You're Next

These days I tend to spend the majority of my free time on home entertainment. Of course, I'll go out and
socialize occasionally, but in terms of passing time, enjoying movies and games, etc., I get just about everything I need at home.

Usually, this just means flicking through my Showtime and Starz on demand, looking for a new movie to watch, or perhaps rehashing an old television series (for example, it's time to re-watch Homeland in preparation for the 3rd season coming later this month!). Other times, I'll spend hours cruising through the Betfair Casino site on my computer, joining in on poker tournaments or taking advantage of various arcade offerings. Sure, it risks some cash, but it's a great way to entertain myself at home!

The point of saying all this is that every so often I am tempted to abandon the convenience of streaming and gaming technology in favour of a particularly interesting film, and I have to admit I was intrigued enough to head down the street to the AMC to watch You're Next on a big screen. After all, 'tis the season for some thrilling horror movies, so I thought I'd give it a shot, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

You're Next structures itself like an incredibly routine horror film, and for the first bit that's exactly what you think you're getting. The film, directed by Adam Wingard, concerns Paul (Rob Moran) and Aubrey Davison (Barbara Crampton) as they host their adult children and children-in-law at a rural vacation home to commemorate their wedding anniversary, and hold a family reunion. There's the standard sense of calm and pleasantry to lull the audience into a false sense of security, and then some family bickering to begin raising tension. However, the film spirals into a horror episode when the Davison family falls under attack by a band of ruthless, animal-masked killers wielding various bladed weapons.

This is where the film reaches its crossroads between standard slaughter-horror and something unique and original, and fortunately for the viewer, the film-makers took the latter approach. Instead of the family hiding away and hoping for a miracle as they're picked off one by one, we are treated to a surprising turn, as one family member shows a surprising aptitude for combating the killers.

In the end, the film is tense, gripping, and notably gory, but all with a sense of purpose, and not without a sense of very, very dark humour. Horror films always seem to do best when they can terrify without seeming to take themselves entirely seriously, and that's just what You're Next does. If you, like me, will only go for "old school" cinema entertainment every now and then, you may want to set one of those occasions aside for this enjoyable horror flick.


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