Sunday, August 25, 2013

You're Next ~ Violence For The Love Of Violence

How much do you know about the significant other you bring home to meet your parents?
The movie "You're Next" brings to the screen violence, for the sake of violence, and violence without meaning, and death without honor.  A family reunion turns into a deadly cat and mouse game within a matter of minutes.  Slasher film director, Adam Winegard, gives what horror films seem to want, tension, foreboding, and plenty of blood and gruesome death scenes.  "You're Next" runs about an hour and thirty for minutes and is rated R for extreme violence.

People without morality, make you question not only the human race, but also ask the question; do we, as a species deserve to survive?  "You're Next," answers that question of humanity’s survival from the highest level with a simple no.  Don't get me wrong, I do like a good slasher film.  Freddy, Jason, and Michael Myers were my favorite slashers back in the day.  In my mind, these monsters were just that, monsters.  In many ways, the death they perpetrated was like the shark in "Jaws," or the alien in "Alien."  They killed because that is their purpose.

After a quick character sketch of a family getting ready to reunite, we meet our main characters and find them at best bland, and at worst, unlikable.  The family arrives in twos.  Paul and Aubry arrive first.  A couple in their fifties, Paul is played by Bob Moran, and his wife Aubrey is played by Barbara Compton ("The Lords of Salem").  They arrive at their vacation home to get ready for the rest of the family.  Next, to arrive is Crispin (AJ Bowen) and his girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson).  Crispin, we find is second oldest of the kids.  The oldest is Drake (Joe Swanberg) and his wife, Kelly (Margaret Laney) arrives the next morning.  We soon discover that Drake is an ass to Crispin, and Kelly is just a bitch.  Later that same night the other two siblings arrive.  Aimee (Amy Seimetz) and her boyfriend Tariq played by low budget horror director of "Cabin Fever 2," Ti West.  The youngest of Paul and Aubry's kids is Felix (Nicholas Tucci) and the dark and mysterious girlfriend Zee (Wendy Glenn).




...and then there were none.

In some ways, the characters names and purpose are irrelevant as they are just ax fodder.  The murders begin at dinner, less than 20 minutes into the flick.  actually, there is an incidental murder of a college professor and one of his students just down the road just to whet your appetite.  Like in the Wes Craven's "Scream," the three killers are masked as a sheep, a tiger, and a fox.  The amount of violence is unnecessary to make the point of the film, which when revealed near the end makes the amount of blood absurd.  Actually, the methods of the murders were too personal.  Instead of just shooting the family, the killers use arrows, a machete, and an ax and knifes.  These are all very personal weapons that belie the hate involved in this film.  Unlike this year's "The Purge," we find "You're Next" to be a cheap version of the home-invasion slasher film.

The acting is stilted and the story is contrived.  In the midst of the group, a hero is exposed.  Erin (Vinson) turns out to have been raised as a survivalist.  Even her boyfriend Crispen doesn't know that little gem of information.  Erin reminds me of "Home Alone" as she sets up traps, she organizes the resistance, and she goes on the offensive.  At a certain point in the film, perhaps around the 45-minute mark, I just wanted everyone to die so I can get out of there.  I am not squeamish when it comes to blood on the silver screen.  I am squeamish when it comes to a bad script.  Screenwriter Simon Barrett's script left me unfulfilled.

We go to horror films to let out those pent up emotions, and for the adrenaline rush.  I felt neither.  I felt sad for the actors in the film.  Why, because "You're Next" will be quickly forgotten.


Movie Data

Genre: Horror, Thriller
Year: 2013
Staring: Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, AJ Bowen, Rob Moran, Barbara Crampton
Director: Adam Wingard
Producer(s): Simon Barrett, Keith Calder, Jessica Wu
Writer: Simon Barrett
Rating: R

Running Time: 94 minutes
Release Date: 8/23/2012