Written by Simon Barrett and Directed by Adam Wingard
“You don’t want your DNA in here man!”
You’re Next is part of the new breed of American slasher films that have been popping up within the last few years, and in my opinion its surprisingly good. I say surprisingly because my movie brain is forever stuck in the 80’s and 90’s. Constantly searching for originality, I somewhat stubbornly refuse to acknowledge anything released after my favorite cinematic eras. With the exception of Adam Green’s Hatchet trilogy and Justin Russell’s The Sleeper, I’ve almost completely lost all hope for the stalk and slash genre. Now in this case and the others mentioned before, something always manages to slip in through the cracks on me.
This film stars Sharni Vincent and also includes appearances from veteran actor Rob Moran, a short lived role from House of the Devil director Ti West, and the return of Lovecraft horror queen Barbara Crampton. The film is a story of a family reunion gone way wrong. The family is being hunted by a group of axe wielding animal mask wearing hit men (and hit women), when a dark secret is revealed, and one of the family members guests rises to be an unexpected trained killer….and quite possibly the most bad-ass girlfriend of all time. Wingard does an excellent job from the start of introducing each unique character, and doing so in a brief enough manner that you understand them and don’t get bored. Which is something I think most horror films fail at.
One of the things that hooked me on this film initially is the frantic pace that sustains the movie from the opening sequence to the last. What unfolds is a violent cat and mouse game of who can kill who first, that sees the characters drop one by one. Sure, it’s the typical slasher blueprint, but it’s executed superbly. I can say there isn’t really a boring spot in the whole film. Seriously, not one, but two people are brutally murdered in the first 5 minutes. Score! Which brings me to my next point…THERE’S NO CGI!!! Gore nerds rejoice!
If there’s one thing that I think has completely brought down the Street Fighter-esque energy bar of modern horror films, it’s that god awful excuse for special effects known as CGI. It works for some films, but needs to stay far away from films that NEED practical effects to get the point across. There’s enough blood flow in the film to curb the most insatiable gore hound’s appetite. With that being said, there’s a kitchen scene involving a blender….that is absolutely brutal. I wont ruin it, so I’ll leave it at that.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed what I saw. The characters were good and didn’t hang around long enough to become an annoyance. There’s also a decent score during the more suspenseful scenes that constantly reminded me of an 80’s slasher, which is a huge plus for me. Old school heads need not to worry, as it’s a pretty entertaining film, so don’t sleep on it. It’s a rather refreshing feeling to be surprised by something that you didn’t expect much out of. You’re Next should definitely be “Next” to check out.