You’re Next – Film Review
It’s about time we had a classic slasher film.
Bunch of jerks trapped in a house; killers with masks; sequences with more than just gore.
I miss the 90s.
TL;DR You’re Next overcomes its admittedly dull presentation by having a kickass main character, but-not-too-gory effects, and a twist ending that isn’t a total downer. At the very least, “blender to the head” is now in the great kill ranks. 3 out of 5 stars.
A truly iconic kill is probably the only thing Sorority Row was really missing.
So the plot isn’t exactly inspired here, yo. A rich family meets up for a nice weekend or whatever in a huge, isolated house in the country. Little do they know that a team of killers are waiting to pounce (having already practiced on the neighbours). Once shit starts going down, Sharni Vinson puts her horror chops to good use and leads the dwindling family members in a fight for survival. Yada yada yada, it turns out one of the brothers and his girlfriend were in on it to get that sweet inheritance cash. Once Sharni’s killed all of them, the double twist reveals her own boyfriend (another one of the siblings) was also in on it. She does not accept his offer to let things be.
And stabbing someone in the eye is a little more exciting than a “no, thanks,” too.
While You’re Next is a simple movie done well, it’s still hard to shake how humourless the whole affair was. We get a little bit of it near the end, but things are otherwise played very straight.
Which only emphasises some of the absolutely idiotic actions of the characters.
Why I hate this movie:
Pretty much everyone except Sharni just stands around screaming until someone shows up to kill them. At least most of them have the decency to put up a little bit of a fight. As opposed to most contemporary horror victims, who are just motionless, gore delivery systems.
Although Other Brother (the character’s name is Felix, but I’d already pegged one as Snooty Brother and one as Sharni’s Boyfriend, so I’m calling this one Other Brother) does goad his family members into making someone take a run out the front door, I still found it bizarre that he and the killers would choose a neck-height tripwire to coathanger someone to death. Surely there was a more guaranteed way?
Other Brother’s girlfriend has a stupid name: Zee. She also does exactly nothing during the whole movie. Even as a trophy girlfriend, she doesn’t even put out. Why are you here?
In the scene where Sharni is making nail boards with Zee, Zee chooses to attempt to attack Sharni with a flimsy nail board. Instead of, you know, the hammer she had in her hands 2 seconds ago. Maybe her not helping was for the best.
It pissed me off when the cop shot Sharni. Thank god she survived. If that had been the ending, this review would have been much darker.
The mum gets killed when they go let her have an unattended lie down in one of the bedrooms. What did you expect to happen?
The dad finds evidence that one of the killers had been secretly staying inside the house and watching them “for days.” Haven’t the family only been there one night? I assumed the fact that all the funiture was covered when the parents arrived meant nobody was actively living there?
Sharni’s Boyfriend tries to talk his way out of things with her after she discovers his involvement. Yeah, no surprises that doesn’t work. Dumbass.
Oh, and this is probably just me, but the actress playing the mother looked way too young to be a married-for-35-years mother of 4 adult children. I looked her up, and she’s 55, but damn that makeup department had me believing she could have been 20 years younger. It was weird.
But it’s not all bad:
Move over Adelaide Clemens, a new Australian final girl is in town. And Sharni gets to keep her Aussie accent. Checkmate.
Sharni really is the best thing about You’re Next. She’s pragmatic and tough, but not an omnipotent Mary Sue esque abomination.
Some of the Sharni highlights include:
Making those nailboards and successfully setting a trap that catches Lamb Mask’s tender foot.
Smashing a blender into the top of Other Brother’s head, embedding the blades into his skull. Then plugging it in and turning it on.
Stabbing her boyfriend in the neck and eye as a rejection of his offer to share the money.
Setting an axe pendulum over the door, which ends up hitting the cop who shot her. That’s justice, baby.
Making sure to finish the killers off when she has a chance to attack them. I can’t stand when slasher movie characters just knock the killers over and try to run. Sharni ain’t like those girls. She mashes both Tiger Mask and Fox Mask’s heads in. She leaves Lamb Mask to die more easily, but a clean stab to the face seemed satisfactory to me, too.
And Sharni is pretty much the only character who doesn’t spend their entire time being obstructive.
Snooty Brother is the second best character. He makes a modest transformation from judgemental dick into sympathetic doing-what-I-can person. It’s a shame when Other Brother stabs him with an entire toolbox worth of stuff to put him down.
As bizarre as it is, the neck-slicing mishap that Baby Spice (the daughter) has is pretty cool.
When Snooty Brother tries to follow his wife out the front door, he ducks under the tripwire (they know it’s there at this point), but the crossbow bolt protruding from his back clips it. It’s adorable. And, for him, I imagine painful.
Oh, and Sharni jumps out of a second storey window at one point to escape an attack. She gets a shard of glass in her leg and has to pull it out. It’s squelchiliciously enormous.
Sharni alone makes up for the unoriginal setting and dumbass characters. And even though she does get shot in the shoulder for her efforts, she lives. No “they all die” extra twist bullshit here. I’m thankful. 3 out of 5 stars.