Making a movie is not easy. Making independent movies is even harder. They have fewer shooting days, longer hours and lower budgets, which tends to turn their smaller casts and crews into something of a family unit. That's why you often find the same groups of independent filmmakers - be they actors, writers, directors or producers - with intersecting careers. Even still, the amount of cross-career intersection on You're Next is kind of staggering (and pretty damned cool, if you ask us).
So we put together a list of all of the movies that feature at least two people involved with one of the year's best horror movies. Think of it as a guide to what you need to rent (or look forward to) if you enjoyed the magic on-screen in You're Next. But before we get to this extended network of movies, here's what the pool of people we're talking about all did on You're Next.
Adam Wingard - Director
Simon Barrett - Writer, Producer
Keith Calder and Jessica Wu - Producers
Kim Sherman - Producer
AJ Bowen - Actor
Ti West - Actor
Joe Swanberg - Actor
Amy Seimetz - Actor
Kate Lyn Sheil - Actor
Larry Fessenden - Actor
Nicholas Tucci - Actor
The House of the Devil (2009)
The People Involved: Ti West (writer, director), Larry Fessenden (producer), AJ Bowen (actor)
Hands down one of the best horror movies of the last decade, The House of the Devil keeps Ti West behind the camera and features a brief but crucial role for AJ Bowen as one of the most memorable pizza delivery drives ever put on film. It was also produced by Larry Fessenden, who plays one of the opening characters in You're Next.
A Horrible Way to Die (2010)
The People Involved: Adam Wingard (director), Simon Barrett (writer, producer), Kim Sherman (producer), AJ Bowen (actor), Amy Seimetz (actor), Joe Swanberg (actor)
Though it was hardly their first film, A Horrible Way to Die is the movie that landed Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett on most people's maps. It's billed as a horror movie because it's ostensibly about a serial killer, but that (and the title) might skew expectations away from what it really is: a deeply troubling look at love and obsession featuring damned great performances by AJ Bowen, Amy Seimtez and Joe Swanberg.
The People Involved: Keith Calder (producer), Jessica Wu (producer), Nicholas Tucci (actor)
This is the second horror movie produced by Keith Calder and Jessica Wu (arriving between All the Boys Love Mandy Lane and You're Next) and it's a disturbing and overlooked movie about a team of filmmakers who are kidnapped by an extremist militia on the American border. Nicholas Tucci pops up as one of the men dolling out the horrors.
Bitter Feast (2010)
The People Involved: Larry Fessenden (producer, actor), Amy Seimetz (actor)
Here's another underseen genre gem of the last few years. Fessenden both produced and acted in this dark comedy about a chef who kidnaps an obnoxious food blogger that's been trashing his career and forces him to try and cook the meals he's been complaining about. It's a funny, original piece of horror, and it also features Seimetz as the better half of the kidnapped blogger.
What Fun We Were Having (2011)
The People Involved: Adam Wingard (director), Simon Barrett (writer), AJ Bowen (actor), Joe Swanberg (actor)
I initially left this off the list because it hasn't been released yet, but if you have a time machine you can go back to Fantasia 2011 to see this anthology film about the mighty cheery subject that is date rape. Bowen and Swanberg appear in it, as does Lane Hughes, who is one of the masked killers in You're Next. While you're waiting for this one to be liberated from release purgatory, you can check out this illuminating interview with Wingard about why he made the film.
V/H/S (2012), V/H/S/2 (2013), The ABCs of Death (2012) and Autoerotic (2011)
The People Involved: Adam Wingard (director), Simon Barrett (writer, producer, director), Ti West (writer, director, actor), Joe Swanberg (writer, director, actor), Kate Lyn Sheil (actor)
These four represent an orgy of intersecting roles for all involved, with each featuring some degree of combination between the players. V/H/S contains a segment directed by Ti West starring Joe Swanberg and Kate Lyn Sheil, plus a segment written by Simon Barrett and directed by Joe Swanberg. V/H/S/2 contains two segments written by Barrett, with Wingard directing one of those. The ABCs of Death features short films, one from Ti West, and one from Wingard/Barrett (based on an idea by YN producer Keither Calder). And finally there's Autoerotic, which was written by Barrett, Wingard and Swanberg (the latter two also directed) and starring Amy Seimetz, Swanberg, Wingard, West and Sheil.
Sun Don't Shine (2012)
The People Involved: Amy Seimetz (writer, director, producer), Kim Sherman (producer), AJ Bowen (actor), Kate Lyn Sheil (actor)
This subdued thriller marks the feature film directorial debut of Amy Seimtez, was produced by her A Horrible Way to Die producer Kim Sherman, and also features a starring role for Kate Lyn Sheil and a brief appearance by AJ Bowen.
Drinking Buddies (2013) and Silver Bullets (2011)
The People Involved: Joe Swanberg (writer, director, actor), Ti West (actor), Kate Lyn Sheil (actor), Amy Seimetz (actor)
Here we are with two more films written and directed by Swanberg. The most recent is Drinking Buddies, which happens to be one of the best films of the year and uses West in a small but memorable role. And then there's Silver Bullets, which I haven't seen, but it does cast West as a horror director who has cast his new movie with Sheil and Seimetz.
24 Exposures (2013)
The People Involved: Joe Swanberg (writer, director), Adam Wingard (actor), Simon Barrett (actor)
This one just hit the festival circuit so it hasn't been seen by many yet, but 24 Exposures was written and directed by Swanberg and stars Wingard as a photographer who gets wrapped up in a murder mystery being investigated by a cop played by Simon Barrett. Judging from the incredibly NSFW trailer, it almost looks like it's an adaptation of Wingard's equally NSFW Tumblr.
The Sacrament (2013)
The People Involved: Ti West (writer, director), AJ Bowen (actor), Joe Swanberg (actor), Amy Seimetz (actor), Kate Lyn Sheil (actor)
The Sacrament is the latest feature directed by Ti West, and it stars AJ Bowen and Joe Swanberg as filmmakers for Vice magazine who go to make a documentary about the out-there religious commune that has a hold on Amy Seimetz's character. It'll soon have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.
The Guest (2014)
The People Involved: Adam Wingard (director), Simon Barrett (wrtier), Keith Calder (producer), Jessica Wu (producer)
We don't know a whole lot about this one since it only finished filming the weekend You're Next hit theaters, but it's yet another thriller written by Barrett, directed by Wingard, and produced by Calder and Wu's Snoot Entertainment. Expect it to premiere on the festival circuit some time in 2014.
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