y o u ' r e n e x t
28th August 2013
13th August 2013
You're Next is a whip smart, terrifying and funny horror movie from director/writer Adam Winguard and writer Simon Barrett. It is, quite simply, the best horror film I've seen in years.
Winguard and Barrett start by placing the audience in safe and generic horror territory where the demise of a fairly dislikable mismatched couple at the hands of masked strangers sets us up for an everyday horror. This continues as we meet the wealthy Davison family at their swanky pad just up the road from aforementioned killing but apart from that pretty much in the middle of the woods. Youngest brother Crispian is bringing his new girlfriend Erin to meet the family who seem pretty standard spoilt rich folk – jumpy medicated mum with an undisclosed issue, siblings all vying for dad's attention, bitchy girlfriends - all the cliches are there but already at this point the film is drawing us in. The large spooky house provides the requisite shadows and creaks to make us sufficiently jumpy but then there is a dinner party that starts off as hilarious and bizarre and quickly turns into terror as the Davisons are subject to a most brutal but inspired home invasion carried out by men in extremely unsettling animal masks - they are very very creepy I can tell you. Arrows, trip wires, machetes, swinging axes and some other more unusual killing methods are all thrown at the unprepared and terrified family. This is all accompanied by an inspired 1980's synth heavy score. Genius.
So it begins and Adam Winguard is really having a good time killing off his characters. The deaths stack up and are all highly realistic and inventively carried out, you really do jump out of your seat frequently. It's all crafted and carried out extremely well. As the bodies stack up an unlikely heroine emerges from the bloodshed in the shape of Erin and what a delight she is. Sublimely played by Sharni Vinson Erin is the best female in a horror movie since...erm..Carrie? Or Alien if you count that as a horror. Anyway the point is Erin is a fantastic, believable, rounded, kick ass killing machine that we as an audience immediately side with and get behind. It's credit to Barrett and Winguard that they've created a female character that is neither sexualised nor patronised, she just gets on with it and what fun it is watching her do it. Vinson just owns this role and she deserves all the praise she's getting. Hollywood producers listen up and cast her in an action role immediately.
Vinson is in excellent company in this cast. Barrett and Winguard wrote a lot of the parts specifically for some of the actors (AJ Bowen, TI West, Aimee Seimetz) and you can tell, this is an extremely well cast horror movie. AJ Bowen is magnificent as Crispian delivering one of the most bizarre and brilliant monologues ever. I also loved Wendy Glen as Zee also Seimetz and Joe Swanberg but to be honest the whole cast are great and Adam Swanberg clearly got the best out of them. The dinner party scene is one I want to watch again as the balance between humour and horror is so perfectly nailed it's an utter joy to behold.
Horror isn't a favourite genre of mine, purely because it so often disappoints at the crucial moment which is why when something like You're Next comes along and delivers on every level it is so damn exciting. Just go see it.
Check out the trailer here