Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

You're Next


Nothing More Than Animals

7.75 out of 10 | DVD or Rental

Rated: NR Language, strong bloody violence, and some sexuality/nudity
Release Date: August 23, 2013
Runtime: 1 hour 34 minutes

Director: Adam Wingard
Writers: Simon Barrett
Cast: Sharni Vinson, Nicolas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Margaret Laney, Amy Seimetz, Ti West, Rob Moran, Barbara Crampton, LC Holt, Simon Barrett, Lane Hughes 

SYNOPSIS: When the Davison family comes under attack during their wedding anniversary getaway, the gang of mysterious killers soon learns that one of victims harbors a secret talent for fighting back.

REVIEW: V/H/S director Adam Wingard takes on a horror sub-genre that we all love. Like The Strangers or The Last House on the Left, Wingard takes a screenplay from his frequent collaborator Simon Barrett to realize that being secluded in a isolated house always brings with it strange invaders bent on terrorizing the occupants within. 

Crispian (AJ Bowen, Among Friends) and his girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson, Step Up 3D) drive up to isolated mentioned in the countryside for his parents 35th wedding anniversary. All the children will be there to celebrate with their family. As they sit around the dining room table arguing about their place in life, a crossbow bolt shatters the dining room window and kills one of the boyfriends named Tariq (Ti West, All the Light in the Sky). More arrows fly through the windows to terrorize the people inside the house. One by one, family members and their guests are subjected to brutal killings and unbridled hysteria. Only Erin seems to have a level enough head to defend the house against the masked attackers on the estate grounds. Can she alone prevail against overwhelming odds?

Shot in 2011, You're Next has finally emerged from the shadows of production turnaround with the release date here in the states. Very similar to other isolated house/relentless invaders horror suspense subplot dollars, including films like The Strangers, The Last House on the Left, and others, You're Next takes a little bit different tact in it storytelling. Starting off with a brutal murder scene seemingly unrelated to the rest of the story, the film captures both the absurdity of this genre of film while it uses the same absurdity for great laughs as the film plunges ahead. The film is purposeful, capturing just how ludicrous people can act in these types of situations if these events were ever to occur. Sometimes you have to laugh or you will just cry.

The production quality of the film is a little rough, but adds additional depth to the film itself. A dated feel seems to work in it's favor. From the 80s style synthesizer score to haunting heavy strings, to repetitive pop rock sound track kids by Dwight Twilley, the sights and sounds of this film produced some thing better then the sums of its parts.

Erin somehow has all the training she needs to repel a trio of masked intruders - Lamb Mask (L.C. Holt, V/H/S/2), Tiger Mask (Simon Barrett, 24 Exposures) and Fox Mask (Lane Hughes, What Fun We Were Having. She emerges from her nice Aussie accents to become a serious survivalist bad ass who is handy with a meat tenderizer. She is the center of this film in all respects, all the other characters playing comic relief to her straightman. Like High Tension or Halloween, this timid girlfriend finds that she has everything she needs to get the job done.

While most of the cast is lesser-known actors and actresses, every one of them help to deliver tension, thrills, suspense and laughs. While Wingard used a lot of classic and establish genre techniques and gags, he does it in such a way to bring freshness to the mix as well. The levity that balances the gore and blood is a little subtracting from the level of suspense that the director may have wanted to maintain, but it does set the film apart as something different as to where it fits in as a horror/suspense flick.

With the real horror film season still a month away, and The Conjuring wrapping up its run in the height of summer at the box office, You're Next may be the next suspense film that you want to go see.

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