You’re Next – 2011
Directed by Adam Wingard
Starring Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, A. J. Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Barbara Crampton, Rob Moran
Written by Simon Barrett
Finally horror has come out of the tailspin it’s been in since forever. In the past year, only Cabin in the Woods stands out as being close to the level as You’re Next. The things that don’t work are swallowed by its sense of purpose and its careful plotting. So swiftly does the story move, it’s surprising the details that not missed. The moment you wonder about something is the moment the lens does as well.
Crispian and Erin (Bowen and Vinson) are a couple on the way out to his parent’s “project” home to celebrate, with the rest of the family, the parents’ 35th wedding anniversary. The parents arrive first, set up, and then wait for their other children to arrive. As the extended family sits down and prepares for dinner, they start getting picked off one by one. What happens beyond this, I will leave for you to discover.
What I will say is the film is full of surprises. The biggest and best of which is that we actually get to see someone who demonstrates an insurmountable drive to survive. The assailants (yes, there are more than one) are lethal, and use a variety of means to dispatch their victims. There are a couple of really stupid decisions made by some of the earlier victims. This is something we have come to expect.
What we do not expect are intelligent life or death decisions. It is a turning of the table without the histrionics, the drama, or any excessive amount of words. One sees this sometimes in movies, but often it is only at the end of a film, or it is a short breath of fresh air. Never before has the perspective been executed so efficiently, and with such believability. Even with this early break, and even if one can predict some of the twists, there is enough left over that you will be sitting silently, cheering, then shaking your head. In the good way.
You’re Next is also filled with humor. Those with delicate constitutions may miss some of the jokes. Those who can catch them will very much appreciate it. Well, all of it except for the scene where the weird chick takes her top off.
So much more do I want to share. I would even love to post a picture or two. I cannot and will not ruin the surprise. I will say that Mind the Gap’s remake of Dwight Twilley’s Looking for the Magic is employed as effectively as any song since Hold Tight from Death Proof. Play it now. By the end of the movie, it will be haunting you. The rest of this film, though, will invigorate you.
But I will share no more now. If you want to hit me up after you watch, drop me a line. I would love to talk about it.
(****1/2 out of *****)