‘You’re Next’ poised as new indie crossover hit

Sharni Vinson proves oddly capable at keeping cool and finding solutions.
Sharni Vinson proves oddly capable at keeping cool and finding solutions.

The indie horror scene has so far been content to stay indie, with DIY filmmakers cutting their teeth on cheapie anthology films that wanted little more than to scare up a couple bucks on VOD. “You’re Next,” from established director Adam Wingard and screenwriter Simon Barrett, premiered at festivals two years ago, and has sat on shelves since, waiting to be released as a mainstream viral sensation. But it has the feel of coming from filmmakers who’ve honed their chops. Among its expendable cast are horror filmmaker Ti West (“House of the Devil”) and Joe Swanberg (“Hannah Takes the Stairs”), and it’s poised as operating somewhere between the two: low-rent retro horror but with a mumblecore streak.

The mix is better than that, which is to say that it’s not a balance. There’s just enough formal playfulness and clever, offhand chatter to loosen up the genre, but the goods are still delievered. It’s an old fashioned home invasion thriller, where a massive gathering of a well-off family takes place in the kind of enormous, rural manse that attracts scary intruders with white fox masks. After baddies pepper a dinner with crossbow shots, mom (Barbara Crampton, “Re-Animator”) cowers and dad (Rob Moran) bugs out. But the one son’s Aussie girlfriend (Sharni Vinson) proves oddly capable at keeping cool and finding solutions — or at least gorily felling villains with kitchen utensils.

The tone — comic yet horrific — gains a lot from the indie aesthetics, although it’s nothing approaching a complete overhaul of the genre. Swanberg’s acerbic, pompous son — who enthusiastically informs West’s budding filmmaker that the best filmmaking he sees these days is with commercials — is little more than the stock comic relief, albeit an actually amusing one, who gets wounded with an arrow in the back far earlier than expected. The comedy isn’t merely verbal, but a detached, bemused tenor that isn’t above delighting in its stars’ horrible deaths.

Wingard and Barrett know enough about the horror form that they can gently toy with it while satiating viewer needs. They know how to plant elements, such as a booby trap, then wait long enough for the viewers to nearly forget them, at which point they instigate a nice payoff. By the end they appear to be going for the kind of amusingly cynical worldview as seen in the likes of Mario Bava’s “Twitch of the Death Nerve” — but they know better. More specifically, they know they want a tidy crossover hit.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Easter Egg hunt horror as skydiver plummets to…

A FAMILY Easter egg hunt ended in horror when a skydiver plummeted to his death in a New York garden after his parachute failed to…

News

Boston Marathon 2014 on high alert, Red Sox…

One year on from the horrific Boston Marathon bombings a ring of steel has been thrown around today's race, and a city stands defiant against…

News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.