Directed by Adam Wingard
Starring Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, Nicholas Tucci
Review by Jordan
This, ladies and gentlemen, is why I love horror movies.
Funny, sharp, frightening, gory and outrageously entertaining, Adam Wingard’s home-invasion shocker handles the intricacies of sibling showmanship and the unfortunate truth that family values are all-but non-existent better than any drama or comedy, full of pretence and contrivances could’ve hoped, and is helped immensely by Simon Barrett’s tremendous writing and a performance by Australian Sharni Vinson that will undoubtedly ensure she will place at the top of any director’s wish list for a long while.
Gathering for the 35th wedding anniversary of their wealthy parents (Rob Moran, horror legend Barbara Crampton) are quirky, likable and clearly in love couple Crispian (AJ Bowen) and Erin (Vinson), Crispian’s older brother and Alpha-Male with inner-anguish and relationship troubles Drake (Joe Swanberg) and his icy wife Kelly (Margaret Laney), their ditzy yet awkwardly determined sister Aimee (Amy Seimetz) and her filmmaker boyfriend Tariq (Ti West, brilliantly sending up his own persona) and estranged criminal brother Felix (Nicholas Tucci) accompanied by his strange girlfriend Zee (Wendy Glenn). Things begin nicely, with hugs, kisses and handshakes exchanged as per a normal reunion, before, again as per a normal reunion, the bickering and bullying at dinner begins. This time however, instead of the arguments ending in someone storming off to their bedroom, the room is a little more shocked to discover an arrow bloodily piercing the cranium of someone in the room… that’ll put anyone off dessert.
What happens next is a pure delight for genre fans, as a character hilariously, stubbornly goes-on despite the crossbow bolt lodged in his back, another happens upon the ghastly remains of the next-door neighbours and we are reminded to always, ALWAYS, look under the bed. With so many exceptional moments, and plot twists that thankfully work without feeling forced, picking a favourite is a monumental task; my pick ultimately being Ti West as Tariq defending his occupation, and announcing his feat of having his feature documentary premiere at an “underground” film festival to Drake as he declares TV Commercials the pinnacle of the art form and belittles Tariq into submission. Then there’s the ending, which hinted at being oh so terrible and undoing all the great work performed, before a second punch-line saves it and sends off proceedings in a blunt, pitch-perfect tradition.
Adam Wingard, though not yet appearing as accomplished and polished as West (The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers, The Sacrament), is a director with a clear passion for un-restrained horror, and with his work on the V/H/S films as well as this has proven that he will pioneer his brand of bloody film for a long while yet. Support him, and the renaissance of American independent horror by grabbing You’re Next at the earliest possible convenience and basking in its undiluted, unapologetic, simply unreal awesomeness; this is a film that will one day be heralded in the same league as Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead (1981) and John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) as an exhilarating thrill ride featuring an iconic cult hero, razor sharp wit and an ingeniously simple scenario.
And seriously, Sharni Vinson is just too cool.
5 “documentary commercials” out of 5
Make sure you comment below, I’d love to know what everyone thought of this one or if you’re planning on seeing it!