Adam Wingard’s “You’re Next” Slashes Up One Hell of a Good Time

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This Slasher Studios review comes all the way from the Netherlands as Ferdi Akkulak takes a stab at the critically acclaimed slasher “You’re Next”. Make sure to check out his video clips and subscribe to his Youtube Channel for more.

I have to be very honest, I didn’t know there was a movie called ‘You’re Next’ until I saw it on the release schedule in July. That probably proves that this was a pretty unknown movie by the time… When I did some research for this movie I found out this movie was made way back in 2011 and got picked up from a festival by Lionsgate but it took them two whole years to finally release this movie in theatres. That’s kind of weird… I think the distributor didn’t have much confidence in this movie and it sat on the shelf for an amount of time. In America the trailer got released on Youtube at the end of March 2013. While the distributor that would release the movie in Holland didn’t release the trailer on Youtube until July 1st… So I have seen the trailer for You’re Next multiple times on the big screen but also on Youtube, in my opinion the movie looks really promising especially as me being a slasher lover and this movie seems to be delivering the good stuff already based on the previews. The spooky atmosphere, the unknown but certainly not bad cast, the song in the trailer is very chilling and the terror really seems to be amazing! Definitely a movie to look out for and that’s just based on a trailer of 2 minutes.

The cast of You’re Next is pretty unknown to be although I do see one familiar face. Let’s start with her: Sharni Vinson, the Australian actress. Now I haven’t seen her in a single movie but I do recognize her by face. I do know that she starred in recent movies like Step Up 3D and Bait 3D (I really tried to see this movie on the big screen, but I failed). So yeah, but she is still the mostly known cast member of You’re Next. Cannot wait to see her in this movie and to see what her acting is like, from what I’ve read, her acting in other movies is pretty solid. Nicholas Tucci also stars in the movie but I don’t know this actor, at all! Next up is Wendy Glenn, she’s mostly known of starring in the horror movie ’11-11-11′ that I never got around to see but heard pretty bad things of. Further than that I don’t know this actress. Next up is A.J. Bowen, now this actor is kind of familiar in the horror/slasher genre as he has starred already in movies like: Creepshow III, The House of the Devil, Hatchet II and A Horrible Way To Die. None of those movies I have seen but glad to see a cast member with a lot of credibility. Next up is Joe Swanberg who has also starred in A Horrible Way To Die and Cabin Fever: Spring Fever. However he has recently directed, wrote and produced a movie called Drinking Buddies that stars Anna Kendrick and Olivia Wilde so that is pretty big! He also directed a segment in the horror anthology movie V/H/S. Next up is the older actress Barbara Crampton, again I don’t know this actress but she has a pretty nice slate of horror/slasher movies on her resume and was even considered a scream queen back in the days. She starred in 80’s movies like: Re-Animator, Chopping Mall, From Beyond and Puppet Master. All very well-received horror/slasher movies so it’s pretty awesome that she has experience with starring in these kind of movies! She also recently starred in The Lords of Salem. And finally last but not least is the well known horror director Ti West which actually has an acting role in You’re Next. That is pretty awesome and a nice move from a director to translate into an actor for one movie. He has as so far directed movies like: The Wicked, The Roost, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers (Really looking forward to see this movie, the trailer looks promising) and some segments of V/H/S and The ABCs of Death. He also has an acting part in Drinking Buddies which just shows how collaborate this cast is! Pretty cool!

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You’re Next is directed by indie director Adam Wingard (You’re Next features his first major and wide release in America so that is pretty amazing). He has previously directed horror movies like: A Horrible Way to Die and segments in V/H/S and V/H/S 2. As he really worked his way up in Hollywood over the last years and he really has experience with directing and casting horror movies I am pretty much pumped to see what the final result of You’re Next will become. This would be my first movie I would see directed by Adam. I heard so many positive things about his movie and ofcourse the inspirational story of someone who started with short films and mostly went low budget and indie and grew to direct these bigger horror/slasher feature films.

