Alright, I admit it. This movie was better than I thought it would be. It’s just that it didn’t really get that good until the last half hour. The first hour and twenty minutes is just filled with screaming, and it’s coming from people who aren’t even that likable. For a while, this movie seems like your average home invasion movie. But, as the body count rises the tension grows, and the movie becomes more entertaining for one reason: the heroine kicks ass.
It’s true, I judged a book by its cover here. Even when I saw the preview for this movie, I immediately felt like I did not like the family who was being attacked, and assumed they would make one stupid mistake after another, leaving me unimpressed. You’re Next truly just seemed like 2011’s version of The Strangers. Home invasion movies are not my thing, because I spend the whole movie rolling my eyes and telling the characters who cannot hear me on the screen what they should have done.
The opening scenes of this movie had me feeling like my old habits would begin again, and that I’d be cursing my friends who recommended this movie to me: somewhat voraciously I might add. For crying out loud, the movie begins with an incredibly uncomfortable sex scene. I’m not squeamish, but I do not approve. After this we have several minutes of our main character’s boyfriend’s family, who all treat he and his girlfriend like crap. Already I was ready to see Crispin’s (beau of the protagonist) oldest brother get thrown off a cliff, or wadded into a ball and shot into the sun. Everyone in this family just seemed spoiled and judgmental. Then the killings begin with several effective crossbow shots coming at the family at the dinner table, or as they try to run out the front door. This is where the screaming starts. There is so much screaming. When the female characters die, it’s a real blessing. I don’t think I’d have made it much longer if I had had to listen to them react to the horrific images they were being exposed to. And, if you’re not very good at guessing the twists in movies you will probably like this movie a lot more than I. For the rest of us, well, you will know what’s coming, just like I did. You may just have to guess about what direction the twist is coming from.
Luckily, the story really starts to pick up once we find out Erin (Vinson) is a total BA who was raised in a “survivalist compound”. This makes her incredibly hard to kill, and lots of fun to watch. Boyfriend Crispin leaves her at the house to go drive for help, which turns out to be a big mistake because she is really good at not dying. (SPOILER: alright, I’ll just say it. Boyfriend is in cahoots with the killers to get his parent’s inheritance. C’mon, this movie is three years old and getting that out there makes it a lot easier for me to talk about this). From this point forward, the movie becomes “in what elaborate way will Erin befuddle her attackers?” It’s like a rated R Home Alone. Axes fall from doorways, and planks full of nails are laying in wait. This part of the movie was truly enjoyable. Although, the killers become progressively stupider as the story goes on. Had they just stayed outside and shot everyone with their crossbows, it would have been easy for them. Instead they start falling for what are even obvious traps, and walk toward the flashing light in the room like big dumb moths flapping toward a big dumb bugzapper. Our heroine was smart. Why did they need to dumb down the villains? and the last two kills were just absurd. I’m here to tell you, if you jam a busted blender on someone’s head and turn it on, it will NOT scramble their brains around/kill them. Those little baby blades and wee tiny motor are not powerful enough for that. I guess the director thought his viewers would also get progressively stupider. One final warning, a sort of Night of the Living Dead ending is coming.
So, though not without its problems, this movie was alright. I like some girl power every now and again, and those animal masks were sufficiently discomforting. The song that kept playing was also damn catchy, and over all the film was clean from a technical aspect. As far as human on human murder flicks go, I’d say this one ranks somewhere in the upper half for sure. (bonus points for having a character named Crispin).