I really didn't think a horror movie this year would've surpassed The Conjuring for me this year, let alone some movie called You're Next.
I have no idea how I hadn't been more excited for this before. I knew I had seen it before. It didn't have anyone pick it up until this year, although it was filmed in 2010 and released to TIFF in 2011.
You're Next provided the same charm and innovation that The Cabin in the Woods did for me, except this isn't slapstick. It's a slasher through-and-through, but it's not like any slasher I've ever seen.
It does what so many slashers try so hard to do, yet fail. Walk the line between being entertaining and horrifying at the same time. In most films, you see the villain(s) get pushed around and it becomes like Abbott & Costello. That ended up happening with many of the Nightmare on Elm St., Friday the 13th films. Or you have the polar opposite, where a horror film has a killer that's genuinely downright evil, and it's so gruesome and terrifying that the film just becomes a gorefest.
I can't count how many times I've seen films try to balance it out. Horror with elements of light-hearted humor. It always comes out cheesy and campy. ALWAYS. Not since Evil Dead (the original) has a film balanced the two so well. That's what made the original Evil Dead so memorable in the horror community. Yes, it was truly terrifying at the time, but Bruce Campbell was such a badass that it was also very entertaining.
Well, Adam Wingard has done that. You can tell this new wave of horror directors just seem to get it. James Wan gets it. Adam Wingard gets it. Ti West (who stars in this as the daughters boyfriend
) gets it. Alexandre Aja and Adam Green sometimes get it, Elite Roth wishes he got it.
The movie starts off as a straight-forward slasher, but slowly unwinds into a fun, twist-filled film. Sure, some of the twists you can see coming, but it doesn't make them any less rewarding to the audience.
It's not perfect, and the script isn't the best at times, but there weren't any glaring performances that stuck out in my mind where it irritated me. If The Purge only could have delivered like this had,
. It's a bit of The Strangers, a bit of Night of the Living Dead, and a bit Alien. I don't want to spoil the elements that each film contributes to You're Next, but the best thing I can say about the film is that it feels fresh. It's not that films have never tried this before, it's just that they've never succeeded at this level.
I've also seen quite a few other films that I don't think I've talked much about, and I'll just mention a few.
Kick-*** 2: It really didn't hold the charm it did a few years ago, and although Jim Carrey was really cool to see in a hard-R film, it didn't quite get the feeling of the first film. On top of that, tried to adapt Hit Girl and Kick-*** into the real world into high school was downright annoying. They could've skipped those scenes completely for all I care. 5/10
We're the Millers: It actually wasn't too bad. It's your typical Jason Sudeikis acting like Jason Sudeikis film. The cast all really meshed well together, and it was the kids Kenny and Casey that really put it all together. Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn were the cherries on top to a really fun road trip that they took us on. And I'll never look at tampons the same ever again (tampins
Elysium: I already mentioned this one before, but it seemed like no one saw it. It's a different take on District 9. It has pretty much the same tone, and it sets up a great world/universe, but it's just a little too short. Everything happens far too quickly, and they set up a world where robots can basically extinguish any threat, but after two or three are killed, there's virtually no more robots on Elysium OR Earth. What the hell? The final few scenes play out too garish for me, and they tried to make it a straight film, but it didn't work too well.