Can't spell slaughter without laughter
Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Updated: Thursday, August 29, 2013 17:08
Last weekend a particularly surprising film arrived from the “horror” movie genre.
“You’re Next” has received rave reviews from critics and similar accolades from audiences.
It is doing shockingly well considering all promos and trailers make it look like your typical B-movie, slasher flick. So what is “You’re Next” and is it worth the watch?
Paul (Rob Moran) and Aubrey Davison (Barbara Crampton) drive off to their country home celebrating their anniversary and Paul’s retirement, giddy with the thought of having all their children together for the first time in a long time. They arrive to find the door unlocked, but they shrug it off because hey, this is a horror movie, and everyone has a supernatural lack of suspicion. A few more scary thumps and jumps, and the real “horror” is written off to Aubrey’s apparent fractured psychological state. Slowly, the family begins to arrive with their significant others and the audience gets its first glimpse at each traditional, horror film character dynamic.
Crispian Davison (AJ Bowen) is the young literature professor dating his former student, Erin (Sharni Vinson) and immediately the audience connects with these two. They are the rational couple, down-to-earth, and obviously smitten with each other.
Then there’s the wealthy parents; the meathead, jerk brother; the brooding, younger brother with his anti-establishment girlfriend; and of course, the jolly sister who has chosen the artistic, indie filmmaker for a suitor. So, the stage is set for a knock-down-drag-out-gore-fest, and that’s essentially what the audience is given in this home invasion, horror film.
Three masked characters deliver Tarantino style, blood squirting violence to this quaint family gathering, and at the end of the day, it’s not the least bit horrifying or terrifying whichever side of the philosophical spectrum you fall on. It does, however, purport itself as a dark comedy of sorts, complete with a gutsy heroism from an unlikely candidate. The audience is left in the fetal position, but it’s more so from fits of laughter than flinching fear. The clichés are evident and deliberately unavoided so that horror movie enthusiasts get their fill of tradition.
“You’re Next” comes from director Adam Wingard—a relatively inexperienced director—most known for “V/H/S” and “V/H/S 2”, both recent horror flicks. V/H/S is currently available for instant streaming on Netflix for those who wish to see Wingard’s style at work.
“You’re Next” isn’t bad; it’s just unexpected. It has all the horror film tropes, and for some these might serve as genuine scares. However, it doesn’t seem that the makers of this film were going for straight horror, but more a “Cabin in the Woods”-esque commentary on horror film clichés and how laughable they are. Don’t assume you know this movie from the start. If you think you do, maybe you’re next.
3.5 out of 5