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You're Next - Review

You're Next

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

THE home invasion horror thriller is now a pretty well worn genre device but done well it can still be highly effective. Adam Wingard’s You’re Next fits that description with often brutal efficiency.

What’s more, it has fun tinkering with expectation too by placing a feisty female heroine front and centre and having her capably dishing out as much punishment as is delivered to the victims around her.

The set up finds Erin (Sharni Vinson, of Step Up 3D and Home & Away fame) and her boyfriend Crispian (AJ Bowen) heading to his parents secluded family home to celebrate their anniversary with the rest of the family.

From the outset, it’s clear the family in question is dysfunctional but then masked men begin to terrorise them from both outside and within, picking them off with crossbows and knives.

It’s left to Erin to offer the only real form of resistance by tapping into the survivalist lessons taught to her by her own father while growing up in Australia.

The most striking thing about Wingard’s film is its direct attitude towards the violence. The director doesn’t linger and therefore feels less exploitative than a lot of his contemporaries. This also heightens the tension as death frequently comes quickly and often surprisingly – viewers won’t necessarily be able to predict any particular order.

There are a couple of decent twists, too, even though hardened fans of thrillers and horrors may well be able to see them coming. But at least the story itself makes sense.

Vinson, meanwhile, makes an engaging heroine, whose descent into primal survivalist is vividly portrayed and authentically delivered. You’ll believe she is capable of the acts she commits.

Wingard’s film has been hailed as the new Scream in some circles. But while not that good, it’s a tense and exciting effort that exists at the top end of the genre it represents.

Certificate: 18
Running time: 95mins
UK Release Date: August 30, 2013