Playing the festival circuit back in 2011, You’re Next is finally making it’s official theatrical debut. A thriller/horror/slasher, it follows the well established plot of crazy strangers slaughtering a group of people while they are in a remote house. Despite having a familiar setup, You’re Next feels anything but overdone.
Starring a collection of relative unknowns (some of them might be familiar if you’ve seen V/H/S or A Horrible Way to Die), You’re Next begins with a somewhat estranged family, along with their spouses/partners, all coming together to celebrate their wealthy parents’ anniversary. Having recently retired, the father (Rob Moran) is fixing up a classic home that happens to be located, you guessed it, in the middle of nowhere. All together, sibling rivalries and family disputes break out despite the good intentions of their gathering – however, those are all but forgotten as animal-masked killers suddenly begin taking the family out, one by one.
You might think you know where this is going, but you might be wrong. A few characters hold some unexpected surprises and the plot, for what it is, takes a turn or two you might not see coming. This is, without a doubt, a gore-filled slasher, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s self aware enough that it both celebrates and plays with the common tropes and genre expectations. It never fully descends into parody so as to become a farce like the Scary Movie franchise, but it definitely keeps the tongue in the cheek well enough that it garners quite a few intentional laughs. It manages to pay homage to the genre, without feeling cheesy (in the wrong way), while maintaining its own thing.
Erin (Sharni Vinson) is the surprise hero of the story, in more ways than one. The next time a posterior pummeling woman is needed for a film, you can bet her name is going to come up. She’s quite fun to root for. Character development is never a strong point for movies like this, but we learn just enough about each of these characters to make their deaths and/or lives all the more funny or tragic, or both.
The script isn’t the strongest, and some of the acting feels a little stilted at times, which I supposed comes with the territory. Despite that, the movie is completely entertaining and surprisingly hilarious, while still being a horror movie with some genuine jump scares and gruesome deaths. It’s an odd combination, but to me it works perfectly. The lack of polish in places isn’t enough to stop that from working and, in fact, sometimes it helps it along. It’s trying to become a cult classic, and it just might succeed.
This was not a movie I went into expecting to especially enjoy. It ended up being one of my surprise favorites of the year.
Mrs. Hamster says:
“It felt awkward. It was too funny some of the times to take seriously, but it didn’t feel like a comedy.“
My Rating – Four out of Five Hats
You’re Next slaughters 2,400 theaters, August 23