A genre fan in nearly every sense of the term, I have been anxiously awaiting my turn in front of Adam Wingard's highly anticipated indie thriller You're Next. Fans have been raving about it since its premiere at Toronto some time ago, and horror junkies will be excited to learn that, while the pain was ruthless, it was well worth the end result!
You're Next, often tabbed as the smartest and most terrifying film in years, actually offers little in terms of originality. Fortunately for fans, it makes up for its flaws with an abundance of energy, all of which keeps the story moving forward as a family finds themselves the target of a ruthless attack by a trio of masked intruders.
Never shying away from the blood (or straight up brutality), You're Next excels thanks to its ruthless approach and no-holds-barred progression. Killer music gives the film a sensible touch, luring you in as the Davidson family begins to dwindle one by one.
I will admit that the big reveal didn't come as much of a shock, though I was pleased to see it introduced to the audience with ample time (and development) left in the story. And though it didn't deliver the big bang that I was hoping for, its slow build up sent chills down the spine as you wondered just how long the secret would stay hidden -- even if it was painfully obvious to those of us innocently watching on.
The cast, comprised of several recognizable faces, does a solid job at portraying a family that doesn't quite understand (or appreciate) one another. Their exterior attitudes with one another, both pleasant and full of good intention, are short lived as each begins to react to the situation, succumbing to the natural instinct to survive. As the adrenaline kicks in and everyone looks to play the role of the family hero, it seems only necessary that some terribly bad decisions be made. You're Next features their fair share of them...and then some.
The dialogue, as a whole, is spotty, and occasionally detracts from the smooth progression of the story. And though the audience laughed as some of the film's most intense moments, I credit that to the deep unsettlement of anxiety as we never truly knew what was going to happen. And though her reasoning for being so quick and flexible in regard to her survival instinct, Erin proves that picking a girlfriend to introduce the family to at a family reunion could really be a life or death decision.