Slashers & Serial Killers In Review : You’re Next (2011)
Starring: Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, A.J. Bowen, and Joe Swanberg
Written By: Simon Barrett
Directed By: Adam Wingard
Synopsis: Aubrey and Paul Davison plan to celebrate their wedding anniversary at their remote weekend estate. Unfortunately, the festivities take a terrible turn for the worse when their home is invaded by a group of masked individuals armed with knives and crossbows.
My favorite sub-genre of Horror are slashers. As we all know, the slasher film had its hay-day in the 80’s but every once in a while a fun modern slasher comes along and hits the world of cinema like a breath of fresh air. I was born at the end of the 80’s so I was really only able to enjoy watching these films on tv or going to my local Blockbuster or Hollywood Video and renting every slasher that I could get my hands on.
Another favorite sub-genre for me is home invasion. This sub-genre seems to be a bit more modern but a lot of our favorite slashers from the 80’s could be classified under this banner. Unfortunately, I don’t see a future for the slasher film (even though I desperately want to see the return of them!). It is possible that we could see a resurgence after this October’s hotly anticipated release of Halloween (2018) but in all honesty, I think the closest we will get will be home invasion flicks.
Genre favorites like The Strangers (2008) paved the way for the modern horror slasher and You’re Next is another notch in that totem. The film follows all of the great cues from genre classics, it is shot brilliantly, and it really delivers on the violence. Are there better films than You’re Next? Of course there are, but that doesn’t mean that this film isn’t worth the time to sit down and check this one out if you haven’t already!
When the film first hit theaters in August of 2013, I must admit that I had my reservations. The film looked like it was just trying to cash in on what other films had done before it. So, there I sat in my local theater at the time with my arms crossed pretty much daring the people behind this production to show me something fresh and exciting.
We are thrown right into the middle of a scenario that told us where this film was going to go. Not only that but they go against the typical audience expectations. We get what I would consider an amazing sequence that I personally thought was going to go in another direction. The use of reflections and more importantly, the choice of music, caused me to uncross my arms and allow this film to take me on the journey that it wanted to.
You’re Next finds that perfect mixture of slasher film, home invasion, and even throws in a bit of campy goodness- not too much, just the right amount that it will make you smile. The film is enjoyable from the brutal opening straight through to the twist ending. Simon Barrett’s writing keeps you engaged in the story and Adam Wingard’s vision keeps you watching. You’re Next is a fun ride that is pure entertainment. It’s exciting when a film subverts expectations and delivers on what the poster art promises.
However, I did elude above that the film isn’t the greatest thing since sliced bread! All of the faults that I find with this flick can easily be dismissed based on the presentation of the film and how engaging the writing is. With that, I do feel like they could have cast better actors. The film has some great actors in it, but, it does slightly feel like some of the roles could have been recast. The lead actress (Vinson), steals the show. Other than Vinson, the always spectacular vision that is Barbara Crampton is fun to watch. The rest of the cast did nothing for me. I still enjoyed the film but it was purely aesthetic and writing that brought this.
Another complaint that I had was that the killers removed their masks and began speaking. For my own tastes, I find it scarier when we never learn who the masked maniacs are in these films. When there is no rhyme or reason to the violence, especially in the home-invasion arena, it is much, much more disturbing.
I will bring it up again, The Strangers set the bar for this. Yes, one of the murderers spoke in that film as well but it was to simply state that the reason behind their attack was that the victims were home. Thinking about that is terrifying, especially in today’s world. ANYBODY could put on a mask, grab a knife or weapon of any kind, and enter one’s home and completely shatter the world that the victim knew.
Despite the killers removing their masks and speaking, the film was incredibly enjoyable and delivered a fun twist that I will not discuss in this review just in case you haven’t seen this film. Is it worth your time? Yes it is worth your time. This is a fun film that delivers an engaging story and it is shot incredibly well, you can tell that the guys behind the camera probably had as good of a time making the film as I did watching it!
Rating: 3 out of 5
Joshua Macmillan is a lifelong horror fan. He grew up in Texas but currently resides with his wife Audree in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Joshua has published articles on the award-winning horror website Dread Central while working on his fiction. Joshua is currently working on his first novel and is also working on a couple of screenplays and a graphic novel with his twin brother, Jeremy. When he is not writing or at his day job, he can be found at home relaxing or at the local movie theater taking in as much horror as humanly possible.
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