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  Movie Review

You're Next

By John Mulderig
Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Brutal bloodletting submerges the initially promising premise of the horror exercise "You're Next" (Lionsgate).

This latest addition to the home invasion subgenre finds a quartet of quarrelsome adult siblings -- Felix (Nicholas Tucci), Crispian (AJ Bowen), Drake (Joe Swanberg) and Aimee (Amy Seimetz) -- gathered at the isolated country home of their affluent parents, Paul (Rob Moran) and Aubrey (Barbara Crampton) Davison. Accompanied by their significant others -- most prominently Crispian's new girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson) -- the bickering brothers and spoiled sister are there to celebrate Mom and Dad's wedding anniversary.

Family dissent becomes the least of the Davisons' worries, however, when the whole ensemble suddenly comes under terrifying attack by a group of masked, crossbow-toting assassins. With their cell phones jammed, and booby traps making escape seem as dangerous as remaining in place, it looks as though they'll be picked off one by one.

What the attackers have failed to reckon on, though, is that Erin was raised in unusual circumstances, a background that equips her to offer them fearsomely creative resistance.

With this setup in place, director Adam Wingard might have shown audiences how a disparate group and a dysfunctional clan could be drawn together by the peril of their extreme situation. Or he might have focused on Erin's efforts to maintain her humanity as she skillfully foiled the violent onslaught.

Instead, he revels in ever more hideous death-dealing on both sides, inviting viewers to grow giddy on the spectacle. Assaults by ax, meat tenderizer and even the blades of a blender leave blood on the floor -- and all respect for human life in the dust.

The film contains pervasive gruesome violence, including torture and mutilation, brief graphic sexual activity, upper female nudity, a perversion theme, premarital and nonmarital situations and much rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

- - -

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

END


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