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Movie review: 'You're Next' serves up effective horror scares

Published August 22, 2013 7:04 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The old home-invasion horror scenario gets some new life in "You're Next," which delivers genuine shocks along with the bloodshed.

Paul (Rob Moran) and Aubrey (Barbara Crampton) have gathered their four adult children — Felix (Nicholas Tucci), Crispian (AJ Bowen), Drake (Joe Swanberg) and Aimee (Amy Seimetz) — and their significant others for a 35th-anniversary dinner at their isolated mansion. As they sit down to dinner, killers in animal masks attack the house, first with a crossbow and later with machetes and other bloody implements. As the family members panic, Crispian's Aussie girlfriend, Erin (Sharni Vinson), reveals some mad survival skills and may prove to be the only person who can stop the assault.

Director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett, who were among the collaborators on the "V/H/S" horror anthologies, parcel out the gross-out moments carefully at first, building up the bump-in-the-night surprises without drenching the whole enterprise in fake blood. They also give Vinson (last seen in the lead in the dance extravaganza "Step Up 3D") one of the meatiest female roles in recent horror history.

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'You're Next'

Opens Friday, Aug. 23, at theaters everywhere; rated R for strong bloody violence, language and some sexuality/nudity; 96 minutes.