Saturday, October 11, 2014

31 Days of Horror-Day 11: You’re Next (2011)

(dir. Adam Wingard )

(dir. Adam Wingard )

*First time viewing
       You’re Next is a twist on the slasher movie and “final girl” concept. When Erin joins her boyfriend, Crispian, for a family gathering at his parent’s house, the last thing she’s expecting is a violent attack by men in animal masks. But the last thing these intruders are expecting is Erin, who is more than capable of holding her own and delivering her own carefully constructed death-traps. The idea of a mashup between Home Alone and Halloween is a great premise. While there are some unnecessary twists that are telegraphed too early, You're Next remains a thrilling and engaging watch.

         I was first impressed with Wingard’s direction in his shorts for V/H/S and V/H/S/2. And now with a feature film, Wingard further showcases his keen eye for style and rule-bending. You’re Next is well-directed and sometimes a beautifully shot film. Sharni Vinson makes for a fantastic lead, but a few of the other performances don't hold up quite as well. Still the cast does a solid job with the elements of horror and black comedy the script calls for. And to further touch on that script,  I love the idea of a “final girl” as someone to be feared by her attackers, and for this to be done without going the rape-revenge route is commendable. I do however wish that Erin's survivalist instincts and her ability to turn the tables on her attacker were pushed a little further. The film surely isn't lacking in plot, but the family politics are never as interesting as Erin simply kicking ass. I think there's still a directorial balance to be found between short horror films and feature length ones, but You're Next shows a lot of promise for Wingard's career.

Scare Factor: 2/5 There are some clever traps, and creepy moments from the men in masks, but the horror fades somewhat as the twists are revealed and the masks are removed. As a final note, I must say, Wingard’s use of “Looking for the Magic” is a fantastic musical choice that really makes for a great opening five minutes.

**Available to watch on Netflix Instant 

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