Home invasion is something that has terrified my mind ever since I was a little kid. My house was a place I always felt like was a safety zone; no could cross and we (my family and I) could what we please. Though never too much thought was put into it, I guess I was afraid of seeing a burglar coming in the window or maybe a kidnapper coming into my room to take me. One event that escalated during my childhood was the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping in 2002. Around my middle school were fliers and posters of the captured girl and it changed my perspective on the whole matter.
I learned more about the kidnapping from my parents daily watching of CNN. They revealed that she was just a normal girl who was simply taken by two maniacs. Boy did this scare the daylights out of me. A lot of nights, I would check my windows to see if anyone were coming, I would hate having to get up during the night thinking that a man could pop out in the darkness, and I even slept in my brother’s room for a brief time. I eventually grew out of it, but the fear remains slightly alive about a possible home invasion. So You’re Next is another horror film that’s probably up my alley.
You’re Next is the second home invasion thriller this year after The Purge, which were both coincidently independent movies that gained a wider release. This low budget affair opened up at the Toronto Film Festival and must have scared plenty of people for a major studio to remain confidant enough to give this a wide release. I’m very supportive of finding popular film festival cinema to bring to a wider audience, as most of them tend to be very good. So how does this match up?
The movie revolves around a wealthy family called the Davidsons. They are all planning to stay at a remote vacation home with only one house next to them (why do all these horror victims tend to live the furthest away from civilization). All of the children are grown men, one of them a professor who has brought his Australian girlfriend named Erin. It is during dinner when two masked men start killing them from a distance using crossbows. More family members get killed off when they see that traps have been set at the front entrances. Could their be a thicker plot developing between the adult children and the masked assailants?
This is another movie to talk about without giving away, because there a plenty of spoilers that I won’t give away. What I will say is that for a story that has been done plenty of times before (again, The Purge ring any bells?), I liked it. What helps here is that for once, we have some killers that are not complete geniuses. In fact, it’s implied that the ones doing the killing might only doing this for dumber reasons.
Yes, You’re Next has some good gore. Yes, You’re Next has some good claustrophobic shots. But what helps build this familiar story is that you get a good glance at the family and just who these people are. The parents are your typical yuppies, but the children all have interesting jobs and attachments for a lot of strange things. Erin is simply a poor woman caught in the wrong place and the wrong time. But when she reveals she lived on a survivalist farm, you recognize her advantage and want so bad for her to win.
I’ll give this four plastic masks out of five. You’re Next mixes gore and humor gives it’s audience another choice of horror offerings if The Conjuring wasn’t enough. I can’t say that this is a pleasant film, but certainly a terrifying one.