Film Review: Family Reunion Gets Bloody in ‘You’re Next’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – “You’re Next” is a brutal, blunt, bloody instrument of a horror film. It works as well as it does because of an engaging performance from a future star at its center and a writer/director team willing to get in, get gory, and get out. I wish the set-up was a bit more engaging and the tone more consistent but there’s a lot to like here, especially for fans of the genre looking for something that doesn’t need a supernatural twist to stay scary. Every issue I had with “You’re Next” was beat into bloody submission by what works about it – it’s a primal force of a movie, a sledgehammer to a genre in need of waking up.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Crispian (AJ Bowen) and new girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson) are going to a family reunion at the distant home of Crispian’s father Paul (Rob Moran) and mother Aubrey (genre icon Barbara Crampton). When they get there, Paul & Aubrey discover that the front door is open and the matriarch hears sounds on the second floor. The next morning, Crispian’s brother Drake (Joe Swanberg) and Drake’s partner Kelly (Margaret Laney) arrive, followed by sis Aimee (Amy Seimetz) & boyfriend Tariq (Ti West) and bro Felix (Nicholas Tucci) & girlfriend Zee (Wendy Glenn) that night.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “You’re Next” in our reviews section.

There’s a bit of character development, including a meta-funny bit in which no one can quite understand what Tariq does as a filmmaker (which is self-referential given how many members of the cast are actually writers or directors themselves – West did “The House of the Devil” & “The Innkeepers”, Swanberg has “Drinking Buddies” in theaters today, and Seimetz lensed “Sun Don’t Shine”) but the “action” of the piece really begins when the group settles down around a crowded dinner table. As Drake questions the professionalism of Crispian sleeping with his teacher’s assistant, Tariq notices something through one of the many windows in this palatial estate. Before you know it, the poor guy has an arrow sticking out of his forehead, shot from a crossbow in the woods. The home attack is on.

The next act of “You’re Next” is essentially one of survival and writer Simon Barrett (who also plays one of the attackers) and director Adam Wingard’s playing with audience awareness and expectations. As the full scope of the attack is unveiled and more guests start meeting their brutal ends, viewers are almost asked to play along by shouting out the title. Oh, you’re going to run out and try and make it to a car? You’re next. You’re going to be left alone upstairs? You’re next. This section of the film approaches “Scream” or “Cabin in the Woods” in its filmmakers’ awareness that their viewers have certain expectations of the movie at this point.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “You’re Next” review.

“You’re Next” stars Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, Margaret Laney, Rob Moran, Barbara Crampton, Amy Seimetz, and Ti West. It was written by Simon Barrett and directed by Adam Wingard. It will be released on August 23, 2013.

You're Next
You’re Next
Photo credit: LionsGate

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