Directed by Adam Wingard
Written by Simon Barrett
Starring: Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen, Wendy Glenn, Ti West, Rob Moran, and Barbara Crampton
When the Davison family comes under attack during their wedding anniversary getaway, the gang of mysterious killers soon learns that one of victims harbors a secret talent for fighting back.
There was a dangerous amount of hype swirling around You’re Next. I’m a fan of Wingard and Barrett (V/H/S, V/H/S/2, The ABCs of Death) and went into this film with a palpable enthusiasm. I was less than halfway into my mimosa when my brow furrowed for the first of many times. Billed as everything from “an original twist on the home invasion genre” to a vehicle “fresh enough to restore hope in horror films”, this home invasion film proves its foundation is far too weak to support its own weight. Much like the ridiculously cliché characters, You’re Next runs headfirst into its own trappings. I’m not sure I can convey the sheer stupidity that unfolds onscreen.
Set at the isolated home of a wealthy family celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary, the film rushes past familial introductions, instead relying on cliché stereotypes about rich and dysfunctional families. Bickering siblings, drug and alcohol abuse; the family is more caricature than character, helping horror reinforce its own shortcomings. Horror film rules are calling the shots, which is probably the worst sin this film committed; it masqueraded as free-thinking horror. Marketing is everything because I can assure you there’s no supreme twist that makes this film anything less than predictable.
It seems impossible, but the creators made a film without one likeable character. I understood the protagonist, but I didn’t particularly care for her. The reason she knows how to defend herself isn’t exactly shocking like the trailers and hype would have you believe. The only cool thing about You’re Next are the preliminary appearances of the men in the masks. The lurking reflections and lingering, stalking shots make for some interesting visual treats, but little less. I’m really at a loss for words here. You’re Next is one of the most boring, lifeless, and sterile horror films I’ve seen in years. This had potential, and that might be the most annoying part.