Movie Talk: ‘You’re Next’: Redefining the Home Invasion Genre
Written by: Matt Molgaard
Creating a believable, frightening home invasion film is fast becoming a legitimate challenge. Pics of this nature are surfacing frequently these days, and the more we see, the less originality we can expect. Fortunately for fans, Adam Wingard’s latest, You’re Next manages to avoid stereotypical pitfalls in favor of unexpected revelations and sporadic actions.
The story sees a family meet up at a vacation home to celebrate 35 years of marriage between the patriarch and matriarch. All the kids are along for the ride, which, in a sense is unfortunate: Half of these guys are blatant assholes who – frankly – deserve to bite the bullet… or arrow… or axe. What begins as a somewhat tense meal immediately escalates, leaving this group fighting for their lives. There are a handful of masked lunatics lingering outside the home, and they’re picking members off with ease. Until they attempt to turn Erin into a carcass. Bad move. She’s got survival skills times ten, and she’s about to turn the tides on these masked thugs. Sadly, she’ll unearth more than she ever bargained for as she mows through the villainous bunch until only a few family members remain.
The cinematography is gorgeous, and Wingar’s decision to play everything very straight, steering clear of over the top or tongue in cheek silliness pays immeasurable dividends (though there’s wonderfully dry humor incorporated in the flick, like the image of Joe Swanberg wandering around for 45 minutes with an arrow sticking out of his back). There’s a haunting element of the flick because it feels as though it could potentially happen to you. And unlike other pictures in the home invasion category (Ils, Them, Funny Games, The Strangers, etc., etc.) You’re Next actually brings a very valid motive for this hellacious attack, which only endears the pic more unnerving.
There are some fantastic onscreen performance to take in here, including fine work from the aforementioned Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen, Sharni Vinson, Rob Moran and Barbara Crampton (who still looks absurdly attractive). And the synergy, despite the tension among the group, works very, very well.
Loved the pacing, loved the graphic depictions of violence and – for the most part – loved the characters. This is a sure fire winner, and an obvious pick for standout effort of 2013.
I totally agree. And believe it or not, it gets better each time you watch it. You’re Next actually made the #1 slot for my favorite horror movies of 2013. If you want to check out the list, you can hop on over > http://huntershea.com/2014/01/15/best-horror-movies-of-2013-or-at-least-my-favorites/
Hunter, I read your list. So glad to see someone else showing the love for The Frankenstein Theory! I wrote a full review of that one for the now-defunct Horrorwatch.com website last September. I absolutely loved it. I know it took lot of crap from the mainstream, but I thought it was one of the best found footage movies to come out of the last decade, a really smart, scary (and, at times, unexpectedly funny) film with a highly original premise.
Yeah, we Frankenstein Theory folks have to stick together. I guarantee it’s miles better than the Frankenstein’s Army flick coming out.
Another agreement here. I just viewed this earlier and am really finding this one to be well done. Nice to see a reason behind the plot other than the ‘ because I can do this’,attitude.I am not the biggest fan of horror movies per se …but this one is one of the few I could watch again. Nice review and a good suggestion that I watch it Matt…just me..Vitina
you know its good when my mom can dig it, even with an eyeball piercing and axe head smash. Hunter it also made my best of 2013 list on best-horror-movies.
My wife and I decided last minute to stay and watch this one following Insidious: Chapter 2 at the Admiral Twin Drive-In back in September. I was glad we stayed. This movie definitely topped off the night. Didn’t see that one coming . . .and neither did those guys! Nice review.