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YOU’RE NEXT (review)

youre_nextYOU’RE NEXT

Written by Simon Barrett
Directed by Adam WingardStarring Sharni Vinson, AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg and Barbara Crampton

Two years after it was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, Adam Wingard’s YOU’RE NEXT is finally hitting cinemas. And thank the movie gods for that. Wingard’s home invasion film succeeds unlike many recent invasion films before it (I’m looking at you, THE PURGE). The film’s largest strength comes from the fact that it is gut-bustingly hilarious one minute and five minutes later, nail-bitingly terrifying.

After a blood-oozing prologue, the film introduces us to Paul and Aubrey Davison (Rob Moran and Re-Animator’s Barbara Crampton) as they reopen the family’s country house and prepare for the arrival of their children for a family reunion. The door of the house is unlocked, but this causes no alarm. Past tensions resurface as the rest of the Davisons begin to arrive at the house. First, there are Crispian (AJ Bowen) and his former student, turned girlfriend, Erin (Sharni Vinson). Following them are know-it-all son, Drake (filmmaker, Joe Swanberg, DRINKING BUDDIES) and his snobby wife, Kelly (Margaret Laney). The last of the sons, under-achiever, Felix (Nicholas Tucci) arrives with his equally useless girlfriend Zee (Wendy Glenn). To conclude the bunch, just before dinner is about to begin, and oh what a dinner it is, the lone Davison daughter, Aimee (Amy Seimetz), arrives with her indie filmmaker boyfriend, Tariq (played by actual indie filmmaker Ti West, THE INNKEEPERS). After everyone has arrived, the family sits down to eat. The long separated Davison siblings catch up with one another, a highlight being when Drake questions Tariq’s role as an “underground” filmmaker. Unfortunately, Aubrey’s wonderful dinner is cut short when an arrow shoots through the window right into Tariq’s head. The next five minutes is filled with some deafening screams and overly shaky camera work, but this doesn’t stop it from being one of the best scenes in the film either. The bloodshed continues from here as the attendees are narrowed down by a group of animal-masked killers, though this task it is not as easy as the killers had hoped.

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Do not mistake my description here as mocking in tone. YOU’RE NEXT may be both scary and funny but this film knows it’s funny, so you will be laughing with the film, not at it. Some of the biggest laughs come from the Davison family’s bickering. The family begins to fight with each other as soon as they walk in the door and continue to do so even when their lives are in extreme danger. The acting in the film ranges from bad (Barbara Crampton) to great (Sharni Vinson), with the rest of the cast falling somewhere in between. I could find fault in the characters being pretty unlikeable or their lack of development but this did not stop me, and it will not stop many others, from loving this laugh-packed thrill ride.

4

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4.2 (84%) 5 votes

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