Now I had the unabashed, joyful pleasure to interview Barbara Crampton last year about her work with Stuart Gordon in the 80s (some of my favourite of the genre) and the restarting of her career with Lords of Salem and You're Next.
You can HEAR that EXCLUSIVE interview HERE.
Sadly she was cut out of Lords of Salem but, thankfully, she remained very much in You're Next. So, of course, I was going to see it. It could've been a torture porn remake featuring a fast zombie falling love with a drippy teen made in the grindhouse style and I still would've been there with bells on. Barbara Crampton's return to our cinemas needed to be seen and supported. No question.
Well I couldn't be happier to report that, firstly, You're Next is none of the above and, secondly, it is a resounding success.
An entertaining, independently spirited, horror, comedy, action film that, although obviously has lots of familiar genre staple moments, is, thankfully, not knowing, winking, referencing or particularly derivative of any one thing.
The acting and direction are assured, the gore effects pleasingly devoid of CGI, the humour comes from a very real human place not a silly, contrived place and the tension is satisfyingly maintained throughout.
The best praise I can give this film is that it is just solid, decent, well made entertainment, the kind we so rarely get to see and, while none of it is exactly, what you could call, a huge surprise, to the initiated, I still had a tremendously good time with the film. I laughed out loud, I jumped, I felt nervous and was, on occasion, sufficiently creeped out.
I love that. So cool when a film can achieve that.
The cast, across the board, are great in their roles with stand out mentions going to Barbara Crampton, of course, Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen and a tour de force from Sharni Vinson as the kick ass heroine ready to fight back.
The score and soundtrack, especially in the second half, is a sheer delight and was evocative of Goblin or Carpenter in just the right way.
Apart from one scene of heightened panic the camera did not veer into amateurish shaky cam, thank goodness and, in fact, I loved the way the film was directed, shot and edited. It has definitely made me want to check out Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett's other work and keep a close eye on what they do in the future. There's not a lot of flourishes or showing off, just strong, simple, clear direction. Fantastic job.
I can't urge people enough to go and see this in the theatre.
A lot of talk is thrown around these days about how horror fans need to support new, independent horror and quit their complaining that there is nothing new and good out there.
Well, seemingly, what horror fans actually end up doing, sadly, is throwing hard earned cash at remakes and then attacking anyone who says they don't want to see them because we shouldn't "pre-judge".
Justify it how you like but you are throwing money at marketing companies who make a tenth rate, weak sauce, copy of a previous classic, with no care or understanding as to what made the original so charming and ingenious, slap the same name on it, throw it into cinemas and sit back to watch the coin come rolling in.
One of the trailers before You're Next was the Carrie remake and oh dear oh dear oh dear that looks to be one of the most insipid, uninspired, pathetic looking, unoriginal and beige remakes yet. I think Carrie and Evil Dead are vying for the top spot of most redundant and pointless remake of 2013. The kicker is that, in the Carrie trailer, they even show, in slow-mo no less, the pigs blood at the prom scene and it's 'we-want-a-lower-rating-please' black. Sludgy, boring black.
Imagine my absolute sheer, fan boy, delight then when You're Next starts and the blood is thick, gooey, vibrant RED! YES! Hallelujah! YES!
So, please, GO SEE THIS FILM. NOW. Go and enjoy. This is what entertainment looks like. This is what new, independent, horror worth supporting looks like. Go out there, watch it and spread the word. Please. If the Carrie remake makes more than You're Next and if you bypass You're Next in the theatre but go and see Carrie, I don't care your excuse, you are a very very bad person and you should be utterly ashamed.
8.5 out of 10