Friday, August 30, 2013

Guest Review: YOU'RE NEXT

Directed by Adam Wingard
94 mins.
In Theaters

You’re Next is, to put it simply, a spectacular film. I loved damn near every minute of it. This film isn’t necessarily “pop out of your seat”, “give you nightmares” scary so much as an edge of your seat, “who’s gonna get it next?” thrill ride. If you like suspense, action, terror with a bit of humor thrown in for good measure, this film’s for you.

Now I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll keep my synopsis extremely short. You’re Next centers around a family reunion in celebration of the parent’s wedding anniversary. All the kids come out to the family’s secluded mansion in the woods, each bringing their significant others. One in particular is the stunning and strong Erin (who is bound to be one of the most badass female protagonists captured on film). The family goes on to do normal family things all the while, unbeknownst to them, they are being stalked by someone in the shadows. Everything is fine until they start getting attacked out of nowhere by men in super creepy, all white animal masks, armed with various instruments of death (Your typical ax, crossbow, giant ass machete) and the family has to fight for their lives. That’s all I’m going to say about the story because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone. 

This film perfectly captured the brutality and manic feel of Australian exploitation films from the 70’s and 80’s (Brian Trenchard Smith came to mind right away). Seriously, You’re Next is BRUTAL but as the film progresses that brutality becomes almost exciting, sort of like in action movies where you quietly (or not so quietly) say to yourself “awesome!”. That’s quite an accomplishment for any film if you ask me. Amidst all the brutality, there is a very calculated feel to it all. From the opening scene, that features a double murder, Adam Wingard (the director) lays down this feeling of unnerving terror that somehow sticks throughout the entirety of the film. As the movie kept going I still felt on edge.

There was only one thing that fell flat and that was that it was a bit predictable in terms of the plot at one point but it never really bothered me all too much because I was so swept up with what I was seeing on the screen. You’re Next can easily be compared to Sam Peckinpah’s home invasion classic Straw Dogs but I feel it has enough going for it that it makes it’s own mark in that subgenre. While we’re on the subject of comparing this to other films, this has the classic feel of a John Carpenter film (and I don’t make that comparison lightly). From the sense of danger around any corner to never knowing what’s going to happen next, this movie reeked of John Carpenter in the best way possible. 

I had seen some of Adam Wingard’s previous works (V/H/S 1 & 2 and The ABCs of Death) but this is a game changer for him. He is definitely someone to watch out for in the future. I haven’t felt this way about a movie since Ti West’s absolutely incredible film The House of the Devil in 2009 (which weirdly enough Ti West is in this film and both film’s have A.J. Bowen in them) and before that Neil Marshall’s The Descent in 2005. You’re Next did not hold back at any point. It was one hell of a ride that I honestly can’t wait to experience again.

-Thomas Reinert
Tom is a Horror / Exploitation film geek in Minneapolis, MN and friend of the site.

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