Title: You’re Next
Release Date: August 23, 2013
Cast: Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, AJ Bowen, Amy Seimetz, Rob Morgan, Barbara Crampton
Director: Simon Barrett
Studio: Snoot Entertainment
Genre(s): Horror, Gore, Family Drama
Nothing says family get together like a good ol’ fashion slaughter.
That’s at least what you’re going to find in this year’s release, You’re Next. Originally released at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, I honestly have no idea why it’s taken so long for this movie to find a distributor and see a big screen release. It seems to have gotten fairly decent reviews on Rotten Tomatoes from critics and what not so I’m kind of surprised that it’s just now coming out.
For a horror film fan, You’re Next is more than worth a lock. I’m usually a pretty decent connoisseur of the genre and I’ll give pretty much any and every film a chance. And You’re Next was one that I was particularly interested in after all the effort that Lionsgate went through to promote the film. In their ten poster swag bag at Comic Con they had like three posters for You’re Next and they spent the next four days giving away more and handing out masks based on the film. But other than that I really had no idea what this was going to be about.
Well, besides murder obviously.
Lots and lots of murder.
So the basic premise of the movie is that you’ve got the Davison family getting together to celebrate their parents’ anniversary in some middle-of-nowhere mansion that the family’s wealthy father bought as a project after retirement. Fancy, big house. Middle of the woods. Yeah. We’re off to a great start here, Davisons. It starts off introducing all the various characters which include the painfully normal parents; golden boy older brother Drake with his trophy wife; fat, nerdy, self-conscious Crispin and his mysterious former grad student fiancee Erin; the adorable and forgettable little sister and her artsy boyfriend; and the weird Felix and his weirder girlfriend Zee – with two Es at the end. He’s very specific.
Basically, you know from the beginning that you’re going to watch all these people die horribly. And so any attachment you might have felt to them goes out the window pretty quick. Crispin and Erin are meant to be your sort of POV characters and that’s obvious from their initial arrival. But it’s hard sometimes to really appreciate Crispin who goes from being the bullied brother to just as much an antagonist as Drake – who he hates. You actually get pretty overly saturated in Crispin and Drake’s drama before crossbow bolts start flying and people start screaming and dying and what not. The family realizes pretty early on that there are people out in the woods – and in the house – intent on massacring them and the next hour or so has them running around the house, trying to escape to get help, and dying in terrible ways.
It’s also Crispin’s girlfriend Erin utilizing her Australian outback survivalist childhood upbringing to combat the killers. (Just, you know, not to save anyone else in the family at all.)
I was a total cynic right from the beginning with this movie and the first half hour or more didn’t do much to give me reason to change my initial opinions. I sat in the theatre rolling my eyes through the whole beginning of the movie because it was not doing anything for me at all. It started with the neighbor’s college age booty call naked and went right into annoying family drama. I was happy when the crossbow bolts started flying if not not still pretty annoyed at just how unoriginal things were.
But man, a good half way through the movie and I was more than happy to have stuck it out.
The twists are what make this movie and I don’t know if you will actually see them coming. I certainly didn’t see the first one coming. I didn’t really see the second one coming either. I don’t want to give them away because they really make this movie. I really mean that. I will say, though, that as cool as they are they aren’t entirely original. They are, however, very satisfying. You’ll certainly remember them for a good long while.
Plus, the characters grow on you over time, I think, which makes the whole experience a lot more enjoyable. They get some added development and in a couple cases become way more interesting, too, as the night wears on. But again. I don’t want to give anything away.
And what about those masks the keep promoting, you ask? Honestly, I don’t know. I didn’t think the masks the people wore were really that important. They were for the scare factor only. Nothing was ever said about them. There was no symbolism. They pushed the marketing with this movie by going around random cities putting these masks on statues and by handing them out at Comic Con but ultimately they were totally forgettable, lost in the twists and the gore itself.
Ultimately, this is the sort of film that’s really targeted at hardcore horror and gore fans only. There are no real redeeming qualities for people who aren’t fans of the genre. Basically, people, don’t drag your significant others to this one if you know they hate horror movies or films where everyone dies in terrible, brutal ways. Skip it, pick it up from Red Box or when it hopes on Netflix, and stick to something a bit more viewer friendly.
If you are a horror or gore fan, though, and enjoy the thrill of watching these films in the theatre then by all means grab your friends and go. There aren’t a whole lot of horror films on the market right now so you can get your fix with You’re Next and really enjoy it. Just don’t expect a whole lot of nudity. It comes on strong in the first scene but if you’re looking for scantily clad ladies and fan service mixed in with your gore you really won’t get it. But you certainly will get a strong female lead with a sexy accent so there’s at least that. It’s much more about the twists and the story than any of that.
You’re Next comes out Friday, August 23rd – aka today!
It’s a must see for horror fans if just to see why the critics seem to have really liked it. But non-horror fans should skip this one and maybe check out the Mortal Instruments or wait for something more up their alley to come along. (Though I don’t know how vaguely incest heavy that one is so… who knows.)