Critics' Corner: You're Next

Filmed on location in Columbia, Mo., "Youâ??re Next" debuted in 2011 at the Toronto International Film Festival. Why it took almost 2-years to actually hit movie theaters is a mystery to me, but it finally has and you have a chance to see it for yourself. I guess sometimes when a movie is filmed outside of a studio on a low budget with virtually unknown actors, it takes time to convince people to invest in it enough to distribute it, but "Youâ??re Next" has just enough spice and ingenuity that it shouldnâ??t have taken so long.

The Davison family is reuniting for an anniversary getaway and as they all come together, they find that their home, the surrounding area and the neighbors home have already been inhabited by a group of unknown, masked attackers. At first the movie seems to be treading down pretty familiar roads, but the creators, Adam Wingard (director) and Simon Barrett (writer) have many tricks and twists up their sleeve.

The movie is a little slow getting going because it is introducing us to the personalities of each family member. This, by the end, proves to be well worth the patience because the personalities of each character turns out to be more than half of the fun of the movie. Then when the chaos begins, I was literally about to get up and walk out of the theater as the chaos is unnecessarily beefed up by a ridiculously shaky camera. I thought, "Weâ??re only 30-minutes in. If the rest of the movie is like this, I wonâ??t be able to take it." Fortunately, the moviemakers were wise enough to tone down the shaky camera and bring things back to reality, or a tolerable level of shakiness.

From that point on, "Youâ??re Next" is nothing but enjoyable to watch. The creators managed to find a number of things that have proven to be non-existent in todayâ??s horror/suspense movies; unpredictability, realism and creativity. The reality-show feel that the camera portrays, pays off as everything that happens seems to be real. The characters make logical and as to be expected decisions throughout. The movie then begins to do things that most horror movies donâ??t dare to; be spontaneous. Because of this, you never know what is to come next. The targets of the usual horror movie donâ??t just walk into death situations, they are reacting and the villains are forced to react to them.

"Youâ??re Next" is gruesome, violent, spontaneously funny at times and always a complete joy to watch. There are many times in the film that will have you chuckling at the humor or just chuckling at the sheer guts of the movie creators for actually letting the human decision making process unfold in its characters. This is certainly a horror movie that will be talked about for longer than its theatrical release.