Back in May, Film Crit Hulk wrote a really great piece on why movie reviews are weird (also on why Iron Man Three is unconventionally good, but that’s less relevant to our goals here). In it he describes how, in many cases, a movie review puts the reader at a disadvantage because they haven’t actually seen the film. He argues that the best way to see a movie is to go in blind – knowing as little as possible – and allow the film itself to unfold before you, rather than being a recap of what you’ve already seen in the half dozen trailers and TV spots that have been released months prior to opening night. I wholeheartedly agree with this, and would encourage anyone who is willing to delay gratification to avoid as much of the pre-release marketing as possible as well as waiting until after you’ve seen the movie in question to read my reviews. That said, I do acknowledge that many people have a desire to get the gist of what a movie has to offer before offering up $10 and two hours of their life. For that reason, I attempt to write most of my reviews in a way that gives a sense of the film’s appeal without getting into too many plot specifics beyond the initial set up. Obviously, this doesn’t always work, and sometimes I have to dive into more detailed examinations of the story. In those cases, I’ll throw a spoiler warning up at the top of the page, and hope that you don’t just go ahead and read it prior to watching the movie.
Today, though, I’m drawing a line. You’re Next is a very good movie that anyone who enjoys horror movies even a little bit should go out and see. It’s also a movie that NEEDS to be experienced with as little prior knowledge as possible. Because of this I will not be reviewing the film, but I want to give it my unreserved recommendation. It is a slasher film that whole-heartedly embraces the tropes of the genre without falling victim to the rampant stupidity that so many entries suffer from. The film is full of great characters that are actually worth caring about and it masterfully switches between big laughs, tense scenes, and wince-inducing moments of violence. This is a movie that mixes and matches tones without losing the impact of any one of them.
You’re Next is, quite simply, a great time at the movies. It does have a bit of a rocky start, but don’t let that fool you. The film finds its footing quickly, after which point it is endlessly rewarding. I’d love to say more, but that would be a disservice to the brilliant way the filmmakers allow things to play out on screen.
The World’s End is also opening this weekend, and through I haven’t seen it yet, every indication points to it being excellent. It’s because of this that I can’t easily recommend You’re Next as the one movie you see this weekend, but if there’s any way you can pull together the time/money to see two movies, make sure that You’re Next is one of them. This is a film that needs to be seen with a crowd; I saw it at an early screening about a week ago and it brought the proverbial house down. The summer of 2013 has been a bit lackluster overall, but thanks to The Conjuring and now You’re Next, it has been very good for horror films. Go see this movie with the biggest audience you can find, then come back so we can talk about how great it is.