This week Twitter selected the film You’re Next, winning against The Messengers with a pre-Twilight Kristen Stewart, and beating out Netflix’s new creepy feature I am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House. Netflix did have me intrigued, so I watched that one too! It was delightfully creepy, but definitely slow compared to the adrenaline punch to the face that is You’re Next.
From the minute the film begins, it appears that someone is watching. A terrifying voyeur is near and lurking in the shadows, soon claiming the first victims in cutesy animal masks no less. Leave it to horror films to turn something adorable into something deadly.
We soon meet a stuffy family attempting a reunion in their rather large home. It’s clear immediately that they don’t get along and they’ve been distant for years. In fact, they seem more like strangers than family. At the centre of the reunion we meet their son Crispian who decides to bring his new girlfriend, Erin, home to meet the family. She’s not welcomed very warmly, even Crispian’s mother sends her away to the neighbours to fetch something she needs for dinner (and I say fetch because it sounded like more of a demand then a request).
As Erin walks towards the neighbours home, the film begins to Feel a lot like Funny Games. We already know the neighbours are dead, some masked intruders murdered them in the very first scene, so of course no one answers when Erin knocks on the door. The first victims are just pawns in a larger scheme that we find out about later on.
Back at the house dinner begins and it’s even more awkward as a fight breaks out between brothers, mainly because Drake insult’s Crispian and Erin’s relationship. There is a heavy cloud of jealousy between siblings and the arguments escalate to the point that no one notices when one of the sister’s boyfriends is shot with an arrow. It is Erin who first notices the pieces of glass along the floor and soon the entire family sees that the boyfriend is dead. Arrows begin flying in through the dining room window, one hitting Drake right in his back. They all panic and forget to hide, which had me howling with laughter. I just keep screaming LEAVE THE ROOM !!! But it takes them awhile to move their butts.
Once out of the dining room, the hilarity continues as siblings argue over who the fastest runner is, the argument is beyond ridiculous when the prize is essentially running blind while killers lurk outside. Anywho, the sister that just lost her boyfriend only moments ago wins the opportunity to run for a car and get help, problem is…yep, you guessed it…the killers anticipated someone running right out the front door, which would be too easy now wouldn’t it? So little sis sprints right into a metal wire that slashes her throat, her speed is what made the slice so deadly, and add another victim to the pile.
Completely grief stricken, their mother heads upstairs to lie down as the others work on a plan. Drake still has an arrow in his back and takes drugs until he no longer feels it. He hilariously has it lodged in his back for awhile in the film. He still manages to do quite a bit with an arrow through his back, he’s quite the fighter and I like his jerk/hero qualities. In his drugged out, forgetful state, he pulls out the arrow when it snags on something, this results in him fainting and disappearing from the film.
With all this madness, Erin is the only one thinking clearly, checking that doors and windows are locked and trying to send an emergency text while gathering weapons. A scream is heard upstairs and mother dearest is slain because according to the horror formula, if you spilt up, you’re dead…or in this case NEXT. The gruesome scene doesn’t faze Erin, instead you can feel the adrenaline pumping through her. Another masked killer tries to grab Erin through a window and she stabs him in the face. She’s badass and by this point I’m so in love with her character!
Freaking out, one sister runs out of the house and right to her dead neighbours house, not that she knows that, because she’s screaming at a dead, asking him to open the door. As she does that, a masked man sneaks up behind her and punches her right through a window. A this point I’m like…what are these guys? MMA killer thieves? This whole film is starting to feel like intense Home Alone! She’s thrown through a lot more glass after that and then gets and axe to the head by a sheep, that’s one sleep sheep that deals in eternal sleep. Yikes!
The next one to head out is Crispian, he swears to return with help. While he’s gone Erin prepares more weapons and traps (making the Home Alone comparison even stronger). While Erin is prepping another masked man attacks, but she takes him down violently, terrifying Felix and his girlfriend. She seems unfazed by the violence, maybe it’s adrenaline and her survival instincts kicking in to give her ninja-like agility. Either way, I start to like this girl more and more!
Now even before this point, I’m already piecing things together, it’s a little predictable that one of the brothers be behind all this since the family doesn’t get along and they stand to gain a fortune if their entire family just vanishes! So when Felix reveals himself after watching his father be murdered by his hired assassins, I’m not at all surprised. This is when things really start to get messy since they didn’t really know Erin was so good at killing. Now Felix and his Mia Wallace wannabe girlfriend are out to get her so that she can no longer disrupt the plan, but Erin is much too clever and once she learns the truth she sets more traps for the remaining killers and the remaining sibling, she basically wants to Kevin McCallister them, but truly, he’s got nothing on Erin!
The final showdown is in the kitchen when Erin is forced to fight Felix and his girlfriend for her life. She does not only defeat them, she takes a blending into the family to a whole other level! Sheesh! Just when you think it’s over, Felix’s phone rings. Erin grabs it off his corpse only to hear Crispian’s voice ask “is it done?” dun dun dun…saw that coming too. It was definitely not a one person job.
Returning home, Crispian hopes to find Felix, but what he finds is a final showdown between him and his girlfriend, who now knows everything. He tries to apologize, telling her she was meant to survive as a witness and urges her to think of all the money. He even jokes that “he had no idea she would be so good at killing people.” He professes his love and moves towards her, but she stabs him in the throat, without mercy. She is then shot by a cop, because from his angle, it definitely looks like she’s the killer. She doesn’t die, but the cop is sure in for a surprise when he decides to go through the front door.
Bottom line? Erin is by far the best final girl I’ve seen in a long time! Loved her and how the film adheres to the horror formula with humour sprinkled throughout. I would put it right up there with Cabin in the Woods, which means it’s re-watch worthy. I might even make it a yearly tradition 😉
I give this film 4 out of 5 zombies!
While it delivered the thrills of classic horror, it was still more predictable than I would have liked.
See you next week on Twitter for the next PZ Poll where you vote it and I review it! Have an awesome weekend Zombabes!