“You’re Next” has been the biggest tease to me. It started with the photo promos, with the killers in the masks. Then the teaser trailer. Then the multiple clips. Interviews with the cast. It was already viewed at festivals TWO YEARS AGO.
I sat there saying: “Will this damn movie just come out already?”
Then I started throwing money at my computer screen, just to see if that would get the point across.
Then I begged.
Then I lost hope.
Then….I was angry.
Then, more money throwing and some gentle weeping in my pantry.
Then a United States release date finally showed itself to me!
It’s safe to say, that when the date finally arrived (it was yesterday) I was more than excited. I had pretty high expectations going in. I try not to let hype get to me, but I guess I fell right into the marketing campaign for this one.
So it is with a great feeling of relief that I write this highly positive review. I was not let down, not one bit.
“You’re Next” follows a wealthy family, The Davisons, that are having a bit of a family reunion. The mother and father recently bought an old house in the usual remote middle-of-nowhere location, that they plan on fixing up during retirement. Their nearly insufferable children show up with their seemingly equally annoying spouses, and it becomes pretty apparent that no one in this family gets along. The family doesn’t know that they are being watched…stalked, until it is too late. And when the blood starts flowing, it doesn’t stop. But someone in this group may not be what they seem….
I’ll leave the plot details alone, as I don’t want to provide any spoilers. I know it sounds like such a cliche’ when you see this in a review but: “The less you know, the better!”
Director Adam Wingard ( VHS series, A Horrible Way To Die) really knows how to make a scene tense. While there are plenty of jump scares, a good portion of the film is used to create an overall feeling of dread. There is some fantastic camera work here. I also have to praise the title sequence, as it was super inventive. The vast expanse of the house, and desolate woods surrounding, that our characters are trapped in makes for some serious tension as well.
All of the effects are practical, and the makeup and gore is all top notch. The film has a nostalgic effect, as it seems to pull a good portion of it’s inspiration from 70’s and 80’s slasher flicks. Despite these obvious influences, Wingard manages to create a very unique and memorable overall vibe. He has his own style, and I think it really comes through in this film, more so than any of his other works so far. There’s gore, comedy, and awesome acting.
Wingard pulls in Ti West ( The Innkeepers, VHS, ABC’s of Death) for a cameo appearance that I didn’t even recognize him in until the credits rolled. The rest of the cast is a rag-tag band of recent horror movie veterans that have starred in both West’s and Wingard’s previous films. Everyone seems totally engrossed in their roles, which makes the moments of black comedy really stand out. You laugh at them, but you also believe that a family this dysfunctional would actually act this way in the face of adversity and tragedy. Just because you’re scared to (literal) death doesn’t mean you will be any less an insufferable ass. In fact, you might be even MORE insufferable than usual.
My only real gripe, is that once things get going, the plot is pretty predictable. You see the twists and turns coming before they unfold before you but that doesn’t completely put a damper on their effect. The plot still moves along, and the pacing is fantastic.
I must say, that I was very pleased and I cant wait to see what Wingard has in store for us next. If “A Horrible Way to Die” and “You’re Next” are any indication of his talent, he’s certainly a director to watch. It was a bit sad, that on a Saturday night, there were only 5 or 6 other souls in the theater with us. So get out there and see this one!!