The Hughes Verdict!
Yet another Home Invasion horror film that is marginally better than many before it, but offers nothing new apart from a cool female lead and lashes of blood………
Forgive me here!
But as I am writing this review, I am trying to think of an Home Invasion horror that is set in the Hand Held Camera formula. You see,those two genres have led the way in recent years in the horror genre, if we not seeing some poor innocent home owners getting attacked for no reason in their own would place, then we are watching a man/woman, running around being threatened, screaming at the top of their voice when in reality in it help if they put that camera they are holding down and fight back.
You’re Next arrives on DVD an is already set in the world that has seen FUNNY GAMES, ILLS and THE STRANGERS set the blue print for this kind of horror and while it delivers with the gore thanks to some delightful set-pieces, the film can not help but struggle to rise from the seen it all before cycle that will bore many avid horror fans.
The setting is a large country mansion not too far most probably from where Kristen and James met those three bastard kids in 2008. Here the we see parents Aubrey and Paul (Barbara Crampton and Rob Moran) arrive for a weekend away with their eldest kids and on arrival, they don’t batter an eyelid when they find their front door open. When their children arrive you sense that all is not well within the camp. Crispian (AJ Bowen) along with his young girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson) are very much in love, but there is friction between him and the very cocky brother Drake (Joe Swanberg). Younger brother Felix and sister Aime (Amy Seimetz),make up the family fold, along with their partners where many eagle eyed horror fans will spot the fast becoming horror director legend Ti West among them.
What follows is the usual slow build up before the carnage, a family getting together, starting off friendly before a heated argument brings chaos to the dinner table in more ways than one.
These early exchanges are helped along thanks to a wonderfully black tone of a script by writer Simon Barrett which thankfully carries through the entire running time. Also aiding the film is a stunning Terminator style soundtrack vibe from Mads Heldtberg which creates more tension and foreboding that actually helps the film in so many ways.
Its during the meal that the family get together is interpreted thanks to the arrival of a gang in animal masks who have not come for dessert. Soon crossbow’s are flying, people are dying and blood is splattered all over the walls. The gang though did not count on Erin who has seen more than enough of the A L I E N franchise and decides to fightback in Ripley Mode.
Its Erin and in particular the stunning actress Vinson who carries the whole film on her shoulders. While many home invasion movies have the victims, hide, sit, wait and plan their next move. Erin decides straight away that she wont be a victim and she fights back in such a spectacular way that it rises You’re Next up from the many same themed films that have littered the market.
You’re Next has won much critical acclaim from fans and critics but for me it lacked a much needed bit of originality. Things did not start off well with a poor opening sequence of an unnecessary killing that has no relevance to the plot that follows. Its like director Adam Wingard was impatient and wanted to show blood right from the start when perhaps, thanks to the movie score, it would have been better to have built the tension from the off by introducing the family and setting up the bloodshed that followed.
The twists also have no emotional punch. Like what Billy says in SCREAM, “there has to be a motive” and I did not batter an eyelid when it was revealed why this was happening or at the last twist which many fans will guess long before we see it happen.
But for all this criticism, You’re Next is a pretty decent film. Like the recent Evil Dead re-d0, what helps its failings on certain parts is the lashes of blood we see splattering across the screen. The kills are effective especially as the”blender” scene is one of the highlights of the horror world last year.
With a fast pace and a witty script, you can not help but be entertained by You’re Next, even though there is hardly no plot. Wingard and Barrett are only interested in the next big set piece and for gore hounds this works a treat. But for me personally, with the five star ratings and everything else I have read and seen about this film, I expected a lot more.
“The Ultimate in Home Invasion movies” not really………. That accolade is still held by the draining and quite disturbing FUNNY GAMES, and if I really need to compare the two, FUNNY GAMES is adult fare with a deeply dark tone………YOU’RE NEXT is simply a Tom & Jerry cartoon made for teens who love simplicity………..