You’re Next Review
Starring : Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen
Director : Adam Wingard
Writer : Simon Barrett
Released : August 20th
Shot in 2010 and released to the festival circuit in 2011, You’re Next the first feature film from Adam Wingward and Simon Barrett who collaborated for a vignette included in horror anthology V/H/S, has been a long time coming, though it feels as though I have been waiting much longer to find a horror film like this, it feels as though I’ve been waiting all my life – You’re Next is as scary as it is funny and as exciting as it is disturbing, it’s a smart wild ride of a horror movie that ticked all the boxes it needed to, to succeed. In short if I had met this film in a club I would have gone home with it.
The film introduces us to the Davison Family who have come together at their secluded country house to celebrate a wedding anniversary. The festivities have barely begun when they are besieged by a group of killers in animal masks. But the tables quickly turn on the killers as it emerges that one of the party has hidden talents of survival.
From the first shot You’re Next shows itself to be a film for horror fans, that has clearly been lovingly constructed to hit the most enjoyable beats of the horror genre. Once it has established itself as a devoted follower of the genre it does something wildly refreshingly, it gives us a story arch that has not been seen within the horror genre for a very long time – a foe for the faceless killers. Sharni Vinson is a revelation as Erin the gentle and kind girlfriend of one of the Davidson sons – whose fight or flight response kicks into over drive when the home invasion begins and boy does she fight! Erin is the greatest example of female victim role reversal since Joss Whedon gave us the iconic Buffy.
In one tingling tense scene Erin has been backed into a small space hidden only by a thin curtain, she has lost all her weapons and one of the killers is advancing on her hiding space, having been left with only her physical ability to defend herself she raises her fists and takes on a boxers stance. This girl is a bad ass and a wonderful character to root for. You’re Next is most importantly of all a satisfying horror film, watching one girl fight faceless ominous killers and come out on top is deeply satisfying for horror fans who have been watching young girls easily slain by faceless killers for years.
You’re Next also succeeds at infusing humor into the horror, dead pan black comedy and pure absurdity assure that the film never becomes pitch black in tone. There is also a cheeky little cameo by Ti West ( horror director and fellow alum of V/H/S) as a film director whom no one takes seriously.
The only area in which You’re Next could be faulted is in its stylistic approach to ‘The Animals’ whose early disturbing behavior does not ring true with later developments in their character but it is clear that the way in which they are introduced – creeping, masked, silent killers – is all for the audience’s benefit and it does pay off wonderfully, so plot holes can be forgiven because this is just such a fantastically fun horror movie that breathes new life into the genre and delivers all that it’s hype promised.
5 out of 5 stars.