You’re Next

Viewed – 15 February 2014  online rental

One horror I had heard good things about and wasn’t a supernatural fright fest (shudder) or a remake.  This has a wealthy family gathering together in their secluded mansion(!) for some occasion; three brothers, a sister and various girlfriends and boyfriends.  Now as shown in the opening scene, some masked killers like to break into houses and slaughter the inhabitants, leaving the eerie message ‘you’re next’ written in blood for the next intended victim to see.  Not a bad set up and fairly familiar territory if you’ve seen movies like The Strangers.

you're next

A cast of unknowns (except for an ageing Barbara  ‘Re-Animator’  Crampton and horror director Ti West) are the fodder for the intruders, who are seen wearing weird animal masks and slaying people in increasingly gory but not all that inventive ways (bar a fun wire trick).  The acting is amateurish, and most of the characters fairly unlikable even if a gutsy heroic female quickly proves the most interesting (with good ‘Nancy out of A Nightmare On Elm Street’ DIY survival skills).

Director Adam Wingard (V/H/S) delivers some effective shocks and has put together a competent if unsurprising horror with lashings of gore, a touch of nudity and lots and lots of screaming.  A little more personality thrown around would have been a bonus and sometimes characters acted with alarming stupidity (lets go and have a lie down whilst house is being attacked by psychopaths??) … but if you’re after a slasher that doesn’t hold back and with a couple of fun twists … this still does the job.

Verdict: 3.5 /5

Rise of the Footsoldier

Viewed – 02 November 2008  DVD

Blimey, I have seen some violent films in my time…but this takes the biscuit.  There’s more stabbings, beatings, broken faces, smashed beer bottles and spurts of blood per minute in this film than I think I have ever witnessed.  Add to this some extreme uses of colourful language, shagging, tits, and then more violence – and I think you get the idea what this film is like.  Form an orderly cue at the door if it’s not your ‘bag’.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is a well made, very well acted Brit gangster flick with more balls-to-the-wall energy than The Krays & Snatch put together, following the rise of Essex hard-man Carlton Leach (Ricci Harnett) from nutter football hooligan to nutter bouncer to slightly less nutter gang leader.  There’s no glamour here ladies & gentlemen, just mad bastards doing mad things all in the name of greed, money, drugs and power – usually all sorted out with a good kicking.  The story is fascinating, especially as its based on true events, and some recognisable faces pop up from your favourite Brit crime flicks and even Eastenders. 

My only gripe remains that there’s nobody to identify with (unless you yourself are a head case sociopath) and Carlton Leach is just portrayed as an unpleasant scum bag.  Yet if like me you can eat this stuff up for breakfast, then this is well worth your time, as its all done with such assured power, that its hard not to be impressed.

Verdict:  4 /5