You’re Next is released by Lionsgate in America, a well known distributor that is mostly known for releasing the Saw franchise and The Hunger Games franchise. They picked this movie up two years ago. In my country Holland this movie gets released by Dutch FilmWorks, a well known Dutch distributor that has so far released some major movies but also some small indie movies. It should be in good hands with this distributor. The running time of the movie is 94 minutes, which is a decent running time for a horror/slasher movie. Longer than average but you can see that it could’ve been much longer. I don’t complain though, it might have some nice tricks up its sleeve and I am very excited for that to see. Wonder if there is some character development in the movie. You’re Next has a reported budget of under the $1 million although there is not an actual figure. Sources tell that the movie was actually made for under $1 million which is terrific and also very low budget! It has that kind of budget that the original Halloween and Friday the 13th had back in the days. This suggests that this movie is gonna be very profitable for Lionsgate! The movie was released in America just this past Friday on August 23rd 2013, box office prospects were pretty high for this movie but what it has grossed in its first 3 days of release is pretty disappointing, even considering its micro budget. It has so far grossed a paltry $7 million, it means that is may be already in the green and earned its money back but still one might thought this movie would’ve done so much better and more close to the numbers of recent horror movies: The Purge ($34 million, opening weekend) and The Conjuring ($41,8 million, opening weekend, now that I think of it, that would be highly unlikeable). But to read that it faced the worst opening of any horror movie in 2013 (even behind Dark Skies of earlier this year) is pretty depressing. I just hope this movie does better in the long run and might score a cult following. It is pretty uncertain what its chances are overseas, there are no numbers available yet… Reviews were certainly not the problem of why it underwhelmed during its debut, as of right now You’re Next has a Certified Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes of 80% Fresh which is pretty damn good! Far better reviews than lets say The Purge which earned so much more money. The consensus that most critics gave the movie in America was: ‘You’re Next’s energetic and effective mix of brutal gore and pitch black humor will please horror buffs and beyond.’. It’s good to see that most critics were impressed by this movie and just a small share thought it was bad. Praises were given to the performance of Sharni Vinson, the horror elements and the bloody death scenes. Also praise was given to its dark humor. In my country Holland You’re Next got released in theatres on August 22nd 2013 (A day earlier than in America, that totally rocks!). Reviews were pretty similar to the ones given in America, if not slightly more worse. What the quotes were that critics gave You’re Next: ‘The buzz was not there for nothing.’ ‘You’re Next blows new life into a milked out genre and that should be celebrated.’ ‘Adam Wingard has potential as a horror director.’ . There were also some negative reviews but I don’t bother to quote them as they are pretty much ridiculous and very complaining.

As a movie goer and horror/slasher buff I decided long before release that I would see You’re Next on opening and I did! I saw the movie on August 22nd 2013 (Attended the first showing of the day at a movie theatre in my city) and I of course went in with pretty high expectations! Did the movie live up to the hype? Me: Damn sure it did! Not only did I thought this movie was terrific, it is by far the best and smartest horror movie of 2013! Much better than recent horror movies like: Mama, Evil Dead and The Purge. Although The Conjuring is still not seen by me so maybe things can change. Anyway back to You’re Next! This movie has all the right ingredients that simply work with me: A good story, great cast, one hell of a bad-ass final girl that gives all the scream queens and final girls of the past a run for their money, great horror elements and jump scares, a lot of blood that is really noticeable in the awesome and original death scenes and most importantly pitch black humor that really goes great into the mix!

Some scenes might not be for the faint of heart (blender, anyone?) but the fighting back nature in this movie feels so original and an idea that has not been done in the past before. The characters however, I can’t say that I like them all as most come over as whining and complaining and definitely underdeveloped. However the one that stood out for me with her awesome axe was the bad-ass and incredibly beautiful and talented Sharni Vinson! She gives a performance that is so well put together that I am wondering why she doesn’t star in more horror movies. This was a very challenging role for her and knocked it out of the park in my opinion! What a talented actress and an incredible final girl! Not that it is some kind of spoiler but this was really the only girl of the family that actually fought back and that was just so awesome and inventive to see that happen. She proved that there aren’t just only those stereo type characters that only scream and run around. The rest of the cast, honestly for me they were just there. They didn’t do anything that made me love them or hate them even more. I don’t have my complaints, the acting was definitely a strong thing of You’re Next. Allthough the situation escalates quickly and a lot happens in so little time you do start to think it looks very realistic. The opening scene is really the only aspect of this movie that felt flat. It was so generic and not a genre bender but I see what the makers were trying to do with this opening scene, they tried to let the audience they have already seen this all before until they unleash the real terror. Also I have to say, this movie was fairly funny, I laughed a lot cause even when terror strikes, the movie still manages to score a laugh or two. That is really one of the best things going for You’re Next, besides all the blood and screams and terror there is some fun to mess around and make the audience laugh. It mixes so well with the overall movie, it’s amazing!

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I also have to note that You’re Next is ten times better than the disappointing movie of earlier this summer called The Purge, I just wished this movie was released before The Purge so it wouldn’t fell victim of having a bad taste from an earlier movie… The Purge seriously underwhelmed in my opinion. You’re Next proves to be the opposite! Cause the movie comes from the right people that knows how to bring horror and terror on the big screen unlike the director of The Purge who simply went for making another cash cow.

As a result, I really found myself enjoying You’re Next and I can highly recommend it to anyone to see it on the big screen! It has a great cast (amazing performance by Sharni Vinson), bloody death scenes that are extreme but also not so much, great atmosphere and suspense, a great 80’s vibe and soundtrack and the movie is full of twists and turns. The way I like it, it was definitely not all that predictable! This movie went where very few movies has gone before.

In my opinion the horror sensation of 2013 that is both terrifying and smart in a way that will wow general audiences and slasher fans alike, such a smart good old fashioned horror/slasher that succeeds in delivering the goods! And the ending is probably one of the best a horror movie could wish for! Just when you thought it was all over… Go see You’re Next! This movie is gonna have a cult following in the next few years, I can’t wait to experience that time period, I am so buying this movie when it comes on DVD, day one! And I am for sure seeing it a few more times on the big screen!

3.5