The Gratuitous B-Movie Column 9.30.13: Issue #275: You’re Next (2011)
Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz on 09.30.2013
The 6th Annual October Slasher Movie Celebration gets underway with a look at You’re Next, plus two TV Quick Hits, two new batches of Things to Watch Out For This Week, a new B-Movie Babe is named, a new Douchebag of the Week is crowned, and more. Check it out.
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #275: You're Next (2011)
The 6th Annual The Gratuitous B-Movie Column October Slasher Movie Celebration: Week 1
Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that has never been thrown into a pit to fight it out with a mutant dog, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number two hundred and seventy-five, The 6th Annual The Gratuitous B-Movie Column October Slasher Movie Celebration begins with a review of the slasher flick You're Next, which may still be playing in a movie theatre near you.
You're Next (2011)
You're Next, directed by Adam Wingard, is one of those rare slasher movies that features a team of masked killers as opposed to just one killer. The movie stars Sharni Vinson as Erin, an uber hot college student who is on a sort of holiday with her unemployed college professor boyfriend Crispian (AJ Bowen). The holiday in question is Crispian's parents' wedding anniversary, and all of Crispian's family will be there at the family's secluded house out in the middle of nowhere. Crispian is a little uneasy about getting together with everyone, especially his father Paul (Rob Moran) and most of his siblings. Erin, though, is relatively calm about the whole get together, so maybe the weekend won't be as stressful as expected.
So the entire family finally arrives and the arguing and sniping quickly begins. The big family dinner, beautifully prepared by mother Aubrey (the great Barbara Crampton), almost explodes into a massive argument over Crispian's career (if that didn't happen, I bet someone would have started a massive argument over the definition of "underground filmmaker"), but then Tariq (Ti West), the boyfriend of youngest daughter Aimee (Amy Seimetz) gets up from the table to look at something outside and gets shot in the head with a crossbow bolt. Suddenly, the house is under attack, with bolts flying through windows, glass shattering everywhere, and panic filling the house. The only one who doesn't panic is Erin, who is amazingly calm considering the violence all around her. She gets her boyfriend's family away from the windows and into a central location so they can figure out what they need to do next. Just what the heck is going on? Who is attacking the house? And why?
I don't want to say any more as the movie does contain a few nifty surprises. If you pay attention to the story you'll probably be able to figure out what's really going on before all is revealed. I managed to figure out half of it before everything came out. The half I didn't figure out isn't as surprising in retrospect, but it makes complete sense, and that's outstanding. I'll put it to you this way: I now completely understand why Kyle Smith of The New York Post gave You're Next a good review.
The killers, people decked out in black clothing and white animal masks (Lamb, Tiger, and Fox, played by L.C. Holt, screenwriter Simon Barrett, and Lane Hughes), are actually kind of scary right up until we find out who they are. The movie doesn't lose any of its edge when we find out this information, but the movie does shift from being a straight up team slasher movie to something else. What surprised me most about the movie is its general lack of gore and inventive kills. The movie is bloody, yes, but it's not like Wingard made a Hatchet sequel. The killings are brutal and nasty, but the camera doesn't linger on the aftermath. The movie is more concerned with creating an overall sense of dread and ratcheting up the suspense. Now, if I was an important, mainstream movie reviewer I would go on and on about how great it is that the movie isn't chock full of gore and that it's somehow better/"more artistic" to focus on suspense instead of bloody carnage. Since I'm not one of those mainstream reviewers I'm not going to say anything remotely like that. What I will say is that Wingard does a great job with the suspense and manages to make you squirm because of it. That's always hard to do, and it's always fun to see it done well. Good job Wingard!
The opening sequence, where we see the masked killers take out a man and a woman in a house just down the road from Crispian's house, is fun, but I probably wouldn't have included it. I probably would have kept the people in that house alive and then killed them later on in the movie. It's not like they would have heard the screams and panic from Crispian's house right in the middle of the attack. Or I would have had the killers living in that house. The opening sequence doesn't destroy the movie or anything, but I would have tried to make it count a little more than it does.
The dysfunctional family dynamic never really leaves the movie, which is a big plus. Even in the middle of the carnage the family is still going at one another. How often do you see that kind of thing in a horror movie (or, really, any kind of movie)? Do you think there are deleted scenes out there where we get to see more of the family squabbling?
