Although I wasn’t completely transfixed with You’re Next as some, it’s still a halfway decently entertaining horror-comedy that well worth a shot if you are a fan of the genre. The Blu-ray released by Lionsgate offers good audio/video transfers and a somewhat limited but OK set of features highlighted by two commentary tracks.
Genre(s): Horror, Suspense/Thriller, Comedy
Lionsgate | R – 94 min. – $24.99 | January 14, 2014
Directed by: Adam Wingard
Writer(s): Simon Barrett (written by)
Cast: Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, A.J. Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Sarah Myers, Amy Seimetz, Ti West, Rob Moran, Barbara Crampton
Theatrical Release Date: August 23, 2013
Features: Audio Commentaries, Featurette, Theatrical Trailer, DVD Copy, Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish
Disc Size: NA
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 3.0/5
Note: This review contains MAJOR SPOILERS about the plot, so please skip this section if you have yet to see the movie.
You’re Next. Really unsure what to think of the latest entry into the slasher/horror genre as it isn’t really suspenseful nor intense (with due respect to GQ) yet at the same time, the dark (x3) comedic aspects are certainly unique and quite amusing. Add to that is a kick ass heroine character and I can say it’s at least worth a look-see.
The film opens with an older man, we later discover is a professor, banging a hot chick, his college-aged student, get the first beat-down by a masked killer who, after killing the girl, writers in her blood “You’re Next”. Not a bad opener I suppose, though it’s not exactly Drew Barrymore’s kill in Scream either. Of course, what is?
In any case, two dead and the killer(s) have plenty more to go when Crispian (A.J. BOWEN) is coming home for a family reunion, introducing his new girlfriend, an Australian cutie named Erin (SHARNI VINSON) who, like our previous two victims, was once professor-student. Crispian’s family is rich with his father, Paul (ROB MORAN), was a defense contractor (but tis OK, he was only in marketing!). Also attending the reunion: offbeat younger brother Felix (NICHOLAS TUCCI), his girlfriend Zee (WENDY GLENN); older brother Drake (JOE SWANBERG) and his own flame Kelly (SARAH MYERS); sister Aimee (AMY SEIMETZ) and boyfriend/”filmmaker” Tariq (TI WEST). Added to the bunch (i.e. body count) is their mother, Aubrey (BARBARA CRAMPTON) who isn’t of the most stable mind.
The reunion starts off civil enough until at the dinner table where Drake voices his disapproval Crispian dating a former student while Aimee’s beau explains his filmmaking abilities and directing one documentary viewed at an “underground” film festival and we get into a humorous conversation about commercial direction. Needless to say, it’s an awkward scene yet quite funny. As the festive conversation continues, Tariq gets up and becomes our first victim with an arrow through his eye. Admittedly it’s the first, and one of the few, unexpected moments. Well done. And this is where the sh** begins as panic sets in and it’s becomes obvious that there are more baddies around including one in the house.
Along with a couple of twists, the remainder of the movie finds each member of the house either getting picked off in unique ways, trying to make an escape to the nearest neighbor which happens to be the couple knocked off at the beginning and/or then getting killed. Oh, and of course a cell phone blocker is used to no calls to 911 can get out…
You’re Next might not be very innovative but there are some fun moments even when the suspense and/or thrills are sparse. Also, the cast, save for a couple of the actors, are pretty good headlined by Aussie-born Sharni Vinson who becomes a kick ass hero as the movie progressed thanks to an amusing childhood background. The others are more or less forgettable fodder to be murdered although Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn and A.J. Bowen are all decent in their respective roles. However, Vinson is the one to keep an eye on and hopefully she sees some higher profile movies in the future.
The movie was helmed by Adam Wingard previously directed a few horror films including one I saw (and reviewed) called A Horrible Way to Die, a drama which had a couple fine moments but is a slow and plodding movie that had a decent ending and another good performance from Amy Seimetz who played Aimee in this flick (and Bowen and Swanberg also have large parts). Wingard also directed segments of the two V/H/S movies and The ABCs of Death as well.
You’re Next is hardly the perfect or innovative horror-thriller but there are elements that do work so well and even the black comedy is done to near precision. The cast all work well together and even though the ultimate reason for the invasion and murders is kind of lame (albeit kind of works in the real world having watched more than a few “Dateline” episodes), I kind of enjoyed the movie.
I can’t say this is one I’ll visit again anytime soon but for those who like horror films, this is well worth at least a rental.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5
This release comes with a matted slip cover. Inside is a download code for the UltraViolet Digital Copy and a standard DVD Copy.
No Ordinary Home Invasion: The Making of You’re Next (11:41; HD) is a short featurette which mixes footage from the movie with on-set interviews and sound bites with the cast and crew as they discuss the project. It does provide some behind-the-scenes footage of the fight prep, storyboards, etc., so it’s not completely superficial.
Audio Commentaries – There are two tracks: 1) Director Adam Wingard & Writer Simon Barrett and 2) Wingard and Barrett are joined by cast members Sharni Vinson & Barbara Crampton. The first track is the technical one giving info on the behind-the-scenes of the project while track 2 gets the two actresses involved and their own perspective of working on the movie.
Theatrical Trailer (2:13; HD)
Previews – Texas Chainsaw, The Cabin in the Woods, The Collection
VIDEO – 4.25/5
You’re Next arrives on Blu-ray presented in its original 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio and in 1080p high-definition transfer. The details are fairly good and sharp while black levels are excellent showing starkness during the darker scenes and show no signs of banding, pixilation and any other flaws. Colors also appear well balanced.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track isn’t overly impressive yet gets the job done. The bulk of the movie is basically blood-gushing, weapons being fired and, of course, blood-curdling screams all of which sound good making the most use out of the center channel. The front and rear speakers are relegated for the score or other minor ambient noises, though it’s pretty basic and not entirely encompassing.
OVERALL – 3.5/5
Overall, although I wasn’t completely transfixed with You’re Next as some, it’s still a halfway decently entertaining horror-comedy that well worth a shot if you are a fan of the genre. The Blu-ray released by Lionsgate offers good audio/video transfers and a somewhat limited but OK set of features highlighted by two commentary tracks. It is at least worth a rental if not a blind buy for the right price.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.