The horror movie where a group of people are trapped and under siege is nothing new.  You're Next could have been just the latest in this tradition (not to mention the attackers being masked), but this horror movie adds something fairly new: a would-be victim who can fight back.
The Davison family --three sons, one daughter -- is getting together to celebrate their parents' 35th wedding anniversary.  They meet up at the parents' giant, fairly isolated house (there is a house close by, but since the movies opens with those folks getting killed, the isolation factor is maintained) for dinner and conversation.  Crispian Davsion (AJ Bowen) gets the most grief from his relatives, whether teasing from his big brother Jake (Joe Swanberg) or disappointed comments from his father Paul (Rob Moran).  Crispian also brought Erin (Sharni Vinson), his Australian girlfriend, to meet the family.  (Everyone else brought a date or spouse too.)
The family dinner is interrupted in the worst way possible: by crossbow bolts.  Three people wearing animal masks lay siege to the Davison house, using a crossbow, machete, and ax to kill everyone they can.  (And, of course, one of them is inside.)  But it turns out that Erin is good at everything from survival to making booby traps to killing, and soon the victims start turning the tables on the attackers.  But the Davisons weren't chosen at random...
You're Next works quite well as a simple variant of the slasher flick.  There are plenty of nods to horror movie cliches (frequent slow motion, synthesizer music that feels like it came out of the 1980s, slow camera shots that drift closer, the "shock" ending) but they're done well enough that the movie doesn't feel cheap or derivative.  The actors don't have much to do besides scream and run (except for Vinson, who gets to be a kick-ass take-charge hero) but there are plenty of scares (with a decent amount of gore) and twists to keep You're Next entertaining -- and pretty nerve-wracking from start to end.

Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch

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