Sharni Vinson does a great job carrying the movie from the beginning. She clearly knows how to kick ass and look good doing it. I'm amazed that she was allowed to keep her Australian accent. AJ Bowen is a bit of a douchebag as Crispian, but you sort of feel sorry for him because it's obvious that his economic future is questionable. It's also weird how Erin is into him, but then there are women out there that enjoy hanging out with wimpy intellectuals, I haven't met any myself but I know they are out there.
Rob Moran does a great job as the father Paul, and it's absolutely fabulous to see Barbara Crampton back on the big screen. She does an outstanding job. And Amy Seimetz is just adorable as Aimee. You'll definitely cringe at what happens to her after the house is attacked.
And then there's Ti West, Joe Swanberg, and Larry Fessenden, movie directors doing the acting thing. Amazing stuff, especially when it comes to West. How he doesn't explode with laughter as soon as the camera fixes on him I'll never know. And Fessenden gets to appear with the lovely Kate Lyn Sheil, which is just wonderful (well, most of it is wonderful to look at. Sheil, walking around the house in just a dress shirt... yeah). Swanberg is hilarious as Drake, the douchiest sibling in Crispian's family. If his character doesn't appear on a T-shirt at some point in the next decade there's something seriously wrong with the horror movie merchandise community.
The movie's ending leaves open the possibility of a sequel (and I'd imagine that there will be a sequel at some point as the movie has made some money), but I don't quite know how a sequel will work. Will it be a direct continuation of You're Next? Will the sequel involve a new cast? Will we get a sort of reboot? I can't wait to find out what happens next.
If You're Next is still playing at a theatre near you and you haven't already seen it, make an effort to see it as soon as you can. It's worth the effort. And when it eventually hits home video make sure you check it out then, too. Again, it's well worth it.
See You're Next. See it, see it, see it.
So what do we have here?
Explosions: None. It's not that kind of movie.
Nudity?: There's some.
Doobage: Rough sex, a very nice open shirt, music, orange juice, machete attack, floor sweeping, teeth cleaning, MMA on TV, gum chewing, dish washing, picture taking, bra removal, praying, a family argument, arrow through the head, arrow to the back, slow motion running followed by massive throat slitting, window breaking, knife through the wrist, machete through the forehead, face punching, axe to the head like someone is swinging a croquet mallet, several disabled cars, water boiling, ball kicking, a brutal beat down, some serious head smashing, a bottle of urine, more massive throat slitting, screwdriver to the back, multiple stab wounds, window jumping, glass shard to the knee, very gross glass shard removal, nail through the foot, palm thrust to the throat, knife jammed into the forehead, light bulb smashing, log to the face, blender to the head, knife to the top of the head, knife to the neck, knife to the eye, and then an off screen axe to the head.
Kim Richards?: None.
Gratuitous: Very unsatisfying rough sex, orange juice, Larry Fessenden, Barbara Crampton, Rob Moran, a 35th wedding anniversary family dinner, MMA on TV, a hot chick with an Australian accent, Ti West, a massive family argument, multiple arrow attack, multiple knife attacks, axe to the head like a croquet mallet, massive throat slitting, attempted window barricades, a nail booby trap, blender to the head, an axe booby trap, and an off-screen axe to the head.
Best lines: "Oh, it looks like Erik Harson is home," "That's funny. It's open," "Did you ever see kangaroos fight?," "Don't miss my wife," "Do you have any vicodin?," "What is an underground film festival?," "Crispian! What? We're having a dinner here," "What the fuck is that?," "Stop yelling at me, Kelly!," "I've never seen you act this way before," "Why would anybody do this?," "Anyone know this guy?," "Really, you had to do that right in front of me?," "Will you just die already? This is hard for me," "What a fucking disaster!," "Fuck me next to your dead Mom," and "It's not even hot you dumb bitch!"
Next week: Smiley
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Things to Watch Out For This Week: Part 1
- This is the End: I missed this summer comedy when it was in theatres, but everything I've heard about it has been good, so that's, well, good. Hopefully it will be easier to catch on home video than when it was in theatres. And it was in theatres twice, so that's how hard it was to see for me.
