‘You’re Next’ murders genre competition

By Karl Delossantos
Staff Writer

The creepiest petting zoo that intends to kill you — please don’t feed them. (AP Photo)

It has been quite some time since there has been a truly enjoyable and well-made horror film. However, with the beginning of the 2013 summer season came one of the strongest horror films in years. “The Conjuring” set a definite bar for the rest of the year’s genre films, despite having to overcome an uninspired plot and saturated market.

After making the rounds at festivals for nearly two years, indie horror flick “You’re Next” finally made it to a wide release. Though the film often strives and mostly succeeds in reaching the bar set by “The Conjuring,” it takes a few missteps in reaching the overall goal of a cohesive and successfully frightening movie that pays homage to the genre that it attempts to replicate.

“You’re Next” tells the story of the wealthy Davison family, headed by Paul (Rob Moran) and Aubrey (Barbara Crampton). They, along with their adult kids, spend a weekend at their vacation home in a remote location in the woods, but the film quickly takes a turn for the worse as masked assailants begin murdering the family members one by one.

Despite the stereotypical premise, director Adam Winard and screenwriter Simon Barnett were able to successfully steer the film away from the mistakes that countless home invasion horror films tend to make, without deviating too far away from the expectations of the genre.

As the night of terror unfolds, our heroine, Erin, brilliantly played by Sharni Vinson, somehow makes it out of close calls and terrible violence to solve the mystery of who is attacking her family.

Along the way to a twist ending, we experience brutal gore and some of the sharpest black humor to hit the silver screen in years.

Horror fans will love the clichéd characters and frequent jump scares, while film snobs can take solace in the fact that this is indeed a homage to the genre. For everyone else, this will be a thoroughly entertaining night of thrills and gut-busting humor. Along the way, we do experience unlikable characters and some absurdity that one should expect from this kind of film. But these common missteps never prevent one from enjoying everything else it has to offer.

“You’re Next” is one of those rare films that knows exactly what it is and aims directly for it. The mix of gore, humor and familiarity takes the film from being a passable “B” movie to a successful and well-executed homage that may change the way we view the genre.