Student review: ‘You’re Next’ something new with curveball experience

Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, who first collaborated on the Indie horror film “A Horrible Way to Die,” come together once again to gift us with “You’re Next.” A well-crafted gem that gracefully walks the fine line between classic homage and slasher flick, it is sure to surpass any prior stereotypes you may have about this film.

Wingard’s admirable directing skills breathe life into this exciting and continuously fast-paced film, while Barrett’s splendidly dark humor packs just the right punch that the script needs to take off.

The picture begins with the seemingly random murder of an insignificant couple who live a great distance from town.

The movie surrounds the “perfect” Davidson family. Paul (Rob Moran) and Aubrey (Barbara Crampton) Davidson welcome their four children, along with their significant others, to stay the weekend at their rather large vacation home in — of course — the country, to celebrate their 35th anniversary. The mansion “coincidently” lies next door to the house of the previously murdered couple.

The film does not take long to shed light on the dysfunctional qualities of the Davidson family. Drake (Joe Swanberg) is the arrogant eldest child whose brown-nosing can, at times, be truly cringeworthy. Aimee (Amy Seimetz) is a somewhat simple minded daddy’s girl, while Felix (Nicholas Tucci) is the punk-rock baby of the family. Last, but certainly not least, middle child Crispin (AJ Bowen) is joined by his former teaching-assistant girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson), who just so happens to be carrying around a substantial little secret.

As the family sits down at the dinner table, small talk quickly turns into a heated feud between Crispin and Paul. They have little time to argue before Tariq (Ti West), Aimee’s boyfriend, is shot smack between the eyes with a sharp metal arrow. Chaos breaks as the family is attacked by ferocious men masked as woodland creatures, forcing them to fight for their lives.

Through it all, there is a fascinating silver lining for the Davidson family by the virtue of Erin, who is hiding a few valuable secrets up her Australian sleeves.

To tell you more than this, though, would give away all of the intrigue. I’ll let you sit back and enjoy the ride.

Though the acting can be lackluster at times, I was not disappointed by Vinson’s portrayal of Erin. Think of every futile heroine you have ever despised while watching a menial horror movie and know you will get the exact opposite with Vinson’s performance. Her portrayal makes the film much more gratifying. It was exciting not having to yell obscenities at the screen, but rather words of encouragement, because I finally had someone worth rooting for.

Barrett’s script develops a refreshingly different heroine and executes Erin’s character with impressive precision — something that horror films haven’t seen in quite a while.

“You’re Next” makes for an overall enjoyable movie experience that will throw so many curveball surprises in your face, you won’t be able to help but leave the theater with your mouth agape.