I love being startled by something unexpected in a horror movie. It lets me know that I need to be kept on my toes and be ready for anything. Kind of like when young Regan in The Exorcist was inappropriately banging herself with a crucifix. Definitely a “Did that just really happen?” kind of moment. In 2009, director Ti West gave us one of those moments in his fantastic slow-burn horror movie, The House Of The Devil.
I love this film, but it’s one that you have to be patient with. And if you have the patience, you’ll be rewarded with scenes like the one where Megan (Greta Gerwig) is confronted by Victor Ulman (A.J. Bowen) as she tries to enjoy a cigarette while sitting in her car. It will make you think of ducking if someone ever stops you and asks “Are you not the babysitter?”
Now there have been a lot of ‘gunshot to the head’ death scenes in horror movies over the years, but that one just might be my favorite. Obviously you know that something is probably going to happen to Megan, but it’s the sheer suddenness of it all that puts this headshot on the top of the list for me and made me say “Holy shit!“. Poor Megan. She probably wishes she had stuck around and ate some more pizza instead of leaving and getting her nicotine fix. They sure do like pizza in this movie by the way.
The word of mouth of a horror movie that hasn’t been nationally released can cause anticipation and outrage at the same time around our beloved genre community. Remember Trick ‘R Treat? And most recently, we went through it with the overhyped (I write that begrudgingly) V/H/S. A while back, I heard about this movie You’re Next because it had played at the TIFF in 2011 and the buzz was strong, with reviews popping up online praising it for being a dark comedy with violent mayhem to boot. The flick, directed by Adam Wingard (who starred in and helped direct V/H/S btw), sounds like your standard “home invasion” nightmare plot wise. And based off of that storyline and the pics that have popped up, it immediately draws comparisons to 2008’s, The Strangers.
But something in my gore filled gut tells me that You’re Next will be something special. I know, I know – I thought the same about V/H/S before I saw it. But keep your mind open with me and just go with it. Continue reading →