Looking for something to watch this weekend? On Film Fridays I take a look at both new and old movies. This week's film is the scary movie You're Next which just came out on DVD this week.
Director: Adam Wingard
Writer: Simon Barrett
Starring: Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen
DVD Release Date: January 14, 2014
Rated: R for strong bloody violence, language and some sexuality/nudity
Synopsis from IMDb:
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.
You're Next started out in pretty typical horror movie fashion. An older man and a younger girl finish having sex and the girl goes to make herself a drink (in an unbuttoned shirt and no pants). The flood lights outside of their completely isolated house come on for no apparent reason. She stares doe-eyed into the darkness for a moment and then continues to drink her screwdriver. Her boyfriend comes out of the shower to see weird writing on the window. Upon closer inspection the words are: You're Next and they are written in her blood. Dun, dun, dun. Immediately I groaned a little inside. How many times have we seen this opening? Too many to count.
You're Next is about a family coming together to celebrate the parent's 35 wedding anniversary. The family obviously has a ton of money. The father used to work for the KGB (according to one of the sons) and the film takes place on their sprawling, isolated Tudor estate. The family is composed of the parents and their four children who have each brought their significant other with them. Relations between the siblings is strained--between two of the sons especially--and the dinner to celebrate the anniversary is tense until the daughter's boyfriend takes an arrow right between the eyes and all hell breaks loose.
I have to admit that for the first third of this film I was completely unimpressed. It was everything I had seen before: a large cast that gets picked off one by one a la every horror film ever, bad men in crazy masks a la The Strangers, and a gutsy heroine to cheer for. However, the gutsy heroine, Erin, really is pretty unique and as she goes into crazy survival mode I found myself liking the film a bit more.
The movie does have some major problems, mainly in the implausible way the characters act. There are 10 of them, well 9 once arrow boy gets it, but they are constantly splitting up: Hey, I'm just going to go check the basement alone. Don't do that, that's stupid. Your face is stupid, I'll be right back...Listen, I'm not a survival genius or anything, but I think the number one logical rule of a group under attack is to stay together.
Even with these issues, the last half of the movie is pretty fun--if you can stomach gore. The motive is revealed which I appreciated. I like The Strangers and think for that film the no motive as motive worked pretty well, but it doesn't work every time and I'm glad this film didn't use that as a cop out. Also, Erin, played by Vinson, is believable and easy to root for. She's pretty badass, but in a completely relatable way.
Overall, I think You're Next is pretty fun. It's not the best film out there and while it relies pretty heavily on genre stereotypes, it does manage to stand out from the pack thanks to its heroine. If you like scary films, it's worth checking out.