Just like any other sub-genre of horror, the home invasion school of film seems to have its ups and downs, its great entries and its terrible ones. After months of waiting, I finally got my hands on a copy of Adam Wingard’s You’re Next, and when I tell you that this film belongs on the great side of the spectrum, it is a huge understatement.
If you take Home Alone and The Strangers and mix them together, You’re Next is your final result. The acting in this was fantastic; fans will recognize familiar faces, such as director Ti West, genre mainstay, AJ Bowen, and many others, including some stellar performances by newcomers. My favorite performance, as I’m sure most will agree, is delivered by Sharni Vinson, playing Erin. Unlike most ‘survivor girls’ or ‘final girls,’ Erin turns out to be much more than meets the eye.
The gore in Wingard’s film is top-notch, only upping the ante by including some of the most stellar kill scenes I’ve seen in a long time. You’re Next has turned into somewhat of a mainstream horror film, but it really does have an indie feel at heart. Additionally, although it is far from a comedy, this movie has some of the funniest sibling bickering I’ve seen/heard in ages. I really loved the chemistry between Bowen and castmates, Joe Swanberg and Nicholas Tucci.
The cinematography is wonderful thanks to DP, Andrew Droz Palermo, and the editing by Wingard, himself, is brilliant. I really can’t think of anything negative to say about this flick and I’m not sure why I’ve been reading so many mixed reviews. It seems that hardcore gore fans really can’t be happy with horror films, as soon as they see mainstream success.
You’re Next gets a rating of 4.5 meat tenderizers out of 5.
You’re Next is one of those films that came out swinging with its marketing. I couldn’t help but be absolutely impressed with how much press it was getting. Part of me wondered if it was all a huge hype machine for a mediocre slasher for a mainstream audience. That is, until I sat down and got to watch it.
Writer Simon Barrett and director Adam Wingard took a step back and really looked at what makes this genre successful. You’re Next gives you plenty of carnage, a bitchin’ synth soundtrack that is similar to the music from Demons, and enough humor to ease the tension all while keeping you entertained. When describing this film I tell people it’s like Home Alone meets The Strangers. I had so much fun watching this film.
AJ Bowen and Joe Swanberg’s relationship in the film is tough to watch, in a good way. They really play with the older/younger brother relationship and build tension of their own leading up to the attacks. I honestly had no idea that Barbara Crampton played the mother until I watched the making of featurette. They really did an amazing job aging her. It’s nice to see genre royalty back in the game. Sharni Vinson really makes a complete transformation in this film — beginning with her trying to win over her new boyfriends family and ending with her fighting fo her life.
Though it is an amazing film and it does its job building suspense and terror, I do feel like they missed out on some of the character arcs. Though, once the film starts rolling and the house becomes under attack, all you crave is the standard who, why, and who’s next?
So, this film does what it’s supposed to do and I’m going to sing its praise for some time to come. Give this one a shot people. The big summer horror film rarely makes a mark like this…the next one could be awhile.
This film gets the Rottin’ Roger Demarco seal of approval with 3.5 crossbow bolts out of 5.