- Frozen Ground: Nicolas Cage and John Cusack star in this apparently low budget thriller, which looks decent enough to make an effort to see. It did have a brief run in theatres, although I believe it was one of those "major cities only" deals. You'd think a movie starring Cage and Cusack, the stars of the great Con Air, would warrant a major, wide release. What the heck happened there?
- Fright Night 2: New Blood: This is a direct-to-video sequel of the Fright Night remake, or it's a direct-to-video reboot of the remake, or something like that. It obviously doesn't look as polished as the remake, but then what direct-to-video movie does? Easily worth a rental.
- Hallow's Eve: This lowish budget slasher type horror flick looks pretty good (check out that nasty face make-up on the scarred girl. When was the last time you saw something like that in a movie trailer?). The great Danielle Harris and Tiffany Shepis are both in it, so there's that to look forward to, too. If only this movie came out a few weeks ago. It would have likely been a part of the 6th Annual Slasher Movie Celebration. There's always next year, I guess.
- Abandoned Mine: I'm always a little suspicious of direct-to-video genre movies rated PG-13, but this looks better than expected. Will kids want to see it because of Alex Vega? Is she that big of a draw at the moment?
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Theme of the Week
TV Quick Hits
- Mom thoughts: This new Chuck Lorre CBS sitcom has potential, but at the moment it doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. On one hand, it's a bawdy sitcom not unlike Lorre's other CBS offerings Two and a Half Men and Mike and Molly (The Big Bang Theory isn't as, for the lack of a better word, "dirty" as the other two movies). On the other hand, it seems to want to deal with dark, serious themes like alcohol addiction, drug abuse, parental neglect, and teen girls having their own children in a somewhat serious manner. There's a real negativity hovering over everything on this show. That kind of thing, handled the right way, can work (Louie wouldn't work without it). The show needs to find its balance, and it needs to find it quickly because I'm not sure people are going to want to watch a sitcom that's also incredibly depressing in a bad way.
Anna Farris is good as the show's main character Christy, and she has great chemistry with Allison Janey, who plays her former drug addict mother Bonnie. You can see the electricity move between them as soon as they share the screen together. But when the show moves away from their relationship and we observe Christy working at the restaurant or dealing with her obnoxious kids and her dumbass ex-husband, the show isn't as funny. It's just sort of okay. Mom can't afford to be "just okay."
I'd like to see the ex-husband back the moron down a bit and be a little more normal. I know men are terrible and awful and whatnot, but does every ex-husband have to be a slacker asshole? And what's the deal with the show's music? The classical music sound, at least at the moment, just doesn't work. It just adds to the overall feeling of depression for the show.
I'll keep watching for a few more episodes, just to see where the show goes. I hope the show succeeds. Allison Janey needs a steady job. Mr. Sunshine isn't coming back, and that's a damn shame.
- Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. thoughts: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., easily the most anticipated new show of the fall 2013 TV season, isn't a great show, at least not yet. It's a good show with tons of potential that could have a nice, long life as long as it doesn't get stupid. It would be nice, too, if it wasn't as tied into Marvel's cinematic universe, because odds are good that absolutely none of the Avengers are going to appear at any point, and that's a big problem if you're going to constantly reference them. What's the point of having them in the background if they're not going to show up at some point?
Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson also has to stop smiling all of the time. I know that the show is meant to be fun and kind of ridiculous and that it's part of the Marvel way to have everyone admit that what they're all doing is ridiculous, but having Caulson smiling and cracking jokes all of the time makes him look weird. He's meant to be the team leader. He should act like it.
I'm also not sold on Brett Dalton as the show's lead spy Grant Ward. Dalton is an okay actor, but Marvel and Disney should have found someone a little older, a little more seasoned for the part. A guy like Scott Foley would have been ideal. I'll try to keep an open mind on Dalton going forward, but at the moment I'm just not "with him." Ming-Na is pretty awesome, though.
I'm onboard going forward, but it'll be interesting to see how many people show up for episode two. Will the audience remain steady, or will it drop off dramatically? We'll know Wednesday morning.
