Slickly produced but super formulaic, at least initially, You’re Next offers some moments we’ve seen many, many times but also the occasional twist, especially in the third act of the film. Ok, so let’s get past the formulaic part – there are some boobs, as well as gratuitous violence, some guys in creepy masks alongside many traditional horror moments. Even though the film is set up with many of the usual ingredients, it’s still done pretty well in terms of building tension, sound design and overall production values. Good camera work, nicely edited too.
The premise is that a family has reunited at the parent’s retirement home in the country. The family is your average well-to-do bunch with the usual relationship disfunction. Siblings bring their new boyfriends and girlfriends as well. Only, one of the girlfriends has a more dynamic past since she grew up in a survivalist compound (and also somewhat indestructible). Dunh, dunh, dunh!! There’s also another interesting plot twist with a couple of the other family members that I don’t want to spoil for you, but just know it’s a clever ingredient in the storyline.
The actors are pretty good. The downside is at times they’re put in really obvious set up kind of situations where you can see what’s coming about a mile away. It’s to the point where I actually thought on a number of occasions that noone could possibly be that stupid in terms of how people reacted to their plights. It just seemed really contrived at times with moments of poor writing.
The director and writer did a competent job but nothing that’s going to make the film a classic. The films that stand out as classics are the ones that break the mold and add their own signature to a genre. Films like Halloween, The Exorcist, The Strangers, all were able make their own mark. This film unfortunately tries to do that but still comes off formulaic and trying too hard. I will admit that there is a situation at the end and part of the storyline where they offer a pretty cool ironic element.
The lineup includes Nicholas Tucci, Rob Moran, Barbara Crampton, Sharni Vinson, Wendy Glenn and AJ Bowen. Directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett.
While it doesn’t offer much in terms of new moments, You’re Next is worth a look if you enjoy formulaic horror you’ve probably seen before.
reviewed by Sean McKnight