Thursday, January 16, 2014

YOU'RE NEXT (2013)

You’re Next starts off as a basic home invasion thriller—and a not particularly inspired one at that—until suddenly kicks into overdrive and emerges as a breath-of-fresh air in what has become a stale subgenre.

The Davison family is meeting for a family reunion to celebrate the anniversary of their parents. Everyone arrives, and all the typical family issues bubble to the surface. Repressed jealousies, judgments, perceived slights, favoritism, etc. Dad’s kind, sweet, and doting. Mom is addicted to anti-anxiety meds. Crispian (AJ Bowen) has brought his former college student and current girlfriend, Erin (Sharni Vinson) to meet the family, and everything appears to be going according to rote.

Then the carnage starts. A group of creepy, animal-masked assailants converge on the country home and start taking people out. The family freaks, and the home invasion story gets going. I almost yawned as they debated over whether to head into the basement or go upstairs.

But, then, writer Simon Barrett and director Adam Wingard, subvert expectation and give us not only a fun (and funny) plot, but establish a female protagonist in Erin that may very well redefine how horror filmmakers approach their badass female characters in the future. The way Erin’s character unfolds is terrific cinema.

I won’t give away any of the movie’s secrets. All I can say is the last hour of the film is non-stop suspense, and the climax will leave you laughing just as much as it will leave you horrified.

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