September 10, 2013

You're Next (2011)

"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."

I thought it best to wait until the other horror bloggers exhausted their overpraise before watching "You're Next". It's been described as everything under the Sun including a parody and a comedy, but I can't see how this low-budget crap could be either of the latter except unintentionally.

Basically, "You're Next" is a mixture of Mario Bava's "A Bay of Blood" (1971) and Dae-wung Lim's "To Sir with Love" aka "Bloody Reunion" (2006). Despite the masks which the bad guys wear, it's not overly similar to "Ils" (2006), "The Strangers" (2008), or "The Purge" (2013) apart from the home invasion aspect. Hell, if it wasn't being classed as such, I wouldn't even call this a horror movie. It's more of a crime drama with horror elements than anything else.

After 25 minutes of boredom, which was made worse by everything being filmed with a handheld camera, all the shouting and screaming over the top of each other just made me want to walk out. I didn't, of course, because that would be wasteful, but I didn't enjoy anything which followed either.

I wonder what this movie is called?

While "You're Next" might be fine for teenagers who want the kills to occur off camera with only the aftermath shown, I prefer to see the brutality in all its glory. Unfortunately, every time there's the potential for something to be "lush", the punches are pulled. Whether that's due to the budget or because Adam Wingard is a shitty filmmaker is anyone's guess.

Out of the not very inventive deaths, only two deliver a decent amount of blood, and their repetitive nature gets old pretty fast. I suppose stabbing someone in the head either with a crossbow bolt, a screwdriver, or a knife is the quickest way to finish the job, but it doesn't make interesting viewing. It also takes considerably more force to stab anything through someone's skull than some tiny Australian girl is capable of, so there's that too. Female empowerment, my arse!

Even though nearly everybody knows about the twists now, I'm not going to spoil it more for you except to say that the reveal comes far too early at around the 50 minute mark. Thus, there's another 40 minutes of clich├ęs, poorly written dialogue, and bad acting to get through afterwards which I can't be bothered to talk about. As thrillers go, "Panic Room" (2002) is infinitely more entertaining, tense, and scarier than this drivel.

"Our target for this year's purge is hiding in your home."

The only character who I almost liked was Zee played by Wendy Glenn, simply because she's hot! There's no depth of characterisation to anyone though. In generic slasher-style, they only exist to die as quickly and as unpleasantly as possible.

At the end of the day, "You're Next" is just another overhyped home invasion movie in an oversaturated subgenre. No wonder it sat on the shelf for two years. In better days, this would have been straight-to-DVD fodder rather than being worthy of a theatrical release.

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