If you’ve ever been robbed, you know how unnerving it can be.
You walk in the door, and while it doesn’t immediately dawn on you, something feels wrong.
Your favorite lamp is tipped over, the shattered bulb strewn across the blue carpet. All of your drawers hang precariously open, your clothes lying in a messier-than-normal pile on the floor.
It’s a violating feeling, or at least it was for me back when I was robbed in the early 2000’s.
Ever since then, the thought of a home invasion has frightened me.
I mean, being robbed is bad enough on its own – I can’t imagine how scary it would’ve been if I had been there while they went through my underwear.
That’s why I found Adam Wingard’s home-invasion film “You’re Next” especially eerie.
The story begins with a classic dysfunctional family reunion at a lovely, rustic vacation home.
Soon after a dinner table argument between brothers Drake (Joe Swanberg) and Crispian (A.J. Bowen), the carnage and butchery begins.
Tariq (Ti West), the youngest sibling’s boyfriend, looks out the window and promptly gets a crossbow bolt in the middle of his forehead.
Chaos, guts, blood, carnage, gore and nonsensical butchery ensue.
But in “You’re Next,” there’s more. Wingard doesn’t rely solely on the shock factor to make the film.
Yes, there’s plenty of death-by-machete and death-by-screwdriver. But on top of all that madness, Wingard adds twists that are both surprising and believable.
Even in the last few minutes of the film, I kept gasping as I learned more and more about these mysterious home invaders.
And, surprisingly, the characters are also thoughtful.
Erin (Sharni Vinson), Crispian’s good-looking, Australian girlfriend, carries the show with her savvy brutality.
In most horror movies I end up screaming at the screen something like, “Pick up the damn weapon!” or “Why would you go down there, idiot?!”
But Erin kept my angry shouts, grunts and exasperated exhalations to a minimum.
Within minutes of Tariq’s death, she’s not in the corner whimpering. Instead, she takes charge, and, boy, does she do it well.
Not only does Erin end up killing two of her assailants (one with a blender), she also successfully sets up dangerous “Home Alone”- style traps.
And by the end of the movie, it’s almost as if she’s the menace.
But like all horror movies, “You’re Next” is far from perfect, and quite frankly, sometimes I was left saying “Yeah, right.”
Like when the invaders somehow jam everyone’s cell phone, or when Erin jumps through a second-story window, falls into the glass and is somehow still able to hobble away.
But apart from that, “You’re Next” is good fun.
So invite some friends, turn off the lights and get ready for a thrilling, bloody, scary movie.
Oh, and don’t forget to lock the door.