You’re Next (2011)

(On Cable TV, August 2014) I’m not much of a slasher/home-invasion horror fan, but You’re Next is a fine, well-executed example of the form.  Working from a familiar let’s-kill-all-characters-until-only-one-survives template, writer Simon Barrett and director Adam Wingard wring competent thrills out of the proceedings, and deliver a story that’s more interesting than the usual psycho-killer standby.  Sharni Vinson makes for a capable last-girl heroine that anchors the film by going beyond the damsel-in-distress archetype.  You’re Next cleverly makes use of its limited budget by taking place in one location with a limited (and dwindling) number of characters.  Interestingly enough, the film keeps the more extreme gore under control until well into the third act –alas, the last few deaths feel as gratuitous as they are sadistic.  Still, the rest is a knowing example of the genre, crafted well enough to remain interesting even for those who are not horror movie fans.  It’s single-mindedly dedicated to entertainment for the audience, and that’s what makes it worthwhile.

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