US 2013, 95m, Lionsgate/HanWay
Blu-Ray: Lionsgate (UK), Cert 18
Mr & Mrs Davison invite their grown children and respective partners to a wedding anniversary celebration at their country mansion. However, a gang of masked killers are intent on spoiling the party, and only one of the guests seems to have the know-how to deal with them...
Following an opening which grabs you immediately, the first half an hour is actually quite talky, as we are introduced to the family and their various partners. Just as it feels like we're entering one of those domestic comedy-dramas, where dysfunctional families talk about their issues over a very long weekend, things thankfully kick-off, the body count starts to rise and we're on a very enjoyable ride.
As the crossbow-armed killers go on the attack, resourceful heroine Erin (Sharni Vinson) utilises a veritable arsenal of makeshift weapons, including some interesting items from the kitchen utensil drawer, notably a meat tenderiser (surprisingly underused in slasher flicks, in my opinion). There's also some creative use of a blender, and her skill at quickly knocking together anti-intruder devices would put The A-Team to shame.
I can't emphasise enough what a top class lead Sharni Vinson is. She carries herself brilliantly, has a great screen presence and kicks serious butt. The studio execs could do a lot worse than fashion a horror franchise around this gal. Maybe they could call the sequel You're Second? (You can pay me for the title later, guys.)
The supporting cast are all healthily into the spirit of the film, making for a comically unlikeable bunch. Look out for Ti West (director of House Of The Devil) as a documentary maker, as well as a welcome appearance from Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, From Beyond) as Mrs Davison.
If you fancy a good old fashioned slasher, with some slightly over the top kills, plenty of sick laughs and just the right amount of twists and turns, You're Next is excellent value for money. Why it took Lionsgate almost two years to release it after securing the distribution rights is baffling.
Original Theatrical Trailer: