Friday, August 23, 2013

You're Next

Let’s get one issue out of the box, right off the bat, I will admit, I like horror, especially good horror. I will also admit, right of the bat, I don’t like bad horror. Now to clear up another expected misconception, I review film, I hardly endorse it. Some people think I endorse film simply because I review it, wrong! This view irritates me to the max. So, now that I have that off my chest, let me start, a new release I expect to do incredibly well on opening weekend is the release of the new slasher film, You’re Next. I went out with some friends for the advance because it was available to see. I didn’t expect much from the trailers, didn’t really want to see this movie as I am not generally a fan of slasher films but I decided to go anyway. What did I get? Exactly what I expected.

You’re Next starts off with a couple engaging in some rather explicit love making, my inward thoughts, (maybe I said something out loud to my friend Robert who was with me) was; their dead! Don’t they know Rule #1 in all horror movies? No Sex! Now to give you fair and advance warning, there is virtually no way to do a review of this film without giving some spoilers, I will try my best not to do it, but be forewarned. Now, back to Rule #1, opening sequence, involves sex, seemingly for no other reason than to show the sex, by the way, like I said, everyone should know Rule #1 prior to being someplace where there is creepy music (not the soundtrack it was actually quite nice hearing long time favorite Dwight Twilley) but the soundtrack, situation, back in the woods away from everyone else, well, remember Rule #1.

Shortly thereafter we are introduced to a rather strange and large family. We see a mom and dad driving back into the countryside to their seasonal home. While the home is large and isolated they are going there to celebrate 35 years of marriage. There have been some psychological issues but things are looking up for the wife. During the first couple of days there are a few strange occurrences in the house but all the children arrive along with boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives. The family is together and like many families there is conflict and sibling rivalry. Mom and Dad don’t care though; they feel blessed that the family is back together. They sit down for dinner, complete as a family with guests on the first night they are all together. They pray over the meal they are about to eat in an apparent sincere way. One of the boyfriends notices something outside, goes to look and during the midst of an argument between two brothers he is shot through the head with an arrow from a crossbow. Immediately the onslaught starts and a blood fest takes place over the next 90 minutes or so. What happens on screen next may be enough to garnish the favor and awards from film festivals and patrons but I just didn’t enjoy it.

You’re Next is a low budget film and it shows, from the sound to the direction, to the very predictable plot I
wasn’t impressed. The acting at times is okay and the exception is Sharni Vinson the Australian actress who plays the part of the heroine, Erin. She is exceptional at playing a believable heroine who as a strong woman who caries the load not only within the plot of the movie, but in many ways, for the movie itself. Oh yeah I did enjoy the Dwight Twilly songs in the soundtrack even though I heard them, over, and over, and over.

There are themes in You’re Next that I think worthy of discussion, including how it seems that many in our society have a lackluster perspective of the family. While sibling rivalries are to be expected, one has to wonder, has the family unit gone the way of the dinosaur? We see presented here, a mother and father who have gone through some difficulty, from the actions and attitudes of their children one wonders of the contribution the children may have played in the ultimate downfall of this family. Families in general, now don’t sit around the table, don’t play, they compete, fall apart and out of love with each other. While there are evil people involved in this story, the real tragedy is rooted in the lack of and inability of this family to legitimately love and care for each other. It is unfortunately more about the individual than it is the family unit. There is no respect for the parents and what they have gone through in life. While many of the patrons in the half way filled auditorium I saw this film in laughed throughout the movie, I didn’t, I found the movie poorly made but also sad in its themes. Is this what we have come to? Is there no hope for loving families anymore?

For me, outside of the good job done, and the strong female themes played out particularly by Sharni Vinson, I found this movie to be a waste of time and money. While the themes regarding the breakdown of the family are worthy of discussion, I can’t help but wonder, could the family, especially the mother and father, have done a better job at teaching their children about a relationship with God as opposed to just knowing of God? I wondered are we as a society doing any better today. Do we run the risks presented here, not of a bunch of killers with masks killing us off one by one, but instead, of us as families growing a part day by day. There are lessons here not just for the family unit but also this thing called church, which often refers to itself, as a family. It is here, in the not knowing, loving, and sharing in life together that I wonder, are we all experiencing the potential horrors represented in You’re Next?

Due to not really enjoying myself at all, seeing a movie where the themes and plots have been done far better many times before, I unfortunately give this movie a rather distasteful review. On a scale of 1 – 10 for the things three things they were lacking in life, The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I give a very disheartening 3

To see the trailer for the film just click on the video posted below, if the video doesn’t appear, click on the link:

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