’31 Days of Horror’ Review – You’re Next (2011)

by Nile Fortner

A badass Australian chick decides to kick some ass after some dudes in animal masks break into her family’s home. The hunted becomes the hunter! Director Adam Wingard (V/H/S & The Guest) and writer Simon Barrett (The Guest) infuse the home-invasion horror and thriller genre, with a breath of fresh air.

After a gory, shocking, and interesting prologue, the film then takes us to an empty, wooded, country estate (because nothing bad ever happens in those places). There, we meet a wealthy couple who are getting ready for an awkward family reunion. Our main character Erin, played by Sharni Vinson, (Bait 3D, & Step Up 3D) accompanies her boyfriend Crispian, played by A.J. Bowen (A Horrible Way To Die, & The Sacrament).

In addition, when the whole family gets together for dinner and discussion, that’s when an argument starts between Crispian and his brother Drake, played by Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies & A Horrible Way To Die). Out of nowhere, Drake is blasted, with a crossbow arrow that comes flying through a nearby window. Erin notices three masked men outside holding weapons, and that’s when she knows some shit is about to hit the fan.

So the last film that came from both Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett was the 2016 Blair Witch film. That film wasn’t all that well received by critics, and I honestly didn’t care for it as much as I thought. So I want to go back to one of their better horror flicks. I wanted to quickly talk about the film You’re Next. This is a movie that I think only horror nerds like you and I have known about. I first heard about this movie in the horror magazine Rue Morgue (a horror magazine only horror nerds really dig).

But this movie has you invested from the very start. I really enjoyed this film from the start. It had an interesting prologue, well done camera work, some humor, an awesome style of throwback music, well written characters, and one of the most bad-ass final girls I’ve seen in years. I honestly believe, that Erin will go down in scream queen history with Neve Campbell, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Heather Langenkamp.

I believe You’re Next stands on its own. Mainly because it’s not afraid to do its own thing. Such as, the chemistry between all the actors I found this to be a neat easter egg, but all of the male “actors” in the movie are actually horror directors themselves. For instance, Ti West (The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers) makes an appearance in this movie for the family dinner. Which is a cool Easter egg and hint for horror fans, but maybe the directors should just stick to directing. They are not good actors, and it shows that their true talent is behind the camera and not in front of it.

The movie also keeps you guessing with Erin’s (Sharni Vinson) past. The family constantly wonders why she is so good at killing people, setting up traps, creating weapons, where she is from, and why she knows so much about survival when someone is trying to kill you. When I first saw the movie, it had a really interesting twist, and it keeps you wanting more. When it was over, I wanted to see more of these characters, more of this world, and know more about Erin.

Director Adam Wingard constructs together an amazing movie. However, in my opinion, he is even better at working with the score, unique editing, old school style and influences of filmmaking. I love the soundtrack to this movie. It feels retro, and you can tell movies from the ‘80s really inspired these guys. The soundtrack is very similar to what you would here in a movie like ‘Hobo With a Shotgun’ or any movie paying homage to the ‘80s.

I truly believe that this is one of the better home invasion horror films. I believe it makes a good watch for the Halloween season and honestly anytime of the year.

I am giving You’re Next a 4.5 out of 5 Hairpieces!

 

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