Review: 'You're Next', Directed by Adam Wingard

Horror movies have stopped feeling scary and have moved on to who and how the next victim will die. To be honest, that’s probably why a lot of people watch these films, for the gore and suspense of death. Because scary? That’s out the window. You’re Next isn’t even what anyone might call a straight-laced horror film. It’s horror at its most entertaining.

When Crispian (AJ Bowen) and his girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson) head up to a house that just happens to be in the middle of nowhere to celebrate his parents’ 35th wedding anniversary, things don’t go as planned. At least not the family. The killers are a completely different story.

Enter the whiny, wealthy family who have so many issues with each other that within an hour of reuniting, they’re at each other’s throats (not literally, because that’s what the killers are for, after all!). From Drake (Joe Swanberg) who isn’t enthusiastic that Erin used to be Crispian’s master’s student, to silent Felix (Nicholas Tucci), to everyone trying to steal the attention every second, it obviously sounds like they have general family issues that can be solved simply by seeing a therapist.

A few people don’t see it this way, and the team of murderers enters and surrounds the house, stalking, creating fear, and killing. Their target is the whole family. The only question left to answer is why.

To describe You’re Next in one word: Fun. Fun because the acting isn’t all that great save for Sharni Vinson, who really steals the show as she kicks some ass and outsmarts everyone. She’s the only character that you root for because she’s got gumption and uses her resources rather than screaming her head off half the time. Fun because you’re just waiting to see how the next victim gets axed. 

The movie creates a little mystery and tries to be coy, but a lot of the events you can see coming a mile away, yet it still keeps you watching somehow. The deaths are plenty and gory as anything. It’s not as over-the-top with the gore like some other films in its genre, but there’s still a good amount of blood that gets spilled. The writing on the wall is akin to I Know What You Did Last Summer and after you figure out what’s really going on and why the family’s being murdered, you might want to roll your eyes, but that’s easily forgivable.

There are even some cool scenes in the film. When Vinson finds herself stuck in the basement, injured and trapped, she uses a camera and sets it to continuous shooting, breaks all the light bulbs to blind the killer with the flash and then goes off on him. The scene is dark, with only the flash of the camera showing us in gaps what’s happening. It’s pretty creative actually.

Is You’re Next one of the best horror films out there? Of course it isn’t (and really, the good ones are few and far between), but it’s entertaining as hell. The film doesn’t take itself too seriously and that’s what makes it so fun. Sure, there are a few unnecessary things thrown in there just for the sake of it, but overall it doesn’t deter from the film itself. Bloody and fun.