Movie Reviews: You're Next

For the past two years Lionsgate has kept Adam Wingard's You're Next gathering dust on its shelves. The studio picked it up at the Toronto Film Festival, where it was screened at the festival's Midnight Madness sidebar. (Toronto Star film critic Peter Howell wrote at the time that it satisfies the expectations of Midnight Madness gore hounds - and then it happily goes about exceeding those expectations.) Lionsgate reportedly paid just under $2 million for the U.S. and Canadian distribution rights. The film itself reportedly cost less than $1 million to produce. So, given those circumstances -- and the fact that it is, after all, a horror film, a genre rarely embraced by critics -- one would have expected it to be released at last without a screening for critics and with little promotion. That has turned out to be not the case. Indeed, the reviews have turned out to be overwhelmingly positive. Janet Catsoulis in the New York Times writes that the plot by Simon Barrett checks the genre boxes while still surprising us. Kyle Smith in the New York Post writes that during the opening sequences he felt that he was watching an utterly routine horror flick. But he soon realized that the director was just drawing in his audience. The initial expectation of stupidity makes the cleverness to follow stand out, he comments. And Robert Abele in the Los Angeles Times remarks that the film offers the right combination of yuks, yikes and yecchs. On the other hand, Scott Bowles in USA Today says that the actual combination is stab, scream, repeat. And Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News maintains that the movie tries, somewhat valiantly, to add new twists to the usual bloody horror-flick shenanigans. But aside from a few fresh chords, it's same-old, same-old.



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