You’re Next hit a number of film festivals by surprise in 2011 because it was so different than any other horror movie out there. Two years later, this indie darling gets a wide release with a lot of promotion behind it. But is You’re Next really all it’s made out to be?
The director, Adam Wingard, set out to redo the horror genre and toss it on it’s head; to do what many have tried before and revive what is yet again a tired genre. The film opens with an always-classy sex scene, filled with boobies. This had me excited immediately, as it meant that the film has a hard “R” rating and not just an “R” for a few f-bombs. Sadly, the first kill is rather tame. We then meet an older couple as they return to their summer vacation home in the middle of nowhere and find the house unlocked. They search, but find no one in the house and set up for a family reunion of sorts.
What transpires is summed up in the trailers pretty well: some people have been watching their every move inside the house and now they want them dead. The film runs on a few clichés, but uses them just to toss them back in your face. The always-popular line “I’ll be right back” is used but the film makes it clear that it knows that we won’t fall for that trick anymore.
You’re Next moves at a fast pace, but still lets us get to know the characters. I never rooted for Erin as she struggled to stay ahead of the killers, though. It wasn’t that I didn’t like her, I just didn’t buy her backstory. Hell, the plot as a whole is rather thin and obvious. Despite that, I will gladly admit that the film ramped up the tension and gave me three solid jumps, something I haven’t experienced in years.
We don’t see horror films for the plots or the characters, and I guess this is more of a horror/thriller than anything. What we do want is gore. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many gut wrenching, gross out moments. Everything is pretty tame, especially when compared the the Evil Dead remake released earlier in 2013. However, You’re Next offers one of the best kills I’ve seen since the dual sleeping bag kill in Jason X.
All around, the cast does a great job carrying the film. AJ Bowen was probably the most recognized actor for me as I had recently watched Hatchet 2 and Among Friends, both of which he has a decent sized part in. There are two rather poor actors in the film who kind of walked around with an “I don’t care” attitude about them. Their acting is wooden at times, but I also couldn’t help but wonder if that had something to do with the script?
At the end of the day, You’re Next delivered everything it sets out to. It isn’t as smart as it wants to be, but it is smarter than most. Is it the best horror film of 2013? Not really, but it’s up there, and it definitely delivered in many areas that most cannot.