On the surface, ‘You’re Next’ appears to be a formulaic slasher film akin to 2008’s ‘The Strangers’.
Directed and edited by Adam Wingard (most notably known for his 2012 surprisingly creepy and original ‘V/H/S’) the film first premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. The trailer for the film is misleading in conveying both the tone and what to expect. The Perfect Weekend and The Perfect Family fade across the screen to images of a beautiful country home and boisterous dinner. I was pleasantly surprised that the film was entirely not what I was expecting having seen the trailer.
At the risk of spoiling too much, I’ll say very little about any of the characters backstory. ‘You’re Next’ is categorized as a Dark Comedy, which won’t make sense until you see it. If you’ve seen ‘Cabin in the Woods’ you’ll have a good idea of what to expect. It’s a spoof without being gimmicky or over the top, and I can only think of one word to describe it: cathartic.
I believe Adam Wingard set out to make a horror film unburdened by those irritating tendencies of characters and movies past: the hero/heroine surviving by pure luck; villains immune to harm or mistakes; and worse still a characters inability to walk, instead crawling away in terror though they have no injuries. This movie has none of those pitfalls. The acting, cinematography, editing and story are all top notch.
‘You’re Next’ is a clever, brutal, cathartic horror film that will leave you feeling empowered, not underwhelmed.