MPAA Certification: R
Director: Adam Wingard
Starring: Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, Barbara Crampton, AJ Bowen, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, Ti West
Out of the gate the gore starts flying, young girl killed, ‘You’re Next’ painted on the wall for the guy she was with first to see, and who subsequently becomes victim to the masked killers. The rest of the plot follows a family reunion in the countryside. This family can’t seem to agree on anything, even when the crossbow bolts start flying. I have to leave the plot there, as to go into it in any more details would spoil the entire movie. Let’s just say writer Simon Barrett and director Adam Wingard have crafted and presented a believable plot with no real imagination stretches required. Well, except for some of the kills which to be honest are all well done. Let’s face it, when you can butcher someone with a blender, there is a lot going right with the film.
The ensemble of Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, and many others really put on excellent performances, as an ensemble in which each held his or her own (even Ti West and Simon Barrett make appearances and fit in perfectly with the rest of the cast). It’s such a joy to see a cast really get the love-hate emotions flowing as characters that you can really root for or, alternatively, hope to high heaven that they meet a miserable death.
The framing and direction were all spot on for this film, starting with high intensity in the beginning and never letting up till the credits rolled. It’s easy to see from You’re Next how Wingard is a presence in modern horror; I think the scene that best shows cinematography and direction is when Erin (Sharni Vinson) has knocked all the light bulbs out in a room and set up a camera to take pictures with a flash at intervals of a few seconds, thus creating an enthralling atmosphere for a great kill. There is a shot, though, that got me wondering if the effects people gave a nod to the film Home Alone (if you are familiar with that part of Macaulay Culkin’s oeuvre, you will know it when you see it).
I see a lot of buzz for the work of writer/director/actor Ti West on social media, and if you are into modern horror goings on you will surely know his name. A contemporary that you don’t always see a lot of buzz about is director Adam Wingard but his body of work is as good as anyone in modern horror and is fast becoming part and parcel of the scene. I passed over You’re Next many times on Netflix as I typically do not care for the home invasion style of horror. Needing some horror on my screen on a weekend, I clicked it and, noticing Wingard’s name, it took me a microsecond to start it playing.
Despite the home invasion angle initially being a turn off for me, You’re Next is a great horror flick. I was surprised by the beginning and was left wanting more at the end. Great pacing throughout, this is really one that horror fans should not miss. Barrett and Wingard, please keep them coming, your minds are twisted and I, for one, love it!
US Release Date: 23rd August 2013