This article was originally published in FilmInk magazine
More a parody than the barebones horror its trailer suggests, You're Next has been marketed pretty poorly. The trailer was heavy on seriousness - lumping together extreme slow motion with menacing animal masks - and would have you believe that the movie would be a no-nonsense home invasion thriller. In a sense, You're Next is the complete opposite of that - it's all about the nonsense, bearing more than a slight resemblance to the original Scream. The story is stock-standard: a well-to-do family gathers in their country mansion as a reunion of sorts, only to be brutally murdered by crazed, masked men with hidden motives. However, these showboating killers weren't counting on Erin (played effectively by Aussie Sharni Vinson) to be adept at ass kicking herself.[[MORE]]Writer/director Adam Wingard, who has had success as a large proponent of the V/H/S franchise, relies heavily on well-worn horror film tropes and exaggerates them, not for scares, but for comedy. Nearly every character suggests the group split up and on more than one occasion boyfriends try to persuade girlfriends to run outside and get help - alone. It's a wonder that the character motivations don't prove a source of frustration, but rather a sense of unabashed joy. The production is rife with B-grade mediocrity and with the exception of Vinson, the cast are comprised entirely of duds. Most notably bereft of talent is Barbara Crampton, whose claim to fame was a part in cult-horror classic, Reanimator. Thankfully, Wingard is well aware (maybe even orchestrating this deliberately) and aims directly for increasingly ridiculous character motivations and blood-soaked kills. The climax of the film has Vinson driving a blender into another characters skull, plugging it into the wall and switching it on. Come for the lashings of bloody murders and stay for the genuine sense of humour.