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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

BLOOD: REVIEW - 'You're Next' got siege horror right

Bowie V. Ibarrra

What 'The Purge' did wrong, 'You're Next' did right.  While 'Purge' was fun for concept alone, hamstrung by a poor plot and inciting incident, 'You're Next' hit on all cylinders in the great home-invasion horror.

Without spoiling the movie, the story begins with the Davidson family having a family reunion at an out-of-the-way home in the woods.  As the bourgeois family engages in the 'family dinner at the table', a sibling rivalry is again ignited at the table.  But while the brothers are squabbling, a masked team of killers makes a move on the family with murderous results.  And the fun begins as the masked killers lay siege to the house.

The movie hits all the great hot buttons for horror fans.  Lots of blood, lots of cruelty, lots of scrappy survivors trying to make it out alive for proper viewer catharsis.  The build up, swerves, and reveals are outstanding.  And the finish is great, and even a little hilarious.

You could see the influence of some of the classics of horror (including 'Night of the Living Dead' and 'Friday the 13th').  But the movie also seemed to have been inspired by the simplicity of such movies as 'Saw'.  The movie pretty much is shot in two locations, with some shots on the road, so you know the budget was small for maximum payout.  That 'KIS' formula for horror has been the best way to play it, and this movie seemed to have followed that low front-end/high-payout strategy.  Many of the kills were very basic, but they saved enough for the big finish to make it all worth it.  And this flick has a super strong finish.

Did it 'revitalize the genre'?  I don't know if I'd go that far.  Including some of the themes Americans have to face as part of the plotline was fun.  Naturally, the swerve near the end was great.

But it is a well-constructed siege horror/home invasion horror movie that stands out from the rest, and resonates yet again with the subconscious fear of the bourgeois that their money and status will not protect or prepare them from ruthless assaults from the proletariat. 

In a way, the movie became a metaphor for the debt and money struggles even the rich face, the credit and debt that is the gift of the well-off comes to roost, and even the rich are reduced to the struggles of the middle class in dealing with debt.

'What the f*** are you talking about, Bowie?"  Well, check out the film and you'll get where I'm coming from.

'You're Next' is a great flick fueled by a solid story and great performances from the actors.  It is completely approved.

And speaking of great horror, check out a great horror novel, 'Big Cat', currently available in Kindle today.

BOWIE V. IBARRA is the author of the 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press and Simon and Schuster.  He earned a BFA in Acting and an MA in Theatre History from Texas State University.  Network with Bowie at his official website,

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