Derivative home invasion horror from VHS contributor Adam Wingard
Low-budget, high profile offerings The Purge and The Conjuring have demonstrated that the horror genre has lost none of its appeal of late, but You’re Next is a pitifully poor effort in comparison. Adam Wingard may have garnered some interest with his contributions to anthology V/H/S and its sequel, but You’re Next is far too derivative to appear to anyone but hardcore slasher-movie fans with low-standards.
After their canoodling neighbours are murdered, the Davidson family settle down to their family reunion in a remote house, unaware that a gang of cross-bow wielding killers wearing animal masks are outside, awaiting the signal to attack. As bolts skewer the diