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Movie Review: You’re Next
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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You're Next Film PosterYou’re Next
Director: Adam Wingard
Screenwriter: Simon Barrett
Cast: Sharni Vinson, AJ Bowen, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, Joe Swanberg, Barbara Crampton, Amy Seimetz, Ti West
Lionsgate Films
Rated R | 91 Minutes
Release Date: August 23, 2013

Coined by Carol J. Clover in her 1992 book Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film, the “Final Girl” is a popular trope in horror films that refers to the last woman alive to fight the killer.

Sally Hardesty from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre; Ellen Ripley in Alien; Halloween‘s Laurie Strode; Heather Langenkamp’s Nancy from A Nightmare on Elm Street – all of these are resilient women who are masculinized through “phallic appropriation” by taking up a weapon, like a knife or chainsaw, against their would-be killer.

The “Final Girl” convention forces the male audience to identify with a female character in a male-oriented genre associated with exploitation, voyeurism, and brutality. Think about horror movies – slasher films in particular – how many of them end with a lone male survivor?

If you haven’t read Clover’s book, I would highly recommend it, as it raises some interesting questions about the nature of horror films and their relationship to feminism. It seems that for a horror film to be successful, it’s necessary for the surviving character to be female – even if she is masculinized.

This brings us to Adam Wingard‘s latest film, You’re Next. Written by Simon Barrett, You’re Next isn’t interested in deconstructing the horror genre or mocking its tropes, but rather reinvigorating them. The “Final Girl” is resurrected in the form of Erin (Sharni Vinson), a survivalist who fights a gang of axe-wielding psychopaths in creepy animal masks.

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Blu-ray Review: Step Up 3
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Vactor   |  
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Step Up 3 Blu-ray DVDStep Up 3
Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Directed by Jon Chu
Starring Sharni Vinson, Rick Malambri, Adam G. Sevani, Alyson Stoner, Keith Stallworth
Touchstone Pictures
Release Date: December 21, 2010

Full disclosure before I begin this review. I’m a fan of dance. Pretty much any type of dance. Line dancing, ball room dancing, salsa, hip-hop, you name the body gyration and I probably like it. So You Think You Can Dance is a staple in my household and Dance Central is the reason I bought a Microsoft Kinect. I Tivo’d the new Paula Abdul dance show, Live To Dance, the other night. I’ve also enjoyed the previous Step Up films for the very reason they should be enjoyed, THE DANCING.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk Step Up 3, shall we? Obviously, being titled, Step Up 3, it’s the third installment in the Step Up trilogy (and the first to be shot in 3D). The film follows Moose (Adam Sevani) and Camille Gage (Alyson Stoner) as they head to New York University, the former of whom is majoring in electrical engineering after promising his mother that he would not dance anymore. However, he soon stumbles upon a dance battle, meeting Luke (Rick Malambri) and his House of Pirates dance crew and later teaming up with them to compete in the World Jam dance contest against their rivals, the House of Samurai dance crew.

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