The best thing, worst thing, and main thing about the low budget horror film “You’re Next” in about the time it takes to watch the trailer.
I know how we will make our horror movie distinctive. We will give the bad guys some sort of creepy masks. No ones ever done that before right?
“You’re Next” follows an upper class family who must band together to survive once they find themselves under attack by some seriously psychotic prowlers who like to wear animal masks. In typical horror fashion members of the family are killed off one by one in predictably gruesome fashion with one surprise guest proving she has survival skills that no one knew about.
Now while it’s true that the horror genre is easily my least favorite I am more than willing to look past those biases to notice when someone makes a good one. Cabin in the Woods and The Conjuring as two recent examples. And the word I heard going into this one was that someone had again managed to offer a fresh take on the blood and guts category of films. Well, in my opinion, the word was wrong. OK, before I get into why this was just another stab ‘em and slab ‘em affair, I did notice a couple things the film-makers did right. For one, the humor, for the most part seems to land pretty well. It’s a difficult thing to make your audience laugh while trying to keep them on the edge of their seat but “You’re Next” did make me chuckle a few times even as the death toll was rising. I also loved the direction I thought this movie was headed as we got to the attack. There’s this family dynamic in those first few moments of panic that I’d never really seen before. I’d even say it was the best thing. There was a group interplay of reaction and planning that was genuinely interesting to watch. To see a family who had just been bickering at the dinner table moments before try and band together to survive this brutality would have been much more interesting than the typical horror trope of separating the lambs for eventual slaughter. Which, unfortunately, is exactly where the movie eventually went.
What’s crazy is, for me, the movie’s desire to surprise the audience with plot twists actually ended up making the movie more predictable. In fact, I think they’re the worst part of the movie. I won’t give anything away, cause it’s bad form, but the twists in this movie’s plot are predictable, boring, and ruined any little enjoyment I may have gotten from those opening moments. Much of this may also have to do with the fact that these actors are mind boggling bad, acting often as if they are in a parody from the Scary Movie franchise rather than an actual scary movie themselves.
When all is said and done You’re Next is a run of the mill slasher film masquerading as a clever take on the genre. Though the sense of humor works at times, it never lives up to it’s promising opening moments. I’m going with a C-
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