BLOGS

Movies Without Pity
<i>You’re Next</i>: Not Reinventing the Horror Wheel, But Still One Hell of a Fun Ride

"Hollywood always comes up with the same idea." It's a cry heard time and time again, especially from horror buffs. And perhaps they're right, but at the core of every horror movie, even the most berserk and original, isn't the main goal to scare the crap out of you? Whether it's creepy crawly things that go bump in the night in a haunted house or a masked menace, we go for the thrill of the idea of losing sleep. All horror movies, whether it's a slasher flick or a monster movie are slightly tweaked variations of one another, even the best ones, and when the genre does reinvent itself, it just regenerates those "new" ideas. In the past 20 years, it's been torture porn and found footage, both of which outstayed their welcome.

Maybe that's exactly why I enjoyed the home invasion horror flick and film festival favorite You're Next so much. It is unapologetically cut from the slasher/the-call-is-coming-from-inside-the-house/masked-menace cloth that we have seen in horror movies for decades, but rather than try and be something it's not, it simply embraces the genre and provides some genuinely hearty scares and laughs. Yes, you're going to get a lot of those predictable horror tropes here (phones are suddenly inaccessible, a basement seems like a good place to hide, the bloodshed is fast and furious), but it turns it on its head in its own entertaining way. Unlike, say The Strangers or Funny Games, You're Next is actually fun thanks to its own sick sense of humor, rather than grotesquely bleak.

Director Adam Wingard's You're Next follows a group of dysfunctional siblings and their respective significant others attending a get-together at their wealthy parents' remote (of course) cookie-cutter house to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary. That all goes to hell pretty quickly when a band of bad guys wearing creepy animal masks begin picking off members of the family one-by-one with arrows, axes, and in one particularly grotesque scene, a piano wire. It's actually a deeply disturbing first half, watching as a family mourns their loved one's terrible deaths, with nowhere to go. Talk about horror.

In fact, that's one of the things that You're Next gets right that most horror films don't: properly freaking the hell out about what you've just witnessed. Most horror victims just scream and move on, whereas this family loses it, and rightly so.

The second half of the movie takes a turn from chilling home invasion carnage to a balls-out revenge slaughterhouse when one of the brother's girlfriends (played by breakout star Sharni Vinson), who just happened to have once lived on a survivalist compound, starts turning the tables on the killers. The twist at the end may not entirely satisfy those picky horror buffs, but the madcap carnage that comes as a result is gross, giddy horror fun.

Sure, You're Next misses some major opportunities to become a full-blown mental thriller (which it could have) but, again, that's not what this is. It’s a well-executed, clever horror flick that succeeds thanks to self-awareness and smart choices from the filmmakers, from picking a largely unknown cast (the biggest name on hand is Drinking Buddies director Joe Swanberg and B-movie scream queen Barbara Crampton) to the music choices (the repeated use of Dwight Twilley's pop-rock ditty "Looking For the Magic" is an inspired earworm). Like this summer's other horror hit The Conjuring, You're Next doesn't try to change the horror game, it just makes it good again.

Get showtimes and tickets for this movie from Fandango.

Think you've got game? Prove it! Check out Games Without Pity, our new area featuring trivia, puzzle, card, strategy, action and word games -- all free to play and guaranteed to help pass the time until your next show starts.

Comments

SHARE THE SNARK

X

Get the most of your experience.
Share the Snark!

See content relevant to you based on what your friends are reading and watching.

Share your activity with your friends to Facebook's News Feed, Timeline and Ticker.

Stay in Control: Delete any item from your activity that you choose not to share.

MOST RECENT POSTS

BLOG ARCHIVES

Movies Without Pity

March 2014

16 ENTRIES

February 2014

22 ENTRIES

January 2014

21 ENTRIES

December 2013

25 ENTRIES

November 2013

21 ENTRIES

October 2013

26 ENTRIES

September 2013

16 ENTRIES

August 2013

22 ENTRIES

July 2013

22 ENTRIES

June 2013

21 ENTRIES

May 2013

22 ENTRIES

April 2013

19 ENTRIES

March 2013

28 ENTRIES

February 2013

16 ENTRIES

January 2013

16 ENTRIES

December 2012

21 ENTRIES

November 2012

19 ENTRIES

October 2012

20 ENTRIES

September 2012

19 ENTRIES

August 2012

19 ENTRIES

July 2012

17 ENTRIES

June 2012

24 ENTRIES

May 2012

21 ENTRIES

April 2012

22 ENTRIES

March 2012

26 ENTRIES

February 2012

25 ENTRIES

January 2012

25 ENTRIES

The Latest Activity On TwOP