For the first twenty minutes, I was completely dreading YOU’RE NEXT. Having avoided all pre-film synopsis, it seemed pretty clear to me early on that this was going to be a long, dreary slog. A piss-poor pre-credit sequence echoed the worst parts of 80s horror – shock siren effects, coitus interrupted by spooky masked men only to dish out a slice of violence. When the title was written in blood on the window, I feared for the rest of my evening.
After the main plot starts up, it looked equally shaky. A family reunion is taking place, the kids gathered in an opulent country home to celebrate their parents anniversary. There’s awkard introduction of the new girl friend, coming to terms with the annoying siblings, and so on. As the arguing around the dinner table takes a turn for the worse, a crossbow bolt shatters the windows, causing more than a bit of mayhem.
At this point, thankfully, the film starts to kick ass.
And, boy does it ever. It kicks ass with the abandon of a place kicker. There’s so much kickage that the filmmakers no doubt had to wear special shoes.
This, dear readers, is what makes for a great Midnight Film – thrown off expectations, well executed moments of brash violence and an absolutely relentless, roller-coaster paced onslaught that lasts ’till the final frame.
While the film relies upon a twist or two, they’re hardly critical to the enjoyment of the piece, making their obviousness far less annoying than they could of been. Instead, we get to see some quite effective performances from the entire ensemble, along with a few brilliantly staged horror tropes shown in a new light. If the film is to be celebrated for one scene, it’s unlikely there’s been a better guy-under-the-bed moment in modern cinema.
Axes, crossbows, piano wire, boards with nails in them, the violence remains medieval in both its brutality and the almost beautifully formal way it all plays out. Without giving too much away, there’s some serious range to some of the character’s performances, riding the gamut from quiet contemplation to full on batshit crazy.
Completely redeeming it’s pedantic beginnings (even being ironic, the opening sequence is just terrible), YOU’RE NEXT picked up steam and simply plowed into the late night crowd. Wingard’s latest manages to inject a unique spirit into the home invasion genre, crafting a stylish, original, epic contribution to this year’s MM slate