Thursday, 22 August 2013

YOU'RE NEXT! - Review By Greg Klymkiw - Some effective jolts, within its been-there-done-that script.

You're Next! (2011) **1/2
dir. Adam Wingard
Starring: Sharni Vinson, AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Margaret Laney, Barbara Crampton, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, Amy Seimetz, Ti West and Larry Fessenden

Review By Greg Klymkiw

This energetic, crisply directed home invasion horror thriller delivers up the scares and gore with some panache. I especially loved the delightfully grotesque and ultra-creepy animal masks like those really cute lifelike ones you can buy for your kids at Zoo gift shops. In fact, the deadly home-invading carnage-purveyors might only have been creepier if they all wore matching Larry Harmon Bozo the Clown masks. (Or even creepier than that, if they WERE actually ALL Larry Harmon - but that, I'm afraid is another movie.)

In addition to the aforementioned, the picture is chock-full of babes. When genre thrillers - especially those set in one primary location are sans babes, it's the kiss of death. Always.

Here, though, we not only get babes, we get a mega-kick-ass Aussie chick played spiritedly by Sharni Vinson. Her character, it is revealed, was raised in a survivalist compound Down Under.

I kid you not!

An Aussie Survivalist Babe!!!

What's not to like?

Well, not that I expect much in the way of originality from this sort of movie, especially if the killings are conceived and dispatched with both humour and aplomb - as they most certainly are in the picture, but it's almost all for nought since early on we are assailed with clues which suggest the movie is going to have a twist that falls into the category of: " Oh fuck, I can see an obvious 'twist' coming from miles away and I hope to Christ it's just a red herring and the filmmakers surprise me with something as sick and twisted as what's already on display in terms of the genuine jolts and gore."

But no!

There it is in all its dullsville glory - the dreaded twist I won't reveal for the great unwashed who don't see it coming! (Anyone who doesn't see "it" coming needs a thorough brain wash.)

Come on, guys! Give me a break. Frankly, I'd have been happier if there was NO reason given for the killings save for a whack of psychos just doing what psychos do best. That really would have been better than the, uh... twist.

It's kind of too bad, because the first half of the movie proceeds like a delightful bat out of hell.

An affluent couple (the female half played by the still-delectable Re-Animator babe Barbara Crampton) are celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary in their ultra-chic country mansion and have invited all their kids and assorted significant others to join them. The characters sharing bloodlines are straight out of some lower-drawer Albee or O'Neill play and the conversation round the dinner table plays out with plenty of funny, nasty sniping

Great stuff!

Then the killing starts!

Even Greater!

And then, the aforementioned plot twist!

Uh, not great! Not good! Not even passable.

Thankfully, the carnage continues, but for this genre geek, the movie never quite recovers from a twist that was probably meant to be clever or something. I hate that! This is exactly the sort of thing that can drag potentially great genre pictures right down the crapper. It's too bad, really, because I really think screenwriter Simon Barrett has a lot more going for him than resorting to crap like that. He delivers a decent backdrop, first-rate sniping and a passel of great killings.

And, of course, let's not forget the babe raised on a survival compound in Australia.

Now that is truly inspired!!!

You're Next was unveiled during Midnight Madness at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF 2011) and is now playing theatrically via E-One.