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Babe of the Week: Sharni Vinson
And, of course, because she's in You're Next, the great Barbara Crampton...
Things to Watch Out For This Week: Part 2
- 100 Bloody Acres: This low budget Australian horror comedy looks both hilarious and disturbing, which is what you want most of the time in a horror comedy. I'm shocked that it hasn't already been remade. It has that "automatic remake" feel about it. Anyone out there see this?
- Cold War: This looks like yet another badass Hong Kong action flick, something that is always welcome. I do wish, though, that these movies got a little more play on American TV. What's the point of having premium cable movie channels "devoted" to action movies if those channels don't seek out and air action movies? It just doesn't make any sense.
- Dead Before Dawn: The great Christopher Lloyd appears in this low budget zombie comedy flick, which is apparently going for more of a supernatural zombie thing as opposed to a "super virus made in a government lab" thing. The trailer is hilarious. I bet this could have made money theatrically if given half a chance.
- The Phoenix Rises: This low budget sci-fi action flick almost sounds like Michael Crichton's anti-global warming novel State of Fear without the skepticism, but I could be wrong about that. The trailer is action packed, which is always a good sign. That muscle woman is scary. Terrifying, even. Can't wait to eventually check it out.
- Beast: A Monster Among Men: The fine folks at Brain Damage Films are behind this low budget werewolf movie (I'm going to assume that it's a werewolf movie. It could be some other kind of monster for all I know). I like that there's a bit of mystery involved in the scary stuff that's at the heart of the movie. Just what the heck happened? Just what the heck is going on here?
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week
This week, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week goes to Republican Senator and professional ultra right wing lunatic Ted Cruz, for refusing to admit that his recent 21 hour sort of filibuster is part of his laying the groundwork for a potential Presidential campaign in 2016. The U.S. Senator from Texas claims that everything he does is just part of his senate duties, which he is "focusing on 100%."
Ludicrous. Senator Cruz wants to be President. He also thinks he can win. George W. Bush won one national election, so why can't Teddy Cruz? Who cares if he's an arrogant jagoff and a fucking loonbag? That can work in his favor. It worked for George Bush.
Ted Cruz is just awful. Awful, awful, awful.
Up next is Douchebag Hall of Famer Cal Thomas, for claiming that President Obama is engaging in some sort of extortion scheme in the ongoing Obamacare debate with Congress. You can read Cal's op-ed about this here. If you don't vomit immediately after reading it you're stronger than me. Because it's just so much bullshit. Is President Obama threatening to shut down the government unless they pass a spending bill? Is the President threatening to do anything outside of vetoing the latest rightwing bullshit that isn't going to get through the Senate anyway? The President isn't doing anything. Congress is. Congress is the one issuing all of the threats. Congress, which is run by Cal's right wing Republican buddies, is the one engaging in extortion.
Cal, just listen: the Affordable Care Act is law. The President was re-elected. Stop threatening to shut it all down if you don't get what you want. It's pathetic.
And finally there's Lifetime, for cancelling Army Wives after seven seasons. The show, the longest running original show in Lifetime's history, won't get a final season to wrap everything up, but it will get a two hour special at some point in 2014 that will honor the legacy of the show. Fuck that shit. If you're going to give the show a two hour special documentary, why not do a two hour movie instead? I think the fans of the show would rather see that than some retrospective bullshit. I know that's what I would rather see.
And what the hell is Lifetime going to replace Army Wives with? Some horrendous reality show? And how long do we have before Lifetime announces that it's also cancelling Drop Dead Diva?
NASCAR and Indycar thoughts
You knew it was eventually going to happen. You just knew that Jimmie Johnson was going to win a Chase race. If he didn't win at Chicagoland or New Hampshire he was probably going to win at Dover, where until yesterday's race he had won 7 times. Johnson now has 8 wins at Dover, and the only thing that was going to deny him his first 2013 Chase win was some sort of massive parts failure. He wasn't going to be passed on the track (pole sitter Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had one chance to get by Johnson and he couldn't get it done) and he wasn't going to make a mistake in the pits. And he sure as heck wasn't going to be passed on a restart, not after what happened at the spring Dover race. Matt Kenseth finished third and led some laps, but even he wasn't going to be able to take on Johnson. The #48 was that strong.
