Sunday, August 25, 2013

You're Next

"You're Next" offers something of a nice challenge for the would-be amateur loser blogger film critic.  The first half of the film is painfully standard home invasion slasher affair, starring unlikable people, and never approaching true horror.  The second half is more of the same, only with many more people dead, and now a cast of the dumbest and least threatening villains to appear in a slasher movie since Matthew Lilliard was one of the psychokillers in "Scream".  However, at that point, the directing is so inept, the scares so lacking that we might as well be riding unicycles in a happy circus, that the film becomes hilarious.  To the point that the final confrontation isn't so much a desperate struggle of the Final Girl to beat the invincible great white shark in a mask that is the killer, as much as a very awkward and comically brilliant conversation.

Obviously, "You're Next" is not good horror movie, as it is never scary and its attempts at horror basically boil down to a few jump scares and funny masks.  One gets the sense that "You're Next" might even be approaching ripping-off a 2008 home invasion film starring Liv Tyler, also featuring impossibly ninja villains in funny animal masks, called "The Strangers".  Which I recall was a movie with a decent pace of suspense, only lacking a certain kind of reality.  Such as... three jackasses in masks, no matter how ninja-tastic, are not going to be able to beat off anybody, no matter how dumb with a shotgun, but we're getting off task.  "You're Next" is much more of a slasher, pulling together an entire family into a single big house in order to kill them off one by one.  Only, even by the gore-fest standards of a slasher movie, which is essentially sitting waiting to see in what slapstick way Jason Vorhees will kill these two teenagers screwing in a tent (maybe use that harpoon he got earlier in the movie?), "You're Next" is lame as well.  The villains aren't scary - they're actually borderline "Home Alone" slapstick victims, the kills lack any creativity aside from one notable one featuring a blender towards the end, and the heroine is too strong.  Then maybe its a survival movie featuring an Australian chick?  Then why are so many people getting cut to pieces.

See?  Here's my quandary.  "You're Next" isn't scary enough, it isn't gory enough, it only gets really funny towards the end, and most of it is approaching unwatchable.  It even has vague pretensions of real drama, casting a bitterly unhappy family as its victims instead of the usual fair of horny dipshit Jason-bait.  The humor is built up so subtlety that I wasn't even sure it was intentional until the conclusion.  So can I recommend a movie just on the strength of a beautifully hilarious final scene?  I dunno, maybe I can.  Its no "Conjuring", but it doesn't really fit into any of my pre-established biased categories, and I'm enough of a hipster to be impressed by that.


  1. I was wondering what your thoughts were on The Wonderful 101, since you didn't comment on it in your E3 post.

    Y'know, that game with the 100 superheroes who combine into weapons for each other to use. And it has big aliens that were inspired by Japanese monster movies.

    1. I don't own a WiiU, and I still don't really want one. Wonderful 101 looks like a fine arcade-style game, but its not really my speed. I was never into Pikmin, and this looks just like that.