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You're Next - Movie Review

4 stars

Horror movie convention gets turned on its bloody head with You’re Next, the latest visit to the home invasion slasher. Though the setup is a familiar one with the proverbial herd of sacrificial lambs converging on an isolated house for a family reunion, it’s what happens throughout the course of the blood-soaked proceedings along with a deliciously unexpected tonal shift that brings a refreshing take to the spook party.

The Davidson family is gathering to celebrate the anniversary of retired defense contractor Paul (Rob Moran) and his pill-popping wife Aubrey (the legendary scream queen Barbara Crampton coming out of retirement) at their palatial, yet slightly run-down, mansion in upstate New York. In attendance are their four children with significant others in tow. College Professor Crispian (AJ Bowen) brings along Australian girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson), obnoxious older brother Drake (Joe Swanberg) is accompanied by Kelly, while spoiled sis Aimee (Amy Seimetz) arrives with aloof filmmaker Tariq (Ti West), and other brother Felix (Nicholas Tucci) introduces his eye-rolling hipster girl Zee (Wendy Glenn).

Dinner has hardly been served before we begin to learn why the family hasn’t gathered in several years. A decades-old sibling rivalry is threatening to derail any hope of reconciliation as brothers Crispian and Drake are soon at each other’s throats. Then, the awkward family conversation is suddenly disrupted when a noise from outside draws a guest to the window. Moments later, glass is shattered, chaos erupts, and guests are scattered throughout the room with one dead and numerous injured.

As the survivors engage in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with the masked intruders, we begin to wonder what possessed the bad guys to think of crossbows as efficient killing tools. Sure, a guy taking an arrow to the head is both horrifying and violent for an audience, but bringing our attention to the poor choice of weapons probably isn’t such a good idea.

In fact, hardly any decisions made by director Adam Wingard and screenwriter Simon Barret make much sense, nor do any of the stupid traps our victims walk themselves into. The acting is passable at best, and the dialogue is more often juvenile than not. Then again, that’s part of the campy allure and devilish charm that oozes from every frame of You’re Next. Well, that and the gallons of crimson-colored corn syrup. The kill shots are every bit as gruesome and gory as any you’ll ever see, and the underlying pretext – something about rich people deserving what’s coming to them – goes refreshingly counter to many of the overtly conservative themes from the ‘80s slasher films, which this one so dearly covets.

Wingard and Barret play it mostly straight to the film’s mid-point, seemingly oblivious to the cloying bits of dialogue like, “we’re all gonna die” or “why would anybody do this?” Then comes a hellishly wicked tonal shift that not only leads to masterful gems like Zee telling her boyfriend, “I want you to f#$k me on this bed next to your dead mom,” but also reveals that the coolest head in the bunch might belong to Erin who we learn grew up on a survivalist compound in Australia. Too bad for the intruders, as she unleashes some kind of primal feminine Home Alone rage that becomes an unstoppable force. Some may remember Vinson as the lively hoofer in 2010’s Step Up 3D. She’s just as energetic here, and this role could prove to be her breakout.

In our current run of films and TV shows featuring evil characters who bask in the anti-hero spotlight, it’s nice to once again root for the good guys, despite a seemingly willful stupidity here that all but predetermines their own demise. There’s also redemptive societal value in knowing that our masked killers learned basic punctuation which is put on bloody display when they inscribe the film’s title in their victim’s blood. Writing “Your Next” would simply be all kinds of wrong.

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You're Next - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence, language and some sexuality/nudity.
94 mins.
: Adam Wingard
: Simon Barret
Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen, and Ti West
: Horror
Don't bother locking the doors. Animals don't use doors.
Memorable Movie Quote: "This wasn't a random attack! Our family's being targeted."
Lions Gate
Official Site:
Release Date: August 23, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 14, 2014

Synopsis: One of the smartest and most terrifying films in years, You're Next reinvents the genre by putting a fresh twist on home-invasion horror. When a gang of masked, ax-wielding murderers descend upon the Davison family reunion, the hapless victims seem trapped...until an unlikely guest of the family proves to be the most talented killer of all.


[tab title="Blu-ray Review"]

You're Next - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

4 stars

Blu-ray Experience
4 stars

Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - January 14, 2014
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
: English, English SDH, Spanish
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; Digital copy (as download); DVD copy
Region Encoding: A

Presented by Lionsgate, You’re Next’s 2.35:1 1080p AVC transfer slashes and hacks its way onto blu-ray with unmatched clarity.  Surface details are excellent throughout.  From facial hair to the masks themselves, there’s nothing that doesn’t look rippled with layers.  Being largely set indoors, interior lighting sets the mood well and appears as natural as an everyday home would. Skin tones appear natural as does the copious amounts of blood that graces the screen. Colours are quite soft as a whole with nothing being too over powering. The darker nighttime and outdoor scenes are also very good with no detail being lost to the shadows.  The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is great and has been mixed brilliantly. All speakers are used to the full effect.



  • There are two commentaries.  One with Director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett and another with Director Adam Wingarad, writer Simon Barrett and actors Sharni Vinson and Barbara Crampton.  Both audio commentaries are a good listen and offer some good insight into how the movie was developed, but the second commentary with the Barbara and Sharni is a much more easier and laid back listen.

Special Features:

Alas, there is but one featurette.  It’s a decent look at the making of the film.  The Blu-Ray shouldn’t disappoint fans of the movie, but it would’ve been nice to have seen some more extras included. Aside from this, the disc features a very good AV package that will please the fans out there.

  • No Ordinary Home Invasion: The Making of “You’re Next” (11 min)

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