December 17, 2013

Review: You're Next (2013)
You're Next has been making the Festival rounds since way back in 2011. In the two years since, everyone who has been lucky enough to catch a screening of the Adam Wingard Home Invasion/Mumblegore flick has sung its praises as loud as their little voices would allow them too.

I hesitate to use the word Mumblegore, mainly because it's a fucking stupid word.

Never the less, that term is used to describe the sub-genre of Indie Horror that delivers low-budget flicks that are long on amateur talent and "naturalistic" dialogue. I guess you could even say that they are Art House flicks, in a way.

Think movies like House of the Devil, The Innkeepers, V/H/S, A Horrible Way to Die... so basically any genre flicks by Ti WestAdam Wingard or Joe Swanberg. Who are all a part of this movie.

I guess it's kind of like a creepy little Hipster film club?  

Anywho, You're Next is the newest entry into the MC "movement," and it stars or is produced in some way by most of the other people who are a part of the MC "movement."

So yeah, it's a creepy little Hipster film club.

The Davison Family is having a family reunion at their vast mansion way out in the middle of nowhere, because they're rich, and why not. The Dad seems kinda cool, but Mom is a pilled-up wreck for some reason.... maybe it's because her kids are a bunch of smarmy assholes with shitty spouses/significant others. Nothing makes a person want to be all hopped up on goofballs more than their own shitty family, now does it?

Family reunions. Yay.
Everything is going great until a bunch of guys in masks show up and start killing everyone; Lamb Mask, Fox Mask, Kitten Mask... they're all pretty creepy and out for blood! Was it a Kitten Mask? Maybe it was a Wolf. A Dog? In any event, it was some sort of creepy animal mask.

Rat Mask? Ugh, I give up!
As the Davison clan gets picked off one by one, a hero rises to meet the challenge of our animal-masked intruders; a hot, sassy little Aussie chick named Erin, who apparently grew up on a Survivalist Compound (because who in Australia doesn't?), and knows how to... well, survive! Survival, and all sorts of bloody survival tactics, ensue.

Anyone who fucks with her is next!
I really love the talent involved in this movie, both in front of, and behind the camera; Ti West (The Innkeepers, House of the Devil), Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies), Simon Barrett (Dead Birds), and Adam Wingard (A Horrible Way to Die), are amongst some of our modern day faves, and have all done some great work.

You're Next was a pretty enjoyable flick that delivered a liberal amount of blood and gore, and one hell of a Final Girl in Sharni Vinson. Seriously, the girl was aces in this. The film also had a nice, brisk pace, and had some pretty tension-filled scenes throughout.

Also, Barbara Crampton is still looking hot, nearly 30 years after making her first movie. She's timeless.

Still looking good after all of these years, Cat Mask ponders the idea of raping Barbara Crampton.
You're Next could have been a modern day classic had the movie been written better. When no one is talking on screen, the movie works really well. The problem is that when people do talk, which is for a lot of the running time, their words feel wooden and don't ring true. You're Next tries to be too clever, and maybe even explain a bit too much, where some good old fashioned minimalism would have benefited it far more.

Lots of the buzz that we've heard regarding the movie talked about how unpredictable it was, but that isn't very true at all. Once the first crossbow bolt flies through the window and takes it's mark, the movie becomes one predictable gag after another.

The parts of the movie that were actually unpredictable, were extremely frustrating to digest:

-With one person dead, and another suffering with a crossbow bolt buried in their back, everyone else starts arguing about non-essential shit, like children. Maybe that sequence was supposed to be played for laughs, but it made no sense, and wasn't funny in the least.

-Even more frustratingly absurd was the fact that once they know that one of the killers is in the house, they all just kinda sit down to discuss what's going on. I mean they find someone dead upstairs, and no one searches for whoever killed them, nor did anyone say "we need to proactively fucking do something here, because we're not alone." At the very least, act concerned that someone who wants you dead is in very close proximity to you!

Even the twist that comes in the middle of the movie was fairly bland and telegraphed. When ________ is revealed, it was kinda like "yeah, that makes sense," instead of "Holy shit!" Also, there's another twist towards the end that was kind of spoiled by the first twist, because it basically reminded us that "Oh yeah _________ is _________, and we just knew what had to be coming.

Q- What does the Fox Mask say? A- "Peeka-peeka-peeka boo, peek, peeka, peeka, peeky boo."
The amount of strongly positive buzz that preceded this movie's release alarms me. The way I understood it, from the Bloody Disgusting's and Fangoria's of the Horror world, was that You're Next was nothing less than amazing, and it would leave me filled with all sorts of creepy glee... which was not true at all.

