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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that You're Next is a much-hyped indie horror movie of the "home invasion" variety, but with a kind of twist. Violence is over the top and bloody, featuring many attacks and killings with various weapons including knives, axes, machetes, wire, and even a blender. There's some female toplessness, and sex is both implied and discussed (once in a rather disgusting, disturbing manner). Language isn't constant but includes more than one use of "f--k." And some social drinking is shown, as well as a character who takes a Vicodin.
What's the story?
After a couple down the road is slain, YOU'RE NEXT moves onto the next house, where Paul (Rob Moran) and Aubrey Davison (Barbara Crampton) are celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary, with their grown children -- and significant others -- in attendance. Writer Crispian (AJ Bowen) comes with his Australian girlfriend, Erin (Sharni Vinson). Two more brothers and a sister, plus partners, also arrive, making the party 10 in total. The family sits down to dinner, starts arguing, and finds their arguing interrupted by intruders in animal masks. They start killing the family members one by one -- but then one woman starts fighting back, throwing a serious monkey wrench in their plans. Much bloody carnage later, who will be left standing?
Is it any good?
The reason that You're Next has generated such buzz in horror circles is that director Adam Wingard is clearly a fan, which isn't always the case in a genre that often inspires lazy, disdainful copies. Many of the cast members are either genre filmmakers (Larry Fessenden, Joe Swanberg, Ti West), or horror icons (Crampton, from Re-Animator). But outside of this assembling of like minds, not many actual ideas are generated, except for the concept of the female warrior; often, women are victimized in "home invasion" movies like this one.
Storytelling clearly isn't Wingard's primary focus. It's possible that the movie was meant to be funny, but he's a chronic camera-shaker, and the movie's amateurish look makes it hard to tell. Also, the story's red herrings stick out just a bit too far, calling attention to themselves. Ultimately, many of You're Next's ideas just don't make sense. The one high point is Vinson, who nearly makes up for it all.
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