A family reunion turns bloody awful in You’re Next

by Mark Burger

In You’re Next (*), the members of a dysfunctional family reunite for a weekend at their big country manor in the middle of nowhere. What follows in this horror of a movie is the expected grand-scale slaughter, with masked maniacs lurking outside and laying siege to the house and its inhabitants.

The implements employed here include crossbows, meat tenderizers, garroting wire, the obligatory axe and the trusty machete, and in one instance a kitchen blender. Even as the bodies start falling, the characters continue to argue amongst themselves, but with each gruesome murder at least the film is a little closer to the end, which can’t come fast enough.

The generally unimpressive cast includes original Re-Animator screen queen Barbara Crampton (looking terrific, by the way) and filmmakers Ti West, Joe Swanberg and Larry Fessenden, all of whom bite the dust early on. Some of the other actors seem to be playing dead long before their characters do.

The film bears some similarity to the recent hit The Purge (but was made first) and features a Big Twist midway through that any semi-attentive viewer should be able to predict fairly quickly.

Although predominantly lousy, there are a few — very few — items of worth: A cool score that, at its best, recalls the work of Tangerine Dream, and the lead performance of Sharni Wilson as Erin the heroine. The character grew up in a survivalist camp, with is certainly convenient given the dilemma she finds herself in. Even when covered in gore, Wilson radiates a semblance of intelligence and charm. She’ll go on to bigger, and certainly better, things.

LOG ONTO — click on the “Flicks” section. Then go to “What’s Showing”