Long wait for best of this scream fest

Im­proves as its cast dies, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

You’re Next. NASTY lit­tle slasher film that starts poorly, You’re Next gets bet­ter once most of the cast has been butchered.

The thriller, the ob­ject of a bid­ding war made the rounds of film fes­ti­vals, sat on the shelf for a while and fi­nally opens in Aus­tralia to­day.

You’re Next stars in­die film fig­ures Joe Swan­berg and Ti West as two at­ten­dees at a party where four sib­lings and their sig­nif­i­cant oth­ers are cel­e­brat­ing their par­ents’ 35th wed­ding an­niver­sary.

Most tol­er­a­ble among this largely an­noy­ing crew are Crispian (AJ Bowen), a col­lege pro­fes­sor, and his Aus­tralian girl­friend Erin (Aus­tralian ac­tress Sharni Vin­son), but that’s not pay­ing the two very high praise.

The ir­ri­ta­tion fac­tor grows sub­stan­tially af­ter the first slay­ing at this re­mote Tu­dor man­sion, when half the fe­male cast seems to be com­pet­ing to shriek the long­est.

An un­known num­ber of men, wear­ing an­i­mal masks and wield­ing cross­bows (why not guns?), are stalk­ing the fam­ily from with­out and within the house; since di­rec­tor Adam Win­gard and screen­writer Si­mon Bar­rett have given them­selves so many char­ac­ters to kill, they start off with a few quick killings in which the vic­tims are be­hav­ing so stupidly they’re prac­ti­cally ask­ing to die.

Most frus­trat­ing dur­ing the film’s first half is that only one among the 10 char­ac­ters, Erin, has any­thing ap­proach­ing a self-preser­va­tion instinct. While oth­ers scream or stand around dumbly, she hus­tles off to lock win­dows and gather weapons.

While the mask-wear­ing vil­lains have a hard time de­liv­er­ing the kind of novel slay­ings hor­ror fans de­mand, Vin­son (whose blood­cur­dling screams re­call those from Jamie Lee Cur­tis in 1978’s Hal­loween) musters the fe­roc­ity to com­pen­sate – the mo­ment she meat-ten­derises an at­tacker’s skull, the movie starts to turn fun.

In the ab­sence of sym­pa­thetic char­ac­ters, a lit­tle hu­mour would have gone a long way but aside from a near-miss sex scene in a bed shared by a corpse, there’s none on hand.

Only when the rea­sons for the at­tack be­come clear does the film find its feet, but You’re Next ends on a high-enough note that buzz on the way out of the cin­ema should work in its favour.

You’re Next opens to­day.

Aus­tralian ac­tress Sharni Vin­son stars in nasty lit­tle Amer­i­can slasher film

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