Now, I get that personal taste accounts for a lot in any "Good or Bad" argument, but it just feels like with this movie, they over-hyped it by a mile. There's one Horror site out there who recently sang the praises of an upcoming 2014 Horror flick via Twitter, basically calling it amazing and a must see. A quick trip to that site found that said movie had banners and ads all over its front page... which made me think "A must see, because they bought advertising on your site." I could be WAY off base with that line of thought, but whether I'm right or not, it just smacked of shilling.

In the case of You're Next, I don't think anyone is shilling at all, rather that the bigger sites are all familiar with the talent involved in the movie, from all of their various projects, and maybe that familiarity earned the movie more of a pass than it should have gotten?

Again, I could be way off base, but I just don't get how the biggest Horror sites on the Internet found You're Next to be near perfect, when it was way closer to average. It's kinda like what happened with V/H/S and V/H/S/2; they were decent flicks, but nowhere near the level of awesome that some sites proclaimed them.

"Ok. Who's next again?"
You're Next is all kinds of violent, and I'd go so far as to say that the blood & gore are the real stars of the movie. Crossbow violence, nails in feet, axes in heads, heads being crushed with meat tenderizers... and then there's what may be the most creative use of a blender ever committed to film. This one is all sorts of wet and red.

There's some brief nudity to be had at the beginning of the flick, but it was sparse and not really any sort of big deal.

Mumblegore is a stupid fucking word, and it should never be used, ever again. Also, do not mess with the sweet Aussie girl, because she will kill you.

She's just feigning terror, when in reality, she's plotting.
You're Next gets a C+ grade not because it was a good movie, but because Sharni Vinson made it far greater than it would have been without her. It's definitely worth checking out for her performance alone. As a whole, the movie does just as may things wrong as it does right. For many, the kill scenes will be enough to forgive the film for its bad acting, sub-par scripting, and flat out bad dialogue.

Is it worth seeing? Yes, it definitely is. Just don't expect it to be as good as the hype machine would have you believe, because it just isn't.


You're Next is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.

The ladies of You're Next were an impressive bunch, most notably the coolest Final Girl that we've seen in a long time, Sharni Vinson; she's definitely a lethal beauty in this one. Also, Barbara Crampton looked hot as sin in this one, and she's nearly 55-years-old. Good for you, Barbara!


  1. You're next was a let down for me because of all that positive buzz it was getting. I went in expecting too much and was underwhelmed.

    Have you guys seen "Open Grave" ? It's more of a thriller than a flat out horror; it's one of my favorite films this year.

    1. I watched this one last night and couldn't agree more. It's an ok flick with a very good actress who defiantly carries the movie. Most of the characters seem dry and dull, it seems to me if there were a few less the pacing might have been better. Overall it kept me interested.

  2. Man, this movie tried too hard to be funny. And too many twists killed the whole thing in the end. The end... oh boy, couldn't they come up with something a little bit more thrilling? But Miss Final Girl was very capable. At least, her survival skills were really entertaining. And she's pretty to look at.

  3. Honestly, I think it's herd mentality syndrome. Not only this movie, but movies like The Descent, have all been hyped beyond their capability. When people see that all the major sites are hyping them, they cease to have their own opinions of them because they see that the "accepted" mainstream opinion is that the movies are unbelievably great, and they're afraid to voice any disagreement with the "established" opinion.

    The Descent was just a notch above mediocre, and yet, all the major sites taut it as one of the greatest horror movies ever made, which it isn't even close to being. The dialog in that movie alone almost made it unwatchable. But, if you say, in public, that you didn't really think The Descent was all that great, people will crucify you!

    Same with "You're Next". The sites all hyped it, the accepted mainstream opinion became that it was DA BOMB, by default. It's just mediocre, and when people are talking, it borders on unwatchable.

  4. You raise some good points, Renee.

    We (I, especially) fall for the hype machine now and then, and am usually disappointed when I do. Trick r' Treat is the last movie that everyone said was brilliant that actually was. At least to us.

    The Descent was good. The hype job on that movie doesnt bother me so much because at least it was a different sort of flick, and a Horror flick featuring an all-female cast is pretty interesting.

    You're Next was decent, but like you said, its reach far exceeded its grasp. Then again it always seems to be the "mediocre" things that tend to resonate the most with general audiences...