You’re Next Review

Posted: August 27, 2013 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PG Cooper's Movie Reviews

PHinv2eFvOSslq_1_mWritten by Daniel “PG Cooper” Simpson

You’re Next is unique in that it’s the only film I’ve seen from this year where I hadn’t seen the trailer going in. The film didn’t interest me enough to seek it out and the trailer was never showed at any of the theater goings I had all year. But I remember being surprised to read the film getting very strong reviews for being a very clever and even funny horror film. This interested me enough to give it a shot and I liked the idea of seeing a film without seeing the trailer.

The film revolves around a family visiting their isolated vacation home. The children are all in their twenties while their parents are middle-aged. Small hints of tension are shown, but things become truly tense when the family begins being attacked by masked assailants wielding crossbows and various melee weapons. Who will survive and what has provoked such violence?

The first 20 or so minutes of You’re Next are horrible. The acting is completely flat and the dialogue is either bare-bones exposition or just stupid conversation. It doesn’t help that during this time nothing much really happens. The family meet, hang out for a bit, there’s some passive-aggressive remarks, but nothing of consequence really happens. The plot isn’t advanced much and we don’t learn much about the characters beyond there’s some tension in the family. Then, the attack on the family begins and things get much better right?

Except they really don’t. Once I got over the initial excitement of something actually happening, I quickly realized the rest of the film would be a much of people I don’t care about trying to survive being murdered by other people I don’t care about. Sure enough, there was never any unique or creative twists, never any characters I connected with, there was never anything for me to really latch onto. There are some brutal kills sure, but even they aren’t very interesting or inspired. They’re violent, but that’s really all they have going for them. At least the opening 20 minutes had the hope that the movie would get better.

Essentially, the story here is a pretty standard home invasion/slasher film that has been done before. What attempts to separate You’re Next from other similar films is its sense of humour. There are times where the film is clearly going for laughs and I don’t think any of them really work. First off, unlike something like Scream which consistently plays up both the horror and the comedy, You’re Next is more of a straight-up horror with the occasional touch of black humour. This makes these scenes a bit jarring, but the real problem is the supposed humorous scenes are never funny. The only laughs I got where from the piss poor acting. Whenever the film tried to make me laugh it failed miserably.

I’d be a lot more forgiving if the filmmaking here was decent, but really isn’t. The film looks very cheap and the basic camera work is just bad. Even when characters are just sitting around talking the camera keeps shaking. The basic look of the film isn’t much better than what you would expect from a direct-to-video release. In fact I’m shocked You’re Next received a theatrical release at all. This feels a lot more like the kind of film that makes a cult-following among genre fans while never getting a wide-release. Director Adam Wingard fails to make any creative set-pieces, scares, or sense of suspense.

“But Daniel,” you say, “you clearly went in with too high expectations. Had you not read all the positive buzz you probably wouldn’t be so critical.” The thing is, I didn’t go in with very high expectations. Yes, I read a lot of positive things, but I also knew these were coming from genre fans that saw You’re Next at film festivals. With that in mind, I kept my expectations in check. I didn’t go in expecting a great film, just an interesting one. The only interesting thing is wondering why so many people love this movie.

In short; I fucking hated You’re Next. It isn’t scary, clever, funny, or entertaining. This is one of the worst cinematic experiences I’ve had all year and I could actively feel my time being wasted. The acting, writing, direction, production values; every aspect of the filmmaking is handled poorly. If you like this, more power to you, but I couldn’t find anything to embrace.


  1. le0pard13 says:

    This was always going to be rental for me. Thanks, Daniel.

  2. Wow, you put your hater hat on in full force for this one, huh? 8O I didn’t love it or anything, but it was a decent enough horror movie… I didn’t feel as if I was ripped off or anything, lets put it that way.

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