The film is about a group of siblings, their significant others, and their parents, who have gathered (read:isolated themselves) at their parents’ fixer-upper out in the woods. The family reunion is short-lived, however, as a murderous trio of animal-mask-wearing killers soon targets the group.
You’re Next is a little different from your typical horror flick since the group of victims is a family. I think most of us are used to horny teens getting themselves into these types of situations, not brothers, sisters, and moms and dads. The actors in the film have great family chemistry, however, and made for a compelling group. Sharni Vinson, who plays Erin the main girlfriend, pretty much carries the whole film. Joe Swanberg, who plays obnoxious brother Drake, is another highlight of the cast. I guess it’s sort of an in-joke, but this is the second film I’ve seen where Swanberg’s character creepily tries to undress his annoyed wife.
As I mentioned, Wingard understands horror. The film is desaturated and dreary and Wingard seems to be channeling early Carpenter. We see the killers’ points of view from outside a few times and one of the murderers does the classic “masked-killer-head-tilt” as he examines one of his fresh victims.
Wingard, who’s been making a name for himself by directing segments in anthology films like V/H/S, V/H/S2, and The ABCs of Death, is a crafty director in general. There’s a great dinner scene in the film that not only builds up to a family conflict but the first round of attacks from the killers as well, and Wingard uses the sound of thunder in the background the whole time. It really heightens the scene’s tension. A storm’s a brewin’, that’s for sure.
Most importantly, You’re Next really revels in its violence. It has the most bludgeonings I’ve ever seen in a movie. The violence is very malicious, but Wingard never really makes it unbearable or takes it to the level of torture porn. And we’re pretty desensitized at this point anyway, right?
In short, You’re Next is a fresh, fun horror film directed by talented up-and-comer Wingard (there’s a joke I could make about Wingard being “next” in terms of great horror directors but I’ll spare you). If you don’t mind a little bit of head-bashing violence, you should have a great time with this one.
|3 out of 5 Stars|