If you’re a fan of clever stalk 'n' slash horror movies, “You’re Next” should be your next choice.
It’s a fresh spin on the ever-popular “home invasion” movies that have been around for years. Not for the faint of heart or for children, “You’re Next” contains substantial gore and a high enough body count to keep aficionados of these sorts of films entertained.
The setup reminded me a lot of “The Strangers,” in which a group of masked, vicious intruders invades the home of random victims. Here, a man and a woman are in a house when someone breaks in and slaughters the woman, writing “You’re next” where the man, who becomes a victim seconds later, sees it.
In the next scene, a middle-age couple is preparing to welcome their grown children and boyfriends/girlfriends/wives home for their 35th wedding anniversary. The well-to-do pair has a huge house that provides many opportunities for creaking and false (as well as real) scares.
Once the quarreling, self-indulgent family members get together, the dinner proceeds until the first death, which neither the characters nor the audience expect. After the attack, the plot moves more quickly, with several surprises along the way.
The presence of director Adam Wingard, who worked with screenwriter Simon Barrett on part of the lackluster “V/H/S” horror anthology, surprised me. “V/H/S” is far below the quality of this well-directed, enjoyable movie (in which, incidentally, Barrett himself appears as the mask-wearing criminal). I hope we see Barrett and Wingard together again, in fact.
Additionally, Sharni Vinson (“Step Up 3D”), who plays Erin, the girlfriend of one of the couple’s sons, pretty much carries the movie. She’s terrific, and there’s no doubt we’ll be seeing more of her in the near future.
I love the dialogue from one person (I’m not telling you who so this doesn't turn into a spoiler) who is notably self-involved. Up until the very end, this character does nothing but cast blame and feel sorry only for himself while others around him are dying ghastly deaths. This is an exaggerated, but authentic, portrayal of what a sociopath might utter.
Then there’s the score. Written by Mads Heldtberg, Kyle McKinnon and Jasper Justin Lee, it’s a superlative composition that’s notable without being distracting. I’d love to hear it again. Add to that The Dwight Twilley Band’s “Looking for the Magic” and you have a real audio treat.
Get ready for some terrifying moments that may forever change the way you look at kitchen appliances.