DVD/Blu Review: 'You're Next'

By: Heather Seebach

Home invasion horror flicks have been on the rise over the last decade, but the endless onslaught of bleak forced entry flicks ala The Strangers, Them, Kidnapped, etc. has consistently left me cold. Too often these films feel like one-sided brutalization without much relief. Director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett have taken a smart, refreshing approach to the sub-genre with You're Next, a savage but undeniably fun home invasion movie.

Crispian (AJ Bowen) and his new girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson) are visiting his parents' for their wedding anniversary. It's the first time the whole Davison family has been together in years, and the usual family drama ensues over dinner. Even after the first arrow comes through the window and claims a life, the squabbling continues, now combined with full-on panic. The family is under attack from assailants in animals masks, with little hope for escape. To survive the night, their only chance is to fight back.

All the ingredients are there for a run-of-the-mill home invasion horror, but this one is full of little twists and red herrings, plus an abundance of black humor. Characters are set up to do idiotic things, poking fun at your average horror film, but when certain characters make exactly the right decision, the payoff for the audience is fantastic.

 You're Next is very funny, but still incredibly tense. It has all the brutality and intensity you want in a film of this nature, but does not sacrifice the viewers' enjoyment along the way. It is just as likely to make you cheer as it is to make you jump. Furthermore, it looks stunning. Just when I thought slow-motion was a hackneyed film technique, Wingard uses it beautifully. It has a lot of style, but nothing too distracting. Add to that a great original score and one addictive song (Dwight Twilley Band's "Lookin' For the Magic") bound for horror infamy.

Fans of indie horror should get a special kick out of the film's cast, which is basically a who's-who of the genre's "it" crowd. Wingard and Barrett have recruited just about all their film friends for this one (Joe Swanberg, Ti West, etc.) making it a fun game of recognition for indie horror fans. Even the "animals" themselves are familiar if you follow Wingard's work. 

The entire cast is fantastic but one character in particular owns You're Next. I won't say who, but I will say horror has a new hero, the likes of which we haven't seen in quite some time. A hero so goddamn bad-ass I found myself grunting, "Yes!" at the movie screening - something I never, ever do. Long story short, I'm in love.

 Ever since this movie made its 2011 world premiere at TIFF, horror fanatics have been waiting for it with bated breath. Well, after two painful years of Lionsgate idly sitting on the film, the wait is finally over and You're Next lives up to the hype. Although poorly timed against this year's The Purge, to dismiss this one as another paint-by-numbers slasher about masked invaders would be downright criminal. It is one of the smartest horror films in years, and above all, it's an incredibly fun time - a trait that is too often lacking in the genre. 

The DVD/Blu-ray Combo Pack includes "No Ordinary Home Invasion: The Making of You're Next" plus two commentaries: one with Wingard and Barrett; the other with those two guys and leading ladies, Sharni Vinson and Barbara Crampton. The behind-the-scenes includes interviews with cast and crew, footage from Vinson's combat training, and animated storyboards. The commentaries are as interesting as they are entertaining, with funny anecdotes such as Wingard's confession that he finds Rainbow Bright arousing and how he was on "dog morphine" all during filming; or how Shari Vinson took a stiletto heel to the eye socket on-set. Fans of the film will definitely learn and laugh a lot with these. 

To purchase the combo pack, just click the link below!

Related Posts:

Win a You're Next Prize Pack!

"Fresh Meat" Horror Hottie of the Month: AJ Bowen

10 Best You're Next T-Shirt Designs

Like the post? Share with your friends!

Also find us here: