Get ready for a bloody-good break in.
To celebrate their 35th anniversary, Paul and Aubrey Davison invite their grown children and respective partners to their secluded, lovely home for the weekend...and then the creepiness begins.
Director Adam Wingard and screenwriter Simon Barrett are experts at the ordinariness of things. Siblings that fight. Insecure mothers. All of it. So, when the "uninvited" arrive with crossbows and an assortment of other weapons, the reactions of the Davisons feels genuine.
In an age of paranormal activities, You're Next's slasher-vibe feels fresh. The twisted sense of humor is also a big plus.
And let's not forget all those creepy masks. Gone are the days when a simple hockey mask was enough to make audiences squirm…
The cast is comprised mostly of relative unknowns: Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Amy Seimetz, Rob Moran and Barbara Crampton—which is a great way to keep the who's "next" vibe unpredictable.
Here are the seven ways You're Next is a welcome change for the horror genre:
1. The 1 Percent Are in Their Sights. The home invasion genre is targeted at the rich. Bigger houses equal more spacious rooms in which to wreak havoc. A grand dining room begins the hunt with arrows shot through many windows. Not much point in terrorizing a studio apartment.
2. Even When Heard Over and Over That '70s Track Rocks. What is with the recent crop of horror films and the obsession with '70s music? The Dwight Twilley Band's '77 hit "Looking for Magic" rocks the opening scene. A soon-to-be victim hits play on the CD player, then repeat. Music to kill by.
3. Sharni Vinson's Killer New Moves: Breakin' Bones, Not Beats. In Step Up 3D, the Australian actress danced up a storm with a so-so American accent. Erin, however, is all Aussie as the girlfriend slash former student of Felix (Nicholas Tucci). She's the most badass houseguest, equipped with an axe she has no issue whatsoever about wielding. There is a reason Erin is so adept at killing and setting traps, but we'll never tell.
4. This Wolf, This Cat and This Sheep: Fun with Masks. Like The Strangers and The Purge, these baddies don goofy masks too. To promote the film, Lionsgate handed out masks to preview audiences. Hashtag yourenext to view the wicked fun results.
5. More Intentionally Funny Than Scary. Like the groundbreaking Scream, You're Next uses humor to relieve the ever-mounting tension: The family that bickers together slays together. Does that lessen the intended shock and awe? Not at all. A fiendishly placed chicken wire demonstrates there's plenty of blood-red dread that's also pretty hilarious.
6. Mumblecore. More Like MumbleGORE! The recent wave of indie flicks are fast, cheap and out of control. Joe Swanberg, who stars in You're Next, also directed the Olivia Wilde comedy Drinking Buddies. Lake Bell just made the voiceover tale In a World… They're all part of a new generation of American filmmakers dubbed "mumblecore," which emphasizes quickly made, thoughtful, naturalistic independent films. (Greta Gerwig is a mumble vet.) You're Next is the best of the mumble horror genre. (Black Rock—written, directed and starring The League's Katie Aselton—is another one worth checking out.)
7. First, Let's Kill All the Filmmakers. Watch closely for fellow indie horror director Ti West's (The Innkeepers) brief appearance. Very brief.
Curious to see who will be Next? Or will you lock the doors and stay in this weekend? Sound off in the comments!