film review: You’re Next (2013)

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film review: You’re Next (2013)

Horror’s a difficult genre. You’ve got two main types of horror fans. Well ok, there’s all sorts of sub genres and all sorts of types but I’m breaking it down to two. Go with it. You’ve got the ones who go for the scares and the ones who go for the fun. And rarely the twain do agree on a film.

Well You’re Next might just be that film.

The premise is simple. It’s a home invasion horror with a nod to ’70s slasher.

There isn’t really anything more to say about that. You know how this goes. What’s different about You’re Next is that it’s actually good. Which is a bit of a surprise. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say 2013’s been the best year for horror in at least 5 years, maybe more. I was getting used to being a disappointed horror fan, but films like this, The Conjuring and American Mary that give me hope to carry on.

You’re Next works is because its got confident in what it’s doing. Yes, it’s got the the scares, but it doesn’t get bogged down in trying to scare you. It’s knows it’s a home invasion flick and that the horror and fear comes from the feeling of being in that situation. It doesn’t start pulling too much from ghost films. Not every noise is a fake out. You’re not constantly bombarded with jump scares…

… And on the fun side of things – and in the context of horror I am of course talking about buckets of blood and inventive kills – they are careful not to dial it up too soon. The film isn’t a farce, it’s not a schlock horror. It’s gory but it’s mostly realistic. Again, the humour comes from the situation, not because they’re trying to out-do anyone.

Another surprising thing is that the characters are not merely fodder… Ok a couple of them are… but often in horror films these days, especially in the slasher flicks characters are just introduced to be killed off. And since the filmmakers know they’re going to be killed off, they work on making them hateable. The deaths become a celebration because you’re sick of seeing them on the screen. You’re Next is a little smarter than that. We’re still using clich├ęd characters but since they’ve all got a reason to be there, you’re not just waiting for them to die.

Bottom line is, You’re Next is the best horror film in a long time because it’s managed to bring something original to a tired genre. Balance. In a time where everything is trying to be the biggest, the scariest, the funniest or the goriest… You’re Next is just being a good solid film.


By the way, if you’re wondering where you’ve seen the Australian, Sharni Vinson… maybe it was Step Up 3D…? No? Just me…? Thought so.

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