Obviously, I like to celebrate women in film. I recently watched Adam Wingard’s You’re Next (2013) and I commend this movie for giving us such a unique and badass final girl, Erin (Sharni Vinson). Not only does he give us a great main character, but the movies’ storyline is smooth, there’s good character development and the use of suspense is well placed.
Paul (Rob Moran) and Aubrey Davidson (Barbara Crampton) head to their country home, away from society, to celebrate their wedding anniversary. They’re awaiting their children and their significant others to arrive to have a celebration together. Among their children is their son Crispan (A.J. Bowen) with his girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson). Erin will be meeting Crispan’s parents for the first time. Crispan’s brothers and sister show up over time with their other halves, and as interactions continue you start to get the sense that there’s going to be some tension at the dinner table. Things indeed start to take a turn for the worse when dinner is served. Crispan’s condescending brother Drake (Joe Swanberg) feels he has to put his input on how everyone should live their lives, especially Crispan. This ignites the good ol family argument between everyone. However while everyone is arguing, Tariq (Ti West), the boyfriend of Crispan’s sister Aimee (Amy Seimetz) notices something out of the window and decides to investigate. The investigation is a bad idea because Tariq catches a crossbow arrow straight to the forehead, ensuing a chaotic arrow assault. It is clear that the Davidson family is under a home invasion attack by mysterious killers wearing animal masks, but what they don’t realize is that these killers are murder-for-hire. I won’t reveal who the killers were hired by, but there’s something different about Erin and it’s up to her to try and get out of this terrifying situation.
Home invasions; they’re terrifying to think of. I think we can all agree that no one is welcoming a home invasion, which is one of the reasons why You’re Next is different and works so well; it’s a legitimate fear that we all can relate to. And the murder-for-hire home invasion concept is something we don’t see in a slasher film. Usually it’s a psychotic serial killer, sometimes with unbearable strength who can’t seem to be killed. The killers in You’re Next are a different kind of dangerous, they’re dangerous because they’re willing to do anything to anyone for money, including murdering the neighbors next door to try and make the crime look less suspicious. Although they’re trained and dangerous, they’re not supernatural which is where Erin comes into place.
Erin is the final girl that we weren’t expecting. We find out that Erin was raised in a survivalist compound so she was built for the apocalypse. Erin always had control over her situation. She was always prepared, on her toes and never allowed herself to be the victim. She was determined to be a survivor. Erin actually made more kills in the movie than the actual killers, something that you don’t see often. At one point she puts someone’s head in a blender and scrambles their brains; hand this woman her “Badass Award”. She’s not a victim and she knows that running away is not an option, she’s empowered to survive.
I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on horror legend Barbara Crampton’s (Chopping Mall, Re-Animator, Body Double) performance as Aubrey. She delivers a vulnerable, concerned and paranoid performance with an elegance to display Aubrey’s dignity. This movie had a solid cast in general. Nicholas Tucci, Rob Moran, Amy Seimetz, Barbara Crampton and Ti West (The Inkeepers, The Sacrament, The House of the Devil). Everyone delivered believable performances and made a great contribution to the effect of this film.
Overall I give You’re Next four out of five stars if I were doing a rating system. It’s fresh, suspenseful, has great kills and subtle comedy. Most importantly the movie gives us a remarkable female lead role. I would recommend giving this movie a buy to add to your collection.