Adam Wingard’s 2011 horror film You’re Next wasn’t exactly next in line for theatrical release, but the two-year wait was worth it for horror buffs. The movie is a strong offering in the horror genre thanks to Wingard’s seamless combination of alluding to and mocking recognizable classic horror movie tropes, while recreating the same scares to make them work as legitimate thrills. Horror slash comedy is a rare breed of mainstream film that stands on a razor thin precipice between depressingly campy, and scrupulously entertaining. You’re Next easily lands in the latter, and could usher in the next trend of horror films.
Any of the film’s backstory is cut off like a head pretty quickly, because the film gets right to the horror after dedicating a minimal amount of time to introducing characters and setting the “plot”. The Davison family, composed of two parents and four children each with their significant others, reunites at their vacation home in an inconveniently remote location in the woods. The family is wealthy but, as we learn when each sibling introduces their partner for the first time, not very close. Upon arrival at the house, parents Aubrey and Paul (Barbara Crampton and Rob Moran) discover the front door unlocked and hear someone moving upstairs, but it’s obviously just the wind. Actually, it was their son Crispian (A. J. Bowen) and his girlfriend slash college student Erin (Sharni Vinson).
Jim Carrey was right
We should have known something was up with Kick-Ass 2 when Jim Carrey announced he wasn’t going to be promoting the film he “starred” in (if we consider a screen time total of under 20 minutes as a starring role). Initially the actor claimed he could not bring himself to support the film’s excessive violence (though it was notably much less gory than the original Kick-Ass). Now that the film is out, it’s obvious Carrey recognized and promptly abandoned the absolute crash and burn train wreck that is Kick-Ass 2, a film that punches teeth out of the mouth of its potential and rudely drop kicks the quality of its predecessor. On the bright side, this is one less superhero movie franchise to worry about.
The opening half hour or so is actually pretty good. The film begins with an unwilling David Lizewski, better known as Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson in need of a haircut) being repeatedly shot by mischievous freshman slash pro assassin Mindy Macready AKA Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz, who is to Robert Downey Jr. as Kick-Ass is to Iron Man). Hit-Girl, committing truancy to practice with her late father’s bad guy-beating equipment, is training Kick-Ass, who has become reluctant to shed his green and gold spandex suit to go to school.
Locked out of Elysium
Elysium isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In the film, Elysium is a star-shaped structure of luxury occupied only by the upper class, a distant goal for our hero Max Da Costa (fervently portrayed by a bald Matt Damon) to reach. In real life Elysium is a somewhat satisfying, somewhat eye roll provoking, all around modest sci-fi film that never quite takes off from Earth. It’ll be forgotten by the time the next big budget futuristic flick rolls around.
Did you know that by the time 2154 comes to be, the human race will be in a crumbling state of mass poverty and disrepair due to our own mistakes as a species? Of course you did, assuming you’ve watched any sci-fi movie ever, but Elysium adds a new twist to the universally foreseen situation. This time around mankind has created Elysium, a space habitat hovering just close enough to be seen from Earth’s surface. The planetoid is available to anyone rich enough to afford a ticket, and provides its occupants with vast arrays of manufactured beauty and complete medical protection with beds able to detect and cure any kind of disease. The paradise is run by a government including Jessica Delacourt (Jodie Foster), a fangs-bared politician at risk of losing her job as immigrants continue to trespass.