Sunday, September 8, 2013

Your're Next (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway

You're  Next

Adam Wingard's bluntly deadpan "You're Next" is in fact, bluntly deadpan. The film, which is in the pop culture genre of Slasher movies, is about a bunch of monotone "one percenters " in sweater vests and khakis who come under a brutal attack.

While some of the lines are abstract and humorously dense, the situation  of WASPs struggling to survive doesn't come off with as much black humor  as one might expect.

One night in a beige McMansion, a conservative family gathers for dinner. Grace is given (of course) and then arguments fester. Much whining ensues. A filmmaker friend Tariq (Ti West) defends his creativity in a shouting match with the arrogant Drake (Joe Swanberg). Tariq goes to the window and gets an arrow in the head.

No one hears him until he spins on the floor dripping in blood.

The repast is suddenly a Hammacher Schlemmer Hellhouse with no one quite doing the right thing.

The sweatervesters bolt the doors and windows, but its as effective as a bandaid to an amputation.

One of the professorial guests make it out, while the unknown assailants toy with their prey. Erin, (Sharni Vinson) is a gutsy British girl who takes charge and holds it all together.

A mother falls to her death bed under a sea of gore, and the butchers  gradually come out of the windows and cupboards  donning woodland animal masks.

Erin gets out of one slippery pickle after another as she confronts  each humanoid member of Old McDonald's farm: a lamb, a wolf, a rabbit.

Eerily and with a sense of surreal danger, we realize that Erin---although driven by self preservation--- seems to enjoy killing and derives satisfaction from it. She stabs one Barnyard Boogeyman about twenty times.

This is probably the most subversive and  compelling element in "You're Next", even though it is not explored or analyzed fully.

There is some gallows humor when one Goth gloomy Gus says, "why don't you die? This is hard enough for me as it is!"  As he plunges six carpentry knives in the aghast victim. There is some odd fun with the flat dialogue and robotic delivery that each Caucasian character utters, and at times it might seem (almost) to be a "Friday the 13th" version of  "The Rocky Horror Picture Show".

Time will tell, I suppose.

For those expecting more, the Grand Guignol runs a bit thin and the much talked about twist is soupy rather than a hiccup worthy of Hitchcock.

Despite this anemia, "You're Next" is a suspenseful concept tale, driven in apprehension solely through the energy  of Sharni Vinson.

Snuff said.

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