Tuesday, February 4, 2014

You're Next review

I'm next, she's next, you're next.... Who's keeping track anyway?
Horror movies seem to have been steadily going downhill for a while now. There's been a few good hits here and there, but there's been a lot of garbage in the genre recently (the entire Paranormal Activity series and Final Destination 5 to name a few). The trailer for You're Next was basically a generic horror movie preview but with Lou Reed's Perfect Day put over it. While the ironic use of the music intrigued me, I wasn't intrigued enough to buy a ticket and see the thing. Maybe I should have. You're Next starts out as a very predictable horror flick. Starts out showing a bit of violence, then establishing the "normal" world and environment. Setting up all the conditions of the situation and surrounding, and of course taking a little time to develop character and add a bit of suspense. Then, for lack of a better word, shit goes down. The movie completely spins everything on it's head and creates one of the more jaw dropping, well made, and surprisingly funny horror films I've seen in quite some time. Not to mention it has one of the best uses of practical effects I've seen since maybe the original Evil Dead movie. First off let me state, the movie isn't perfect. It occasionally ventures too far into the homage territory and starts becoming more of a bloody rip off. Then it quickly bounces back and surprises you while at the same time even making you chuckle. I've never seen anything else Adam Wingard has done, but he defintiely shows promise. He not only directed You're Next, but edited it too. I know editing is a frustrating and hard thing to do. Wingard does it wonderfully. He makes it all pair so well with the plot and his direction. He cuts between the horrific murder scenes and the regular scenes with such skill it seems almost seamless. And his ironic use of music really adds to the sort of awesome black comedy vibe it has. Let's just say it, the guy did a terrific job. He's not the only one. The acting is alright here, nothing too special. You can't expect flawless acting in a low budget horror flick most times. Although sort of newcomer (she's only had bit parts until now) Sharni Vinson did a bang up acting job here. She plays this sweet Australian girl who goes through a bit of change and becomes quite awesome. I won't spoil it but her character and her acting become very cool as the movie progresses. Most of the rest of the cast is just alright. They scream and cry and laugh when they have to but not much else. Then again, the acting doesn't really matter here. The other two actors who shined here were Joe Swanberg and A.J. Bowen. Swanberg plays this douche bag big brother of A.J. Bowen's character and he plays him so well that you actually hate him for a while. His character has his moments though and is the subject of much of the aforementioned dark humor. A.J. Bowen doesn't do much until later in the film, where he gives a sort of speech that I found funny and very well delivered. Speaking of which, the writing here, while not Oscar worthy, was still very good. The story and all the twists were fresh and original and some of the dialogue and situations were very comical in the best way. I feel like if the Coen Brothers wrote a gruesome home invasion movie, it'd somewhat resemble this. The gore and blood here is a tad excessive at times, although not to the extent that some scary movies have gone to. What also helps is the wonderful use of practical effects that Wingard uses here. It all looks real, but if you really pay attention to the little details, you can see, say, that the blood is a bit too sticky and looks a lot like corn syrup. Yet, Adam Wingard uses it all so well! In a cinema world so polluted by CGI, special effects, and editing tricks it is rare to see stuff done this realistically and raw. It's actually damn refreshing to see this. I've mentioned the twists and turns this movie has. It has a very healthy amount of them. Not too much where it gets gratuitous, but enough where it keeps you excited and guessing. They're not the obvious twists either. I give much credit to the writer for this, and for the director for carrying it out so well. You're Next is one of the most coherent, well thought out, and entertaining horror films I've seen in a long time. Yes, it's better then the original Paranormal Activity. Which on a side note I find to be an overrated and mediocre found footage movie that isn't as revolutionary as people say it is. But more on that another time. If I had seen this before I made my Favorite Films of 2013 list it would've probably gotten the #15 spot, or at least honorable mention. I recommend you see it, even if you're not a horror buff. You do need to be able to have a moderately strong stomach though. It gets bloody. As always, Happy Viewing everybody. You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at Facebook.com/WhitsMovies to keep up with my movie related thoughts and escapades.


  1. Good review Whit. There is a lot of fun to be had here, if solely because we love to see it when the baddies get what's coming to them, and the goodies get to soak-up their time in the sun. Or something along those lines.

    1. Thanks man! I totally agree. Especially since the baddies got taken down by such a badass heroine.