a few opportunities for some truly brutal stuff. There was a piece of wire that could have perhaps been utilised even better in a certain characters death. This is a great flick because it’s done in such a fun nature and added to the story, are a few twists and turns that I didn’t expect. Motives are not something at the forefront of most horror films so that was something new.
Simply put, You’re Next is one of the best home invasion films ever made, it’s every bit as good as this year’s earlier film “The Purge”. It’s almost as good as the pinnacle of these types of films, “The Strangers”. It’s clever, it’s suspenseful and it’s got great kill scenes. Support low-budget filmmaking and Mr Adam Wingard, thankyou very much. You most definitely did not disappoint with this one!!
My rating for “You’re Next” is 8/10