I was surprised at how long the race went under green. There were several debris cautions (what the heck was the deal with everyone losing spring rubbers?) but there weren't any massive wrecks. With how slick the track was and with the different tire strategies at the end there probably should have been several cars into the wall. Maybe Goodyear has a better tire now for Dover?
5 Hour Energy announced that it was going to stay with Michael Waltrip Racing and Clint Bowyer, so there will be at least two MWR cars on the track next year. Martin Truex's future with the team is still up in the air, as MWR, at least as far as we know, doesn't have a major sponsor lined up to replace the departing Napa. There's a chance that Truex could go to the #78, and if Napa decides to go with Truex to the Colorado based team maybe Furniture Row could start up a second team, which is what that team needs to become an even bigger threat on the track.
I didn't get to see the Nationwide race at Dover (Joey Logano apparently dominated the race) or the Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas (Timothy Peters won), so I have no idea if those races were any good. Kansas is up next for the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, with Nationwide racing on Saturday and Cup on Sunday. I'll probably be able to watch the Cup race on Sunday. ESPN will have both races live.
Over in Indycar, it looks like there will definitely be a race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course next May and that Tony Kanaan will be moving over to Chip Ganassi's team in 2014. The Indy road race isn't that surprising, since the series and just about all of the owners were essentially behind the idea as soon as it was floated out to the world (road racing is what they're all about, after all). I'm not too keen on having the race right before practice and qualifying for the 500, but then I doubt the race would generate much of a crowd without the help of 500 hype. The speedway is expected to make several "improvements" to the road course layout to help with passing, but I doubt any "improvements" will actually help anything. And where the hell are the speedway and the series getting the money to make these "improvements?"
The Kanaan move is a bit of a surprise, as I didn't think Ganassi was all that keen on running a fourth car again without major sponsorship. I'm going to have to assume that Ganassi found a major sponsor for Kanaan because Kanaan said several times in the media that he didn't want to go to a team and have to bring money with him (that's why he talked to the Gibbs NASCAR operation). KV Racing, the team Kanaan currently drives for, claimed that it had found enough sponsorship so Kanaan didn't have to bring any, but I guess that sponsorship package, whatever it was, wasn't as lucrative as Ganassi's offer. So what happens to KV Racing now with Kanaan? Does Simona De Silvestro become the top driver for the team, or will Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser find someone else? Perhaps Oriol Servia?
Go Daddy apparently told Andretti Autosport that it won't be back as a full time player in 2014, meaning James Hinchcliffe could be out of a ride for 2014. Hinch could probably find some major Canadian sponsorship, but what are the odds of that happening on a scale equal to Go Daddy?
Izod is leaving as the series title sponsor after the 2013 season. Indycar hasn't announced a replacement title sponsor, although Verizon is allegedly interested (Robin Miller has said that several times). I wouldn't be surprised if the series doesn't have a title sponsor again until 2015, when everything is supposed to get better. No one seems to be all that excited about 2014 at the moment.
The Indycar series is finally back in action this weekend with a double race weekend in Houston on a street course near Reliant Park. NBC Sports will carry both races live. Texas Motor Speedway will be back in 2014, but may not be back in 2015 if the Indycar series decides to race at the new Circuit of the Americas road course in Texas. Yep. Champ Car version 2!
Well, I think that'll be about it for this issue. B-movies rule, always remember that.
If there's anything you want to see reviewed here in this column, feel free to offer a comment below or send me an e-mail. I'm always on the lookout for new stuff to watch.
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Sharni Vinson- Erin AJ Bowen- Crispian Nicholas Tucci- Felix Wendy Glenn- Zee Joe Swanberg- Drake Sarah Myers- Kelly Amy Seimetz- Aimee Ti West- Tariq Rob Moran- Paul Barbara Crampton- Aubrey L.C. Holt- Lamb Mask Simon Barrett- Tiger Mask Lane Hughes- Fox Mask Larry Fessenden- Erik Harson Kate Lyn Sheil- Talia
Directed by Adam Wingard Screenplay by Simon Barrett
Distributed by Lionsgate
Rated R for strong bloody violence, language and some sexuality/nudity Runtime- 94 minutes