6

You’re Next (Blu-ray / DVD)

Cover art:

reviews/youre-next-blu-ray-s.jpg

You're Next (Blu-ray / DVD)Starring Sharni Vinson, Amy Seimetz, AJ Bowen, Barbara Crampton

Directed by Adam Wingard

Distributed by Lionsgate


There was a palpable buzz around Adam Wingard’s latest film, You’re Next. Reviews were overwhelmingly positive, and some folks were hailing it as the horror movie of the year for a spell. Now that the Blu-ray/DVD release is here, I’d like to chime in with my two cents. Is You’re Next really that good? The short answer is yes, but man, could it have been better.

On the positive side this is far from your typical home invasion film. You’re Next really shines in its unconventional approach to the flailing sub-genre and delivers an animal which is truly its own. The movie is scary, funny, exciting, and completely unpredictable.

We meet the Davisons, Aubrey and Paul, who are celebrating their anniversary in the most intimate way possible… via family reunion. Once the whole family is together in their home, the party is besieged by several murderers, armed with crossbows and more, who wear incredibly eerie animal masks. One by one people are taken out, and the situation both takes shape and unravels all at the same time. Of special note here are the performances of A.J. Bowen and Barbara Crampton. They literally steal every scene that they’re in, and it’s impossible not to feel their wide range of emotions as this horrid situation transpires. Another standout is Sharni Vinson, who redefines the final girl in brave and stunning ways. Really good stuff. I’m not going to tell you much more about the film itself because the less you know, the better. Suffice it to say that You’re Next is riddled with some nasty twists and turns.

The only thing holding me back from scoring this movie higher is actually the direction of Wingard himself. As soon as the action gets cooking, he starts moving and shaking the camera as if he were having a fit. This doesn’t convey tension, chaos, or anything of the sort. It’s just annoying and Wingard is guilty of this every time that he gets behind the camera (see: A Horrible Way to Die and V/H/S). This technique is not as bad or overused in You’re Next as it was in his previous efforts, but it’s really hard for me to stay in the action when I’m too busy trying to focus my eyes on what’s happening. I dunno. Maybe that’s just my personal preference. Either way, that bit of shaky-cam is really the only thing that I can say I disliked about this otherwise masterful film.

In terms of special features we get two commentaries: one with Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett which is wonderful from a technical standpoint but kind of dry otherwise and the other with Wingard, Barrett, and actors Sharni Vinson and Barbara Crampton. This one is much looser and a hell of a lot more fun. Still, each serves its own purpose. Really it comes down to what you’re in the mood for. In addition to those we get a quick 11-minute featurette entitled “No Ordinary Home Invasion: The Making of You’re Next,” which is exactly what you’d expect it to be. All in all, what we have here is a standard yet solid package.

If you’re looking to have one of the best times you’ll have all year with a flick, You’re Next will more than fit your bill. It’s riddled with enough jolts, gore, and gags to satisfy even the most jaded of you out there. A sequel at this point is pretty much inevitable and it’ll be interesting to see which direction it takes if in fact one gets made. I can only hope that the camera can remain still… for just a bit!

Special Features

  • “No Ordinary Home Invasion: The Making of You’re Next” featurette
  • Audio commentary with Director Adam Wingard, Writer Simon Barrett, and Actors Sharni Vinson and Barbara Crampton
  • Audio commentary with Director Adam Wingard and Writer Simon Barrett
  • Trailers

    Film:

    3 1/2 out of 5

    Special Features:

    3 out of 5

    Discuss You’re Next in the comments section below!

  • Steve Barton

    You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

    • aliensharkboy

      Finally watched this.
      All downhill once the animal masks came off? Predictable twists? I suppose the amount of negative feedback I’d been seeing for this film prior to my first viewing (just an hour ago) must’ve tempered my expectations so much that I actually ended up loving it… quite a bit!

      The supporting cast weren’t particularly good, the music was a little awkward, the shaky-cam was unbearable (still not Elysium level of bad though), and the motives behind everything WERE predictable… but the way it actually played out? What a fucking blast!

      The violence was very pleasing and well made, there were plenty of thrillingly staged attack sequences (shaky-cam aside), awesome animal masks, the “Home Alone for grown ups” third act surpassed The Aggression Scale on the fun factor (though The Aggression Scale is still a better movie), and Sharni Vinson, giving the only solid performance, was brilliant… I now have a severe crush on her. Might go out with an animal mask and attack her myself someday.

      It’s flawed as fuck, but nevertheless an exciting and brutal laugh-riot – well, so long as you’ve got a couple of drinks and friends with you.

    • frank_dracman

      “Completely unpredictable”? That’s a laugh. The twist is practically spelled out in the first 10 minutes of the movie. I’m with Screamz, this really did bore me. Not funny enough to be a black comedy, not gory enough to be interesting, not relatable enough to be engaging. Creepy is obviously a shill. Boo this man! Booo!

    • kiddcapone

      I finally got around to watching this the other night. It was completely middle of the road for me. I liked some of it, didn’t care for a lot of it, and by this time next week I’ll hardly remember watching it.

      It just wasn’t executed well in several spots. The reveal “twist” ending only exposed the script for being a weak attempt at the home invasion genre. It will never hold up during a 2nd viewing because there’s no logical reason for many of the things that happened in the film to take place. I didn’t buy into the main survivalist character and the greed motivations behind the attack were flimsy at best.

      You’re Next – 2/5.

    • Screamz

      I must have missed something, because I was bored to tears with this film. Simpler would have been much better. Throwing in those “twists” just made me groan and roll my eyes. I couldn’t help but think this was the horror version of Home Alone, only with dumber intruders.

      The girls did a fine job acting wise and I liked the animal masks. Once they come off, though, it’s all downhill from there…

    • GODFLESH69

      Brutal as hell though

    • The Critic Man

      Sharni Vinson was the star of the show here, and practically what made it quite good. When you say it could have been better, I completely agree. Unlikable characters, no attempts at even hiding the twists, and some piss poor dialogue hold this back from being amazing.