Haiku Revu: You're Next
28 Apr 2015 - Nic Ho Chee
My Haiku Revu of the 2013 thriller, You're Next:
With a dash of bloody gore,
No soup for you, Zee.
Fade to a vacation home of the well to do, an ageing couple and their satellite offspring return to familiar orbits for a celebratory meal. The clan get together around an ostentatious dinner table swiftly turns uncanny, their beautiful dwelling becoming something of a generational wood and brick mausoleum as unseen assailants snipe from the darkness, firing bolts from a crossbow into the family's well lit surroundings. Animal mask wearing man-mentals have chosen this moment to perpetrate a twisted home invasion, leaving the gathering no choice but to band together to survive. For what it's worth, at least they try.
We managed to catch this insta-classic from Adam Wingard at Frightfest 2013. A great independent film, it unpacks into something which should please the Backseat Horror Drivers who tend to scream at the stratospheric level of stupidity exhibited by the average genre movie cast member. Whilst there is a great deal of carnage meted out to the protagonists, there is a strong female lead, Erin (Sharni Vinson) sitting in the eye of the storm. The story avoids lazily rehashing Ripley/Aliens tropes, which similar titles might have fallen back on, and fabricates a believable and less bombastic heroine to drive the film to it's crunchy conclusion.
Deep down at it's heart we find a disturbing vignette exposing the perils of going from zero to insane when there aren't steadying influences around you. The antagonists are completely amoral, the victims unsuspecting and on the whole unprepared, with the layout of the house becoming a third grand actor which incinerates the thought-blanket that each person's home is their safest refuge. The movie works because it kindles hope that the events are survivable for the family, otherwise it would have been a bleak experience leaving characters to be slowly introduced then eviscerated by voiceless and faceless humans who allude to Jason Voorhees.
The pacing, great soundtrack, engaging story and black humour appeal enough for me to be unequivocal that this would be in my top films of Frightfest list. I'm giving this a made-me-want-to-wear-steel-plates-in-my-shoes two thumbs up, strongly recommend.