After doing a fair bit of Sunday housekeeping, I decided that, instead of doing the responsible thing and going to do my laundry at that Purgatory-of-the-Proletariat, the Laundromat, I'd treat myself to a matinee (cheap!) showing of "You're Next".
The movie is billed as a family fighting back while under attack in a cabin-in-the-woods by a bunch of random weirdos in animal masks. Reminds me of the last truly scary slasher movie I saw: "The Strangers". Sure, I'm game! (get it?!).
If you hate spoilers, STOP READING RIGHT NOW!
....still with me? Ok, here we go.
In one of the opening scenes, Crispian (A.J Bowen) talks to his girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson) about his parents who are former Defense contractors and says "are you sure you're ok having dinner with fascists?"
Fantastic. Another movie where those who don't support suicidal foreign policy are portrayed as heartless dictators...right? Wrong.
Crispian and Erin arrive at his parents "retirement project" cabin deep in the woods just as his mother, Aubrey, is crying in the driveway because she's convinced she heard someone upstairs. Crispian startles his father, Paul, as he's poking around upstairs with a walking stick.
Horror movies would have nothing to work with if the protagonists all owned guns and knew how to properly use them. Just something to think about. Also, why is it that Hollywood invariably only shows cops and bad guys in possession of anything more powerful than knives? Their vision for America truly is a horror show.
That night, Crispian and his girlfriend are cuddled up in bed together as he laments how his rich father is paying people to fix up the old house rather than taking his "retirement project" into his own hands.
The next day, the rest of the Davison clan comes to the cabin for the parents wedding anniversary. It's clear that there are some...stresses between the siblings. Golden boy brother Drake and his wife Amy have the looks and are the favorites of father Paul. Behind the scenes, they're having some issues of their own and are apparently pill poppers as Amy inexplicably has Vicodin in her purse. Drake pops a couple after his wife turns down his sexual advances.
Younger brother Felix shows up with his smoking (literally) girlfriend "Zee". Audrey clearly takes a distaste to the young lady but she dotes on her youngest son so, all is well.
Daugher/sister Aimee Davison comes to the cabin with her "underground filmmaker" boyfriend, Tariq.
The family sits down together at dinner and says grace (which Zee rolls her eyes at). In order to preserve his position as favorite son, Drake starts to inquisitorially pick apart, Tariq, Crispian, and Erin (a former student of Crispian's...he is a fairly unsuccessful, albeit published, academic/professor). In the middle of the tumult, an arrow flies through the window and kills Tariq.
As the family scuttles and scatters for cover, Drake takes an arrow in the shoulder.
At this point, Erin mysteriously exhibits a take charge attitude and starts boarding up the windows and showing a surprising amount of calm and levelheadedness.
She slowly but methodically kills the animal-masked attackers. They slowly but surely kill family members one by one.
It is revealed that Felix has hired these assailants to kill his family and secure their millions for his own. His girlfriend "Zee" is in on the plot and even seems to have a more pathological zest for it than he does (might it have been her idea?) She entreats him to have sex with her next to his dead mother's corpse. He demurs.
Erin has some revelations of her own.
She was raised by a prepper/survivalist father in the Australian Outback. Apparently her mother left him and brought her to the states when she was a teen, but the training evidently stuck. She kills all 3 (or is it 4?) masked assailants (by herself), learns of Felix's plot, and kills him and Zee. Though she is injured in the fight, she survives.
Crispian, who had earlier "escaped" under the auspices of going for help, returns. He was, in fact, in on the plot to have his family murdered, he just couldn't be there because he's "a pacifist who just can't handle the violence stuff". When Erin learns of this, she kills him too.
No sooner does Crispian's body hit the floor than a blundering policeman shoots the already seriously wounded young woman in the shoulder. She falls to the floor but still tries to prevent the cop from being killed by the booby-trap she set at the door. She fails and the movie rolls to credits (where it is implied Erin survived when a picture of her labeled "suspect?" flashes on screen).
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing "You're Next". There were twists from the usual too-much-blood soaked summer horror flicks, not a ton of unnecessary and gratuitous nudity, and a surprising number of limited government themes.
The "survivalist" saves the day (sort of...she survives, anyway), the anti-war, "anti-greed" academic gets the ax...erm...knife, and even the Libertarian "The Police Are Not Your Friends" theme makes an appearance.
It was refreshing, different, and worth seeing (if you have the stomach for this kind of thing).