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You're Next (AF)


Stars: Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Margaret Laney, Amy Seimetz, Ti West, Rob Moran, Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden, Kate Lyn Sheil, L.C. Holt, Lane Hughes, Simon Barrett, Calvin Lee Reeder

Director: Adam Wingard

Naturally, all horror film completists have to see this cornucopia of genre clichés simply in order to qualify as completists. Which is their bad luck, although at least they shouldn’t suffer quite as much as the luckless cast of mostly unknowns forced to go through their seen-it-all-before paces by director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett.

Ordinary filmgoers can take their chances although, given that You’re Next dates back to 2011 and, unlike wine, has not improved with age, a DVD player and a fast-forward button would be far more preferable.

Barrett’s screenplay misses few, if any, home invasion horrorflick clichés while Wingard underlines most of them with all the cinematic subtlety of a tap-dancing hippopotamus in a telephone box. The story is simple – family members gathered in a remote mansion to celebrate Rob Moran and Barbara Crampton’s 35th wedding anniversary are graphically slaughtered one by one by masked murderers…

Oh, I suppose I should credit Barrett for his variation on the most recent horror film cliché, the lack of a cellphone signal. Here the killers employ an electronic gadget that blanks out existing cellphone signals. (Which sounds a terrific gizmo: anyone who travels by bus in London would give a great deal of money to own one!)

Unfamiliar actors do what they have to do without knocking into the furniture and suffer accordingly, while Wingard creates competent-enough shocks and suspense without coming up with anything significantly new or interesting.

Alan Frank

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Lionsgate. Colour.
94 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 01 Sep 2013