starring: Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen
There's hype. And then there's Hype!
With 2013 nearing its end, slasher films seem to be running on a low streak when it comes to wowing its crowd. The cheesy sequeloid known as Texas Chainsaw 3D turned out to be a mixed cow, No One Lives ended up a drag, The Purge was overblown, Hatchet 3 was okay but was missing a lot, and I've yet to see Curse of Chucky as I write this. I'm pretty sure I've seen plenty of other titles under this year, and many more that I'm dying just to get (Billy Club, Don't Go to The Reunion and Bloody Homecoming among many), but I'm focusing more on big budgeted titles; some were pretty good but I've yet to see one that'll really stick to my noggin.
This is when I turn my attention to the long awaited home invasion slasher known simply as "You're Next"; supposedly released in 2011 via festivals, the film was shelved for quite some time only to be released theatrically just this year. I waited long enough to see whether the praises the film was getting were well-deserved or not, and for all franks and popcorns I can eat, I can't say I wasted my time either. Indeed, there is something rather special about this film.
|I see you...|
Once they settled in for the big dinner, a trio of masked intruders, armed to the teeth and hellbent on murder, just decided to show up and begins killing them one by one in a seemingly meaningless slaughter. But what these killer don't know is that one of their intended targets has a secret of her own. Something that would actually put a deadly turn against them...
I have to give a big thumbs up for Adam Wingard, the director and editor behind this flick; the last works I've seen from him were his first feature, the splat-tastic yet flawed slasher flick Home Sick featuring Bill Moseley, and the strangely hypnotic serial killer/thriller A Horrible Way to Die. You're Next may not raise the bar any higher in terms of story, as its really nothing more than just a slasherfied version of a Home Invasion thriller done dozens of times before with the likes of movies such as 2007's French Extreme Inside or even Spain's 2010 release Kidnapped (more or less in the latter), but what the film did right was that it knew how to keep the ball rolling once the shit finally hits the fan and doesn't let up with the bloodwork along the way.
Some witty script and stylized camera work improved the entertainment value of the movie, showing some thought in actually making the characters and the situation they're in more engaging. From time to time, the film shifts tones from seriously traumatizing to sly and cynical, toying with our heads to where exactly this film is going to lead to. Eventually, some twists and turns had us diving into new suspects, unexpected developments and, yes, more bodycount.
What's more refreshing here is the characterization of this film's obvious final girl; undergoing a survivalist camp by a paranoid father back in Australia, Sharni Vinson-played Erin is a quick thinking and really hardcore gal that isn't afraid to shed some blood to protect herself and what remains of her boyfriend's family, sortah like a present day variation of Aliens' Ellen Ripley. While majority of the cast gets killed off screaming and panicking, she's there to be graceful under pressure, setting up traps to disarm, distract and destroy!
The villains themselves are also really cool and intimidating with their black squad gear and merciless determination to simply kill everyone they can catch. (which apparently include Ti West as one of the brothers. That'll teach you to waste our time with that "short film" Miscarriage in ABCs of Death! (2013)) Who they are and why they're doing this calls for spoilers, but for most of their running time onscreen, their bloodshed works as fine as the creepy animal masks they're wearing.
|Wolf Mask is good at what he do. And You're Next!|
1 female found slaughtered
1 male hacked on the head with machete
1 male shot through the head with arrow
1 female ran through piano wire, throat cut
1 female hacked on the head with machete
1 female struck on the temple with axe
1 male had his head beaten to a pulp with a meat hammer
1 male had his throat cut with machete
1 male stabbed to death with screwdrivers
1 male stabbed on the head with screwdriver
1 male gets his head pulped with a wooden log
1 male gets a live, glass-broken blender to the head, shreds
1 female knifed on the head
1 male stabbed on the neck and eye with knife
1 male hacked on the face with a projected axe
images (c) Google