You’re Next (Adam Wingard, 2011)

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Slasher films were my introduction to horror. The many killings of Jason Voorhees and Chucky scared the shit out of me when I was younger. I watched these alone, since my brother doesn’t enjoy horror films at all, so I was alone on the journey. Now I’m not scared at all at these kind of films. Maybe the first scene from Scream brought back some of the feelings I previously had when watching a slasher, but I find that scene more sad than scary. Anyway, they are enjoyable films, more fun than scary. The same is with the highly anticipated awesomely-titled indie slasher You’re Next. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it, that it’s a game changer, a fresh take on this sub genre. I wouldn’t call it a game changer, but it sure had something fresh which made it a lot of fun. Now I know it has many flaws like the wooden acting from some of the actors or the shaky camera work but keep in mind that this is an independent production made with very little money. This is a triumph for the indie horror scene as it grossed a hell of a lot money.

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You’re Next plays as a home invasion film, probably one of the scariest kind of horror because of the probability of it happening in real life. The synopsis is simple. A wealthy family, the Davisons, reunites at their vacation home. The parents and their four children with their loved ones join in. At dinner they are attacked by animal masked men armed with crossbows, axes and knives. The main character is Erin, girlfriend of Crispin, one of the Davison children. The twist that makes You’re Next such a different film is that the main character fights back rather than running and screaming for help. I don’t know about you, but I’ve wanted to see that for a long time. In this film, she isn’t a killing machine, she knows a few things about fighting, but doesn’t act like she’s been through this before. What separates her from the other characters in the film is that she is calmer, more in control than the others. She is scared as well but she manages to not let it get her down. It’s a fascinating character to watch. Sharni Vinson who plays Erin does a great job playing what could be one of the most interesting scream queens in the last years. You just can’t not root for her.

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The film also plays as a comedy horror. There are some scenes that are not to be taken seriously like the Amy Seimetz’s slow motion scene or some of the traps who resemble a more realistic Home Alone. It also has some twisted and funny lines like “fuck me next to your dead mother”.
I’ve had a lot of fun watching this film. It’s not scary at all, but it sure is a lot of fun. It’s gory, it’s funny, it’s dark humor, it could very well be a satire. The family is dysfunctional, there are a lot of things unsaid, a lot of hate floating around, this family could have a drama prequel. However, a better cast would be required for that. The acting is stiff, especially from the parents.Don’t know if it was intended to be this way. But I don’t care that much about the acting in a film like this. Not that much anyway.
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I don’t look that much for twists in films. I didn’t see this one coming and I didn’t bother in trying to guess it. Now when I think of it, I remember there were some clues that led to it, but I preferred being surprised. This one wasn’t that much of a shocker, even though its cruelty had a great impact on me.
I have to say that the characters, except for Erin, are very stupid, they fall in every trap, the men are weak, with the women being definitely braver, except for the mother, but she was so traumatized that I wouldn’t expect anything more from her.
The ending is open. I prefer this ones in almost every case, but I wanted some closure. It’s also dark and funny at the same time. If you think logically you know how things are going to turn out after, but it was a cruel, a morbidly funny ending that I would have proffered it to be tied with a ribbon. Let’s hope it won’t have a sequel.
I recommend this film because it’s fun. It has flaws, but it’s an enjoyable ride, a fresh take on the slasher which, let’s face it, you have been waiting for. Let go of all expectations, be open minded and have some good old fun.
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