What I'm Watching: You're Next
Oh yeah, I run a website, don't I?
Ugh, it's been a weird month, and I won't bore you with the details. Instead, I'll give you a review. I think we all win in that instance.
What I've got up for review today is You're Next. This was the latest in a recent string of 'masked people invade your home' movies that seem to be making a resurgence these days, with films like The Strangers, and even The Purge.
They're all pretty formulaic, and it's hard to make any of them stand out, since the gist of any of them is pretty much, 'people get trapped in their house and terrorised for 90 minutes'.
So, how does You're Next fare on that count?
Oh, it does a great job, I'll be honest.
I very much enjoyed my time with this movie. The cast was super fun, with some seasoned veterans as the parents of the family that is eventually targeted, and some newer faces (Although some will be familiar to fans of recent horror, surely) nicely round out the cast.
This variation of the classic tale starts off with a well off couple moving into their new home in the country (Shortly after their new neighbours have been killed, oops), and their kids coming from all corners of the country to help celebrate the new housewarming. The family is not super close, they have their issues, but all that is interrupted when some weirdos in animal masks show up to wreck things.
The way the plot unfolds is great, and there are some absolutely wonderful twists and turns to the proceedings. The deaths are super creative, although sometimes they end up being super silly at the same time. There's one death in particular that was wholly unnecessary and a bit TOO perfectly predicted to be believable, but if you can survive that one "OH COME ON" moment in the movie, you should enjoy the rest of the ride immensely. In a lot of ways, that death also sets the tone for the movie, so if you get through that, you're also primed for what you're in for.
I compared The Collector movies to being a kind of twisted Home Alone, and this movie also ends up in that same category, with a bunch of Kevins trapped in their house and laying booby traps for their pursuers. However, things get a bit more gory in this version, and the killers like setting traps of their own, as I mentioned. It is a fun game of cat and mouse that is so damned entertaining to behold.
In fact, the large part of what makes this movie work is that sense of fun they're having. You're not SUPPOSED to take this movie seriously. Yes, that over the top, silly death is silly. But that's *exactly* what they were going for. This isn't a big, intellectual picture, but it's not dumb either. I'm sure the plot wholes are wide enough to sprint through, but they are just having so much damned fun with the story, and so did I, that I don't care. Yeah, it's one of those rides.
The masked attackers are great additions to the pantheon of horror baddies, and are at once instantly recognisable and familiar, and yet unique amongst the group. They stand out, while at the same time harkening back to other movies of this genre, and a little bit of a nod to the Saw movies.
The movie really does a great job of keeping you guessing right up until the last act, and they manage to keep pulling the rug out in fairly believable and fun ways. I kept wondering, "Is this how they're going to end it? Or are they going this way? They can't go THAT way, can they??" and I was so not disappointed with the way things wrapped up. I'm sure others will take issue with it, but I thought the ending made perfect sense for this story.
It may be a fun movie, but it's also pretty dark, and not just because of the gory deaths. They balance humour and darkness very well, and straddle that line damned near perfectly. The movie knows when to crack a joke, and keep it serious, never making you feel like you're laughing when you shouldn't be.
All in all, a thrilling ride, and a unique new twist on a familiar subgenre of horror that will keep you guessing, as long as you're not taking it too seriously. This is an easy recommendation.