We've seen reviews for Adam Wingard's yet-to-be-released You're Next popping up for two years. When you consider the avalanche of motion picture mediocrity that has spilled forth in that time, it is a dang crime that the tremendously entertaining You're Next is only now being released (in theaters August 23rd). I finally had a chance to see this very well-reviewed horror film last week at an advance screening.
For us genre film fans, You're Next features a spectacular cast, including Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator), AJ Bowen (Sun Don't Shine), Joe Swanberg (A Horrible Way To Die), Larry Fessenden (I Sell The Dead), and Amy Seimetz (Upstream Color). Sharni Vinson - who is wonderful in You're Next - perhaps lends some mainstream star power to the cast, thanks to her role in Step Up 3D (2010)... but I couldn't say for sure. I didn't know Step Up 3D even existed until about thirty minutes ago.
At the screening I attended, You're Next had the audience screaming, laughing, and cheering. We all had a blast. The crowd seemed to be an even mix of die-hard horror fans and people not especially interested in the genre - so the fact that the whole auditorium had a great time says volumes about the entertainment value of the film. The movie is action-packed, gory, humorous, and clever. It's also ridiculous at times - but Wingard's movie wears its ridiculousness proudly.
I keep hearing You're Next get lumped in with the "home invasion" sub-genre... but that's not how I perceive the film. To me, it feels much more "classic slasher flick" (with fun new twists) than "home invasion film".
What really impresses me about Adam Wingard and his writer/producer partner Simon Barrett is that they've refused to carve out a niche and settle lazily into it. The only other output I've seen from them is A Horrible Way To Die (2010) and their contributions to V/H/S (2012) and The ABCs Of Death (2012). I liked all of these projects, but what really struck me was the fact that none mined the same creative ground. It takes genuine talent to create a dramatic, dread-soaked, dream-like serial killer shocker like A Horrible Way To Die, then turn around and make a fun, nutty gore-fest like You're Next (plus a movie about date rape, What Fun We Were Having (2011), and an edgy sex comedy, Autoerotic (2011) in-between). I can't wait to see what direction these filmmakers go in next.
For a great horror thrill ride, splattered in blood, peppered with humor, and topped off with gripping plot twists, I recommend you see You're Next when it opens on the 23rd.
Thanks for reading.
- Eric Stanze