Dir. Adam Wingard (2011)
During a family dinner, strangers begin to attack and kill the guests in increasingly gruesome ways.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
You're Next slipped through a lot of people's cracks, and while almost everyone who has watched it talks about how much they enjoyed it, it's rarely brought up when talking about recent horror films that are good additions to the genre. While the movie definitely has as many shades of home invasion as it does slasher, and it's missing many of the hallmarks of the slasher genre, it has one of the most intriguing and, frankly, badass final girls (Sharni Vinson) in the entire genre. It also has some truly delightful kills to go along with its family drama. Mumblegore, from the broader cinematic style of mumblecore, is made up of horror films that are more interested in dialogue and natural conversations than plot development. While this sounds like an insult, it's actually brought a ton of great directors to the pinnacle of the horror genre, giving us the likes of Ti West (X, House of the Devil) and Adam Wingard (Blair Witch and, uh, this one). The style itself is not everyone's cup of tea, as it's almost like jamming a horror movie into a Woody Allen film. When it's done as well as this, however, those comparisons fly right out the window and you can sit back and enjoy some gory family chaos.
This goes almost as bad as my last family reunion. The film is about a family that is getting all of its members together to celebrate the parents. There are four kids, each with a significant other, and each with their own neuroses and inadequacies. The family is also incredibly wealthy, however, and that quickly leads to its own set of problems when crossbow bolts begin flying through the dining room windows and impaling some of the guests. The movie makes excellent usage of many items that you find around the house, sort of like a horror Home Alone (as if Home Alone wasn't scary enough.) People are killed with piano wire stretched across doors, axes rigged to fall when the front door is open, and even a blender to the skull. It also single-handedly helped to create the recent trend of "I'm terrified of animal masks" that seems to affect all the young folk nowadays.
I mean, fair... You're Next belongs in the conversation of the best horror films since 2010, and while it's certainly not an unknown film, it doesn't get nearly the respect it deserves. It's not an Oscar-caliber film, nor is it an all-time great, but it's a damn fun watch that holds a lot of rewatch enjoyment. The cinematography is excellent at diverting attention from the next kill, and the plot, while not particularly hard to forecast, has enough twists and turns to keep you wondering what's coming next. Wingard does a great job with this film, and while he's not a director who sticks with only horror films, perhaps he should be, because this one is pretty damn good. It's not as creepy as The Strangers, but it's a much more entertaining film as a whole. Who this film is for: Slasher fans; Mainstream gore fans; Family reunions Bottom line: Definitely worth a watch if you haven't seen it, and worth adding to the regular rotation for those who have. It's a nice blend of slasher and home invasion, and it's got enough gore to keep you interested and wanting to rewind and watch again. It's darkly comic at times, but the comedy is not overdone or ever tries too hard. The acting is capable but hammy enough to be enjoyable without ruining the experience, and Vinson is one of the most capable final girls of all time. This one deserves more appreciation.