In Review: You’re Next

by Alan Simmons on 13/08/2013


You’re Next is horror movie perfection. Directed by Adam Wingard (V/H/S, A Horrible Way to Die) and knocking about on the festival circuit since 2011, it’s earned a huge amount of positive buzz and there’s a very good reason for that – it’s flipping excellent.

The feuding Davison family settle down for dinner in their isolated manor house. Dad’s a stuffy defense contractor, mum’s an uptight, medicated bitch, the two grown up brothers (played by Joe Swanberg and AJ Bowen) bicker, scrap and bully like little kids and their ditzy sister (Amy Seimetz) is dating Ti “The House of the Devil” West. The warring brothers’ significant others are a brooding goth (Wendy Glenn, ex-Hollyoaks) and graduate student Erin (Sharni Vinson, Step Up 3D).

When din-dins is rudely interrupted by a volley of arrows through the window and a gang of mask-wearing psychopaths show up on the lawn, Erin handily turns out to be an Aussie asskicker after revealing that she was brought up on a hardcore survivalist compound. Injured, shocked and scared as they may be, the Davison family just might stand a chance against the home-invading maniacs as Erin unleashes booby traps and attitude that would give the Home Alone movies a run for their money.

Home invasion is (was) a bit played out, even The Purge (2013) descended into same old shtick once it got bored of its own high-concept. The ‘baddies wearing masks and attacking a family home’ scenario may be enough to turn some people off, but You’re Next doesn’t exactly adhere to any particular genre template. You won’t have a clue where it’s going to go.

Simon Barrett’s script is sharp and steeped in a sly sense of humour. The traditional horror flick ‘jumps’ are huge, the kills are mean and the tension in the first half is at times unbearable. The second half is one long and ridiculously cathartic pay-off. Erin is about to become many people’s new favourite final girl and Sharni Vinson crowned a scream queen.

Scary, clever, unpredictable, funny, cool and tummy-twistingly tense: you’ll adore You’re Next.

Alan has awarded You’re Next five Torches of Truth

5 torches

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