Customer Review

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5.0 out of 5 stars Not quite your normal slasher pic, 6 April 2014
This review is from: You're Next [Blu-ray + UV copy] [2011] (Blu-ray)
'You're Next' is directed by one of the rapidly rising new(ish) stars of horror, Adam Wingard, whose most high-profile other releases include nerve-shredding segments in VHS and VHS 2. As such, you may know that he likes to lead you to expect 'same-old' and then wrong-foot you.
Therefore, we get the expected film-opening dramatic scene, and then the establishing segment as the main stars the members of the Davison family, head home for a weekend with the parents. Although shot cinematically, the direction has an almost found-footage feel due to the freedom of movement the camera is given. Much of the film is quite naturalistically lit, adding to the feeling, which I found increased the tension. The actors also perform in quite a naturalistic manner, enhancing the mood further. The cast are a diverse bunch and instead of the usual tired selection of pretty teens we get three very different brothers who range from late twenties to early forties, a sister in her twenties and their various partners, and a mother and father figure who actually feel parental. The dialogue is enjoyable as the family members bicker, snipe and chat in a way that will feel instantly relatable to anyone who's been to an awkward family gathering where they haven't seen each other for ages. However it isn't long before sudden violence bursts out unannounced as masked trespassers begin trying to kill everybody for an unknown reason, and the situation dissolves into a need for pure survival.
Sharni Vinson is excellent as the central character, with great acting support which surprisingly includes several horror directors (Ti West and Joe Swanberg excellent as a standout sarcastic older brother among them).
Many emotions are portrayed much more realistically than normal for a slasher movie, with the actors managing to show grief, fear, and reasoning under duress in a way that's convincing rather than just 'stagey' or typically Hollywood. The plot isn't completely original, and the death-by-numbers plot has been done a lot of times. But sometimes it's not the ingredients that matter, it's how you cook them. It's the difference between a rubbery omelette or one that melts in the mouth. This one had a great chef.
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