Lambs to the Slaughter – ★★★½
You’re Next premiered at TIFF back in 2011, so what the hell has taken so long? Well Lionsgate bought it in Toronto but then merged with Summit Entertainment. As both studios had Twilight and The Hunger Games scheduled for release between them You’re Next had to take a back seat for a while. So here we are in the autumn of 2013 with it finally making an appearance on our screens. With a good mix of gore and suspense it should please the vast majority of horror fans.
The Davison family are all coming together for the first time in years at their parents house, in the middle of nowhere of course. The film opens with an unknown man and women being murdered, the reason for which is explained much later and does a good job of throwing you off the scent. Mom and Dad come early to get the house ready and we realise they may not be alone in their country mansion. When the family assemble it’s clear there isn’t much love lost between the siblings. When boyfriend to daughter Aimee gets an arrow in the head it brings a quick halt to the bickering and the family must move in to survival mode.
Over the next 90 minutes (note: the perfect horror movie length) Fox, Lamb and Tiger Mask proceed to terrorise the family with the main aim of wiping them off the face of the earth. You’re Next is a very gruesome affair with deaths coming thick and fast, with the main weapons of choice being axes and knives you know what to expect. There is however a very clever death involving a blender. Director Adam Wingard knows his craft and suitably ramps up the tension throughout with a healthy amount of jumps. The story is predictable and you’ll most likely figure it out before the reveal.
The star of the piece is Sharni Vinson who people will recognise as Cassie Turner from Home and Away. Here she plays Erin, girlfriend to family member Crispian and when the shit hits the fan it’s clear she isn’t just a piece of arm candy. Having been raised by a slightly unhinged father in the art of self survival the film suddenly turns into a gory version of Home Alone.
The tone of the piece is split between humour and serious and if it had stuck closely to either one it could have been a classic of the genre. Instead it switches between violent axe to the head and comedy deaths seeming like it didn’t have the courage of its convictions. A worthy outing for horror fans being more of a homage than breaking any moulds.
Released nationwide across Ireland on August 28th 2013