Adam Wingard‘s You’re Next is the latest horror film to suffer from numerous release delays and a long sit on the infamous horror movie shelf, where films like The Cabin in the Woods shared dust-collecting while general audiences were craving the next best thing in horror. You’re Next is what we’ve all been dying for, offering up an even dose of blood and gore to balance out the film’s many twists and turns. You’re Next isn’t your typical home invasion movie, often borrowing from other horror films while also establishing itself as a future cult classic for the genre. You’re Next is a fun and exciting change of pace for a genre that we’ve all but forgotten about.
The Davison family is reuniting for the first time in a while to celebrate the anniversary of Paul and Aubrey. They’ve invited all of their children and their children’s spouses to their vacation home in hopes of bringing the family a little closer and spending some good quality time with each other.
But mysterious intruders wearing lamb, tiger and fox masks have other plans for the family and those plans include slaughtering and killing every single one of them.
Yeah, You’re Next is about as straight-forward as possible. The film cuts out almost all of the bullshit and gets right down to the point. This early indicator of the film’s sheer brilliance makes way for a film that keeps on shifting and changing into something that not most will be expecting.
Director Adam Wingard keeps the film’s premise simple, yet by doing so he manages to create something entirely fresh that you just can’t put a finger on. You’re Next isn’t just a horror movie with well-timed scares and blood. The film has all of that, but it also has much more to offer.
You’re Next is a film best experienced without any expectations, so I almost feel like I should save you a full review in exchange for quick blurbs about what the film does really right and the brief moments were the film goes off the tracks. The less you know about the film the better.
For starters, the writing and direction absolutely make You’re Next an engaging experience that puts you directly in the film. You become fully invested into the characters, not because of the actors (featuring mumblecore’s very own Joe Swanberg), but because of Simon Barrett‘s writing and Adam Wingard‘s direction. Together they make the film a genre-pleasing effort that takes your screams and laughs at perfectly timed intervals.
Wingard’s direction never lingers on one moment for too long, while Barrett’s writing keeps the comedy smart and well-placed. Horror films usually struggle with injecting comedic elements without completely ruining the mood of the film, yet You’re Next shows no signs of struggle when it flows from traditional horror chases to revealing character moments that will have you cracking up big time.
The film’s only real faults lie in its predictability and sometimes obvious reveals. Sometimes things are revealed to be intentionally obvious, while sometimes they feel like Wingard and Barrett thought they were pulling a fast one on the audience, when in all actuality you could have seen the move coming from a mile away. I didn’t have as much as a problem with these moments as I thought I would, because it all sort of adds to the overall experience of being extremely familiar with the story, its twists and general plot, while also not expecting half of the turns that come from around the corner.
These turns aren’t groundbreaking plot devices, but subtle turns that keep the film moving in all sorts of directions, while still moving it to its eventual outcome. Bravo to Wingard and Barrett for wisely shifting the film in the opposite direction every chance that they get. You’re Next definitely gets points for going where most horror films don’t bother going.
Take away You’re Next‘s sometimes predictable plot shifts and you’re left with a damn fine horror film that both shocks and awes. You’re Next is definitely not a poor man’s The Strangers. It’s a film that was wrongfully shelved and shuffled around, because of how unique and inventive it is. Lionsgate was wise enough to snatch this film up and drop it into theaters during prime time summer, which is a big sign of confidence and I hope it pays off, because You’re Next is the kind of genre-pleasing horror that fans have been anticipating ever since The Cabin in the Woods.
You’re Next isn’t as revolutionary as Cabin, but it certainly deserves to be spoken about in the same sentence, because Adam Wingard‘s ability to tinker and toy with already established genre-cliches, while also bringing so many new fresh ideas to the table is impressive and refreshing. You’re Next will wake up those that have been bored and tired with horror, due to the countless reboots and sequels.
You’re Next takes everything that you love about horror and throws it in a blender with a story that’s original and exciting and the outcome is a finely mixed batch of blood and humor that will satisfy the hunger of all genre fans and those simply looking for the next best thing in horror.
DON’T READ ANY SPOILERS for the film. Go in as blind as possible and emerge with a well-earned gigantic fucking smile on your face.
You’re Next – 8.5/10