You're Next DVD review

Review Ryan Lambie 22 Jan 2014 - 06:36

Animal masks and improvised weapons abound as the home invasion horror You're Next arrives on DVD. Our review's here...

There's much that's familiar about low-budget horror You're Next: the masked killers, the improvised weapons, the bickering survivors, the remote setting. But director Adam Wingard injects both a playfulness and a Giallo-like sense of mystery to his home-invasion slasher, and the result is refreshingly economical and direct.

In an unfeasibly large, austere country mansion, conspicuously wealthy parents Aubrey and Paul (Barbara Crampton and Rob Moran) welcome their litter of spoilt offspring to a rare evening get-together. Among them is Crispian (AJ Bowen), a meek teacher who's constantly browbeaten by his cocky, over-achieving brother Drake (Joe Swanberg). Then there are two other siblings, younger brother Felix (Nicholas Tucci) and younger sister Aimee (Amy Seimetz), plus their respective other halves, the most prominent and sympathetic being Crispian's younger girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson).

As this dysfunctional group gather in a wood-panelled room for dinner, an evening of uneasy conversation beckons, before being rudely interrupted by a silent assault from a group of killers in animal masks. There's something deliciously wry about the notion of a violent siege being preferable to a middle-class family get-together, and writer Simon Barrett maintains a blackly comic tone throughout.

Among this family of fiercely self-interested people, who steadfastly refuse to pull together even in the face of death, the diminutive yet fearless Erin emerges as a character to root for. And as her survival instincts kick in and the improvised weapons begin to be constructed, You're Next becomes an entertaining amalgam of Assault On Precinct 13, The Hills Have Eyes and Mario Bava's proto-slasher classic A Bay Of Blood.

You're Next cleverly subverts some genre expectations while - deliberately, it seems - falling victim to others, such as the characters' tendency to either wander off on their own to check on something or stand around near windows. But as one jump scare proves, You're Next sometimes uses these conventions as a means of misdirection, making the film as much a whodunnit as a straight horror flick. How many killers are there? Why are they wearing animal masks, and why are they picking on this particular family?

Your mileage may vary when it comes to the answers to those questions, and some regular watchers of horror and mystery movies may be able to at least partly predict the final outcome before the solution's revealed. But despite these criticisms, You're Next emerges as a well-paced and entertaining horror thriller.

It treads similar ground to last year's The Purge, another film about rich people quaking as killers besieged their home, but does so with far more surety and purpose. The presence of genre favourite Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, From Beyond, too many other films to list) hints at the lashings of anarchic gore to come, while the presence of horror director Ti West, here playing an underground documentary filmmaker, aptly sums up the film's rictus-grin sense of humour.

You're Next is out on DVD and Blu-ray now.

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Terrible film, fails were The Purge,The Strangers and Funny Games triumphed

I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would, I'm intrigued to know (or am I?) why Dave Chimpy McBueller says it was 'terrible'. I think I watch too many movies so I've seen enough really terrible movies to ask how this could be considered at all 'terrible'. I found it moved at a pace, entertained and delivered the requisite number of 'oofs' and 'owies' to meet with my approval. I appreciate tastes are different and what may appeal to some will not to others, but because a film doesn't light up my life doesn't necessarily mean it's 'terrible', it just means I didn't like it. So, I'm just intrigued, Dave... care to elaborate?

the twist w/c near the end changes the tone of the movie for me. wish they couldve worked in a twist which explained why the heroine is a good survivor. Or maybe I didnt catch it....

Didn't Erin say that she was brought up in a rural compound populated by survivalist nutters?

No probs.
I caught it on the back of a good run of films so it was a
bit of a downer to watch. I felt no connection to any of the characters and was
glad of their dispatch rather than horrified.
I found the twists clichéd. The brought up by survivalists (same one
that Sara Conner was on?) element was funny, almost like a bad add-in to
explain why she’s kicking arse. I got the feeling of watching actors act from
the cast rather than been drawn into the film I was continually irked by it.
Its not up there with Bula Quo or Pocket Ninjas in the realms of utter badness

I really enjoyed this film. Is it a masterpiece, is it going to revolutionise horror? Not at all, but it's a very enjoyable and sometimes unpredictable film with one of the most kick ass heroines since Sarah Connor in T2. Oh and it also has one of the greatest kills I've ever seen in a slasher film.
It involves a kitchen appliance. That's all I'll say.

he he I rewatched it! looks like I missed that part!

I liked this film but can't say it was anything special. A lot seems to be being made of the film being of low budget and practically unknown cast (unless you watch trashy soaps of course), I don't quite understand why since that's what the majority of horror movies are anyway. Even so I did love the neo 80s soundtrack that kicks in for the final act

Hey, thanks for replying, I can take on board the points you raise, as others have said it was by no means perfect, but personally I was drawn in and some of the twists surprised me, some I saw coming a mile off... but, unlike yourself, I found it mostly fun, didn't feel I'd wasted my time... I still hold it wasn't 'terrible' but if we all agreed what a dull world it would be...

We have all seen this plot before but the film manages to stand up well. I really enjoyed it. Nothing original but it is done very well. Totally agree with the 4 stars

I agree the film was disappointing. It was a frustrating case of 50/50 - half the time, the characters did smart things which avoided the usual horror cliches, but the other half of the time they were unbelievably stupid. A really strange mix. (For instance, someone gets killed in a bedroom, but it's only ten minutes later that the others stop to think that this maybe means there is a killer _inside_ the house...)

Its what disque is for, Both versions of Funny Games and The Strangers knock this for six, well worth a look :)

I really enjoyed this film on it's release, and will check it out again. Coming just a few months after the incredibly disappointing The Purge, this was a nice surprise.

Wow someone disliked that I liked this film and did t love it...what an ass

It was a watchable movie,certainly, with a decent strong female protagonist, but nothing noteworthy, and hardly worth the long wait from production to DVD release.

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