The Davison family is barricaded in their secluded vacation home, gathered for a family reunion; they fight off a barrage of arrows, axes and machetes from both inside and outside the house. Masked killers work their way through the family members one by one - but they didn't count on Erin (Sharni Vinson), a guest of the family whose mysterious past makes her very hard to kill.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Sharni Vinson is the best thing about You're Next, as the Aussie girlfriend, Erin, who is a guest of the Davison family for the oldies' 35th wedding anniversary. They all gather in the large, traditional but remote woodland mansion-like property, where the older Davisons intend to retire. She's with Crispian (A J Bowen), whose two brothers and daughter, along with their partners, become the targets of a deadly attack by men wearing masks - a tiger, a fox and a lamb.
All the horror genre fixtures are in play, from those creepy masks to the use of sound as a scare trigger, camera moves and framing, jumpy surprises, close ups of weapons in hands and of course, blood. Blood is the ink used to scrawl the message of the title on three occasions, the first being in the opening scene. The use of these elements ranges from competent to heavy handed, but that's the kind of movie it is. Even the dialogue is heavy handed, sometimes too much so. There's a lot of clunk, too ...
There are several gruesome deaths, mostly off camera but not entirely, with the characters being killed off without merci.
The screenplay has some commendably good ideas, namely the reason for Erin's proficiency at survival, and also the twist in the plot that explains why the killings are happening. It also has a really silly one: the gratuitous killings in the opening scene, which have no place within the plot. It plays like a leftover from a screenplay that was intended to go in a different direction.
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YOU'RE NEXT (MA15+)
CAST: Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, AJ Bowen, Barbara Crampton, Wendy Glenn, Joe Swanberg, Margaret Laney, Rob Moran, Amy Seimetz, Ti West
PRODUCER: Simon Barrett, Keith Calder, Kim Sherman, Jessica Wu
DIRECTOR: Adam Wingard
SCRIPT: Simon Barrett
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Andrew Droz Palermo
EDITOR: Adam Wingard
MUSIC: Mads Heldtberg, Jasper Justice Lee, Kyle McKinnon
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Thomas S. Hammock
RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: August 29, 2013
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Icon
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.