You’re Next, 2011

© Lionsgate

Crispian: Why?

Erin: Why the fuck not?

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One of the better slashers out there, juggling postmodern humor with visceral horror.

First released straight-to-DVD in 2011, the film did not start to show in theaters until August of 2013 with fourteen distributors including Lionsgate and two indie production houses pushing the wagon all the way to earning a sweet three million above the budget (current estimate). That is why I suppose Wingard and Barrett are favorites Lionsgate.

There’s my Rambo Girl

The film starts with a Scream, 1996 like sequence and goes on to show what human nature is capab… yawn. If you want a plot I suggest you watch The Odessa File, 1974. Just that this is one of those horror pictures, which is so brutal and with pitch-black humor to please the genre enthusiast. If home invasion is not your cup of tea, well, watch it for the way Director Adam Wingard & writer Simon Barrett (Blair Witch, 2016) handle the dark humor. There’s never a good association with this genre, everyone wants to keep their distance and why wouldn’t they. Home Invasion tends to get a bit to close for comfort and truly unsettling, and if you think you can brave Secuestrados (Kidnapped), 2010, and Michael Haneke‘s (Funny Games US, 2007), this one is just a cakewalk.

It even inspired The Purge, well Point Break did it long before you could say Infinity Stones.

Mr. Hunt, this isn’t mission difficult, it’s mission impossible. “Difficult” should be a walk in the park for you.” – Mission Commander Swanbeck (Anthony Hopkins), during a breifing in Sevile, Spain.

So, yeah. The slasher wears a goat head (I wonder how they thought it would relate to evil somehow?) and gets down to business from the get-go, taking down a family reunion, impaling one family member after another. The film is grotesquely mysterious, embracing genre conventions, Wingard’s tale of a dysfunctional family under siege is a massive crowd-pleaser, no matter how amateur, no matter if Wingard’s grip on the pan-handle (small rig) is a bit shaky and not abiding by the aesthetics of a horror picture, which is also very funny and the gore-hound will be satiated; I assure you, gore-hounds and the common man, the casual cinema-goer, who wants more bloodletting than ever before, in these times of snuff being broadcast on National TV like it’s nothing like it won’t affect and desensitize the audience.
You’re next has plenty of WTF moments and then it has a major twist towards the end, I’ll give it that. It may be rudimentary but it’s there and most find it to be “delicious“. Plus, it has one of those frustrating endings where your breath stops with hope for the credits not to roll but, pumpkin, hope does fade to black.

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Nevertheless, Wingard’s use of sharp-wit (could be coincidental since the whole film does not add up to its sum). The filmmaker’s knack for invigorating his characters’ gory demises with sick laughs is audible and praiseworthy, but again, is it deliberate or did Wingard and Simon Barret (both have collaborated on the irritatingly dumb, Blair Witch, 2016) get lucky with this one? Here, where he brazenly infuses the home-invasion thriller with the dysfunctional family drama, something like Coherence, but without the intergalactic element. Plus, Coherence was not at all funny, it was as serious and valiant as a film can be. However not as resolute in its mythos as the brilliant Lighthouse, 2019.

So, where was I?

Oh, yes, Coherence. No, no. We’re dissecting You’re Next.

Oh hai Mike!”

The movie is fast-paced, with more pig blood on-screen than ink on paper (witless script) and innovative at times (unless I missed an old Giallo slasher remake), the kills are quick but grisly; reciprocal kills are rather cathartic. Intentional or not, You’re Next offers some motivation for its mayhem, especially during the well-executed (still unsure if the filmmakers deliberated or the script doctoring, the build-up gave birth to an organic) final act. I’m being doubtful since I cannot seem to accept the fact that it was these two Wingard and Barrett who made the awful, repetitive Blair Witch remake.

A superior slasher that went down well with the audience, the critics, and yours truly, despite the fact that somewhere deep down I feel that You’re Next does not have a purpose; but then, to each his own and the film is indeed a superior horror film and better than most being churned out since Netflix took over the world.
Plus, actor Sharni Vinson as Erin is so hot, I had to put the fan on. Fanboy, that is.

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