The hype machine can be a pretty powerful tool. Some of the worst movies sell just because of over-saturation of trailers and commercials. You’re Next worried the hell out of me, not because of the fear, but the hardcore marketing I saw. The commercials played nonstop and almost every website I visited had a banner, trailer or background promoting the movie. Usually movies that are over marketed tend to let me down. Lets see if director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett can prove me wrong.
You’re Next is nothing original in the home invasion/survival movie market. The Davison family has decided to gather at their somewhat delapitated mansion for a little family bonding time. You have all the stereotypical players here: rich successful father, recovering addict mother and pretentious kids with even more stereotypical partners. Mix in some cute animal mask wearing killers who love crossbows and we might have something here.
A lot has been missing from horror for some time. There was this annoying and nasty transition to found footage (again!) with movies like Paranormal Activity. Slasher flicks seemed to have run their course, which is sad because many of the best horror films are slashers. You’re Next is rooted deeply in a traditional slasher mindset. Yes, home invasion may be the next played out sub-genre but this movie stripped away a lot of the crap to keep things old school. You won’t see a lot of character building because we’re focused on the blood and guts mixed with a few twists.
You will gravitate toward one character throughout this movie by the name of Erin (Sharni Vinson). She becomes the only hope for anyone’s survival and has the knowledge to defeat our masked assailants. Oh and the masks, I love them. We have a few different farms animals and they are creepy. I think my love stems from the use of animal masks in Hotline Miami (love that game!). Go play the game now or right after you finish reading this review.
I am a person who has a hard time suspending disbelief especially when we have no idea what or why? Like I said the character building and genuine interaction is at a minimum here and the overall story suffers. Yes, there are twists down the road that require a limited amount of who, what, why and when, but come on. The comedy did an excellent job of distracting me from a lot of these questions. You’re Next never bothers to take itself too serious and in this case it worked. There was as much eye rolling as laughter in the theater.
Also, one thing that seems to keep rearing its ugly little unwanted head is that damned shaky cam. At first it was pretty subtle and only happening as needed to roll a scene along but later on it’s nonstop. This is and will always be my biggest gripe with found footage films. There is no need to have the camera on a spring the entire time you are filming. I started having flashbacks of The Blair Witch Project and people leaving because they felt sick. Much like twerking there is almost no need for shaky cam in my life.
The overall acting was pretty horrid. I mean to the point where you needed to really wonder if that was intentional for comedy or just poorly written. There is a scene where the family is trying to decide who would be the fastest runner to make a break to get some help. In the end they decide to let the weak little daughter go. So screw taking a look or surveying an exit, she’s going out the front door full speed right when we open it. Grab your suspension of disbelief mask because you will need it shortly folks (it should be in your lap as you needed it for the entire scene right before this).
Sharni Vinson is the only person to bring any chops of believability to this crappy wheel house of characters. This shocked me as her resume showed such gems as Step Up 3D and Blue Crush 2. If she can nail down some more staring roles and kill it like she did here scream queens like Danielle Harris may need to look out.
You’re Next will not be paving any ways for home invasion flicks, but it really does not need to. Everything here has been been done before all the way down to the glaringly obvious twists. If you can get past the aforementioned issues there is a decent popcorn horror flick here ready to steal ninety minutes of your time. Compared to all the paranormal ghost crap movies I gladly welcome this slasher to the table.
Take a Drink: anytime something/someone seems a bit too stereotypical.
Sip a beer: each time you find yourself just a little more fond of a certain Australian hottie.
Take a Shot: when a criminal makes a blood stain seem intelligent.