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2-in-1 film review: 'You're Next' and 'The Visit'

"Crikey! Blood!"

This is initially a review of a single film. But since it's way overdue (I watched like probably weeks or months ago), I decided instead to rack up the review of the film in question, You're Next, with the most recent horror flick I just watched from the master of twist endings who managed to comeback with a twist from his streak of lame movies, The Visit, in a single review. 

"Blergh! Totally not scary!"

I'm honestly more of an in-your-face, over-the-top, and balls out funny/exaggerated kind of guy when it comes to films. These however, while these two are comedies, it felt way buried inside of a dominantly horror premise; especially the former film.

You're Next's IMDb The Visit's IMDb
 
Both of these might be horrors and kind of comedic, but they use two distinctively different approaches: You're Next is more of a straight up slasher, while The Visit uses the found footage approach to thriller (a rather last ditch effort, since this is a pretty banged up film presentation if you ask me) and horror. The former gets obvious and grisly (and creative!) with its homicides, while the latter runs along an already occurred murder only for the young protagonists to do the same out of survival, but was shown out of frame because the filmmaker is probably not trying to condone violence on children who might want to watch it.

Atypical of American horror movies, it always starts with a house. Both films' events occur in each film's respective household in focus and areas within the proximity of the household.

However, what set these films apart from other mind-numbing horror films that came before them are how the films treat the characters and their representation. In You're Next, instead of some sexed-up teenagers stranded in a dodgy-looking house deep in the woods to either piss off the locals there by having a wild party or something, it's a seemingly loving family with conflicting personalities in a house that actually looks decent. In The Visit, audiences follow the misadventures of a brother and sister who spent a week with their grandparents (sorta) at their reclusive cottage that is seemingly innocent and juvenile at the beginning. It's actually easy to say that The Visit hands down have better character development due to the highly intimate look-and-feel, with praises go to Deanna Duagan as the grandmother of the main protagonists who grows increasingly creepy and disturbing as the film progresses. But in all honesty, I have to applaud the filmmakers of You're Next solely for giving an ample time to make each of the characters shine, despite having to go the path of having a survivor from the mass killings by the name of Erin (Sharni Vinson), a really adept and badass female with a survivalist background who shows no remorse when confronting the culprits who ruined a perfect family dinner.

Another one is how these films managed to represent what it wants to be and excels at them somewhat. While I'm not so sure that You're Next is a wink at slasher films (well, maybe it probably is one, by making adults behave like those 'excited' teenagers and the villains actually vulnerable humans who falters quite a lot, in addition to that clever way in the film's opening scene to introduce the film's title which is then plastered through out the entirety of the film) since I don't really follow the genre, The Visit is sure as hell a vehicle for Shyamalan to poke fun at his own filmography and style of filmmaking, alongside general horror tropes, after producing an avalanche of turds since The Last Airbender, with some loving references that will make Shyamalan die-hards (or haters) giddy for no reason.

As you can see, a straight horror film is definitely not my kind of bag. Even if this is a collective review, I don't have much to say. Out of these two, I had more fun with The Visit due to the likeable leads which is surprisingly the source of comic relief themselves and not some random guy who's bad with communication or something. I could've enjoyed You're Next as well due to the surprisingly realistic violence and some very subconscious laughs, but sadly, it didn't do it for me... except for the badassery of the charming survivor of the purging... but I guess it's because I watched Jessica Jones before the film that I couldn't enjoy the film thoroughly. Definitely not a bad package indeed, if these are shown at the right audience at the right time and place.

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