You’re Next is about a family’s anniversary weekend getaway that goes horribly wrong when the people in the house are menaced by masked individuals on the outside. The attack begins with a crossbow and graduates to an assortment of blades and axes. The killings are uniformly savage but the fear these attacks induce is often more surprised panic rather than full-on “Holy Shit, We Are All going To Die!” Maybe it’s because it was intended that way–the characters don’t know how bad their situation really is–or maybe it’s because You’re Next belongs to a sub-sub-(sub?)genre called ‘mumblegore’–get it?–and like its parent genre, most characters in this film are pretty self-aware.
For example: one of the Genius Plans attempted by a person inside the house when the crossbow bolts start flying through the windows is to…run out of the house at full speed until they get to the cars where 1. there might finally be cell reception or 2. they can drive away and get help. Needless to say this Genius Plan does not work.
What does work though–good for the folks inside, not so great for the killers outside–is the presence of Erin (Sharni Vinson), the much younger girlfriend if Crispian (AJ Bowen) who was raised on a survivalist compound in Australia. What does that mean, you wonder? Oh it just means that young Erin is capable of wreaking some serious damage with a meat tenderizer–and other household implements.
You’re Next is gory Hipster Horror that delivers. It is clear that the filmmakers–writer Simon Barrett and director Simon Wingard–are well versed in horror tropes, and also committed to the idea of hipsterizing the genre. Whereas the killings appear randomly malicious in the beginning it all makes sense before the movie ends. The performances are so-so, except for Ms. Vinson who seems totally into playing a quick-thinking badass.
Final Analysis: The nature of the film means that characters have to behave in ways average human beings would consider supremely illogical. If the characters in the movie didn’t do stupid things, the movie would grind to a halt with everyone hunkering down in the basement and waiting things out. Where is the fun in that?
My Advice: If you’re in the mood for a “how are they going to top that kill” kind of movie, seek out You’re Next.