All you really need to know about YOU’RE NEXT is that it is an exceptional horror film that you can laugh, squirm and scream during. It is a Home Invasion film, to a degree. At a point in the film it becomes something far better. What that is… you should avoid finding out.
I’ve been having to hear forever about just how great YOU’RE NEXT was, during both festivals that it played in Austin, I was required to be at other things going on at the same time – and then during the other 5 screenings that have taken place in Austin… I’ve had events or obligations that I couldn’t break that kept me from going. But I’ve been dying to see it.
Life for me has shifted a lot since getting married. I used to never lock my doors, now there’s like six locks locked. Yoko is highly attentive to strange scary noises – and once about a year ago – there were Home Invaders targeting our neighborhood – and one night, they tried to put a shoulder into the door, I called 911, cops did a drive by, then 3 hours later at 4am, they tried again. 911, cops came by. The next day we talked to our neighbors and found out that a couple houses in our area had been hit. SCARY stuff.
The notion of HOME INVASION is a type of horror that ordinarily I wouldn’t want to let into my head. Mainly because if you empathize with the characters, then you risk imagining those that live with you being tortured and tormented. Something that’s never a pleasurable experience. However, what had me wanting to give this film a chance were the animal masks.
Sure – they can look creepy, but the fact is, any jackass home invader that wants to cut down on their ability to breathe or see well… those masks… they suck for practical kicking of ass. So – in my little monkey cortex, the mere fact that the “invaders” are wearing those masks, makes me see this film as being a bit of an unreal venture into the medium. Still though… I was afraid this might become one those rapey horror flicks – IT DOES NOT.
Don’t worry, there is a tad of kink to the film, but thankfully no rape. This is a homicide scene. The people in the masks want to kill the people, nothing else. There are a variety of killing instruments.
There is something off about the way the film is played, that makes the movie ticklish. The film is winking with you in a very horrifically good time. This is a horror film that will get you to applaud and cheer. When this film shifts, that shift is so awesome and well done that you just keep rooting for the movie and it is not going to let you down.
Now, YOU’RE NEXT is a indie horror work of royalty.
The film has Adam Wingard directing from a Simon Barrett script – you may remember their film A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE – which is a brutal film, but nowhere near as polished and audience pleasing as YOU’RE NEXT! There’s AJ Bowen, the crown prince of the Indie Horror scene – and here he’s at his lovable best. Most of this film, you really do just want to hug him. The “sister” in the film’s boyfriend Tariq is played by fan-fucking-tastic Horror director Ti West (HOUSE OF THE DEVIL & THE INNKEEPERS)! Mom is BARBARA CRAMPTON – and I love her in this movie. She’s already on edge before anything has happened. On meds – and Crampton nails it so well that it actually took me a while to realize that it was her – and I’m honored to say I have enjoyed her company at Fantastic Fest on more than one occasion and my Barbara Crampton love began in DePalma’s BODY DOUBLE as Craig Wasson’s wife that he finds fucking another man and loving it. It’s a very brief moment, but in that moment, Crampton conveys concern, sympathy and carnal self-serving desire… and a hint of sadistic joy. It’s a great moment. Crampton’s been amazing in Stuart Gordon’s RE-ANIMATOR & FROM BEYOND & CASTLE FREAK & SPACE TRUCKERS. Then there’s the work in PUPPETMASTER, TRANCERS II and ROBOT WARS!
Anyways… this group of actors of exceptional indie horror pedigree join some newcomers to the genre – and in particular Sharni Vinson, who I’d seen before in STEP UP 3D and BLUE CRUSH 2 and thought – Damn, HOT! In YOU’RE NEXT you’ll discover an entirely different and unforgettable way. She’s just excellent. If you’re a filmmaker wanting a really kickass actress for your action/horror flick – she needs to be on your radar and at the very least you’re going to want to reference what she does so brilliantly in YOU’RE NEXT. She’s the awesome.
The film is far more than a host of gruesome killings that will elicit a reaction. The set-up is fantastic. Watching the family come together. Begin to get settled in… it feels fun, even when it gets terrifying, it’s still a fun terrifying. It isn’t an inky black tarpit of despair, it is truly the film it has been hyped as being – and seemingly being the last to see it, I can now confirm that YOU’RE NEXT to fall in love with it!