You’re Next invites us to join a family meeting and leads us through the very tense relationships between the ten characters before all hell breaks loose. When a killer armed with a crossbow attacks a tight slasher starts and before we know it the film effortlessly changes the tone and we are left with one of the most entertaining slashers in years.
As Cabin in the Woods showed last year there are certain stereotypes we expect from slashers – the sportsguy, the stoner, the virgin, the slut…
So it is very refreshing that You’re Next completely ditches those characters and throws us right into a family dynamic full of unspoken backstory that is felt thourough the entire film. With ten characters a lot of establishing needs to be done but the setting the kids visiting the mother works pretty well for us to know who is who without it feeling forced. Also there is enough backstory between those people that they feel less shallow than one would expect.
Knowing the genre
When the crossbow attack starts and everything goes to hell a survival horror movie starts where the characters for once don’t behave completely idiotic. You’re Next is directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett – a collaboration that already gave us V/H/S and its sequel and they clearly understand the genre. There are a lot of moments where they try to counter the killer’s plan and prepare themselves. And even the mandatory “we have to split up” has a rationale behind it that makes sense for the characters.
Watching this movie during the Slashfilmfestival was the best way to experience it since the audience knew all the tropes and clichés and even burst into applause from time to time when the protagonists actually acted smart instead of waiting to be killed.
The thing I loved about this film is that even though it is aware of all those slasher and horror films it avoids many pitfalls and never becomes snarky or self-aware. People have compared the film to Scream and it is true in some way but the difference is that You’re Next‘s characters are focused on the situation at hand and not on the possible storylines from other movies. This movie is in a way the counter balance to Scream, knowing without ever breaking the fourth wall.
If this movie was a simple slash-everyone-down routine it would not have impressed me that much. The setup with the family is refreshing and the killing is tense and brutal so the movie is already on sure footing when the crossbow fire starts and keeps you entertained. Yet watching the movie I felt that I might lose interest in the survival game and I thought that I had figured out the twist already – when suddenly, there was a shift in the tone of the film.
The characters and story stayed the same but the audience’s expectation was twisted around and the movie evolved into something completely different. But the important part was that the screenplay never forgot that the protagonists were still fearing for their life. As said before there is no self awareness, just fear of death and a battle against this menace.
When I saw the trailer for You’re Next I was not sure if I wanted to see the movie as it looked like a generic killer in the house movie. The positive reviews however swayed me and I was glad that they did. You’re Next is a refreshing slasher film that stays true to its roots and effortlessly juggles many different ideas into one entertaining mix.
The movie knows its target audience and knows that they keep up with it so it goes the extra mile in trying to add surprise – and it works. Right up to the ending where it had the audience anticipating the final punch for about 10 minutes before finally giving the audience what they were waiting for.
Title: You’re Next
Category: Slasher / 1
There is no moviequation for You’re Next because the fun of the movie was not knowing in what direction the movie would go and a moviequation would pretty much give away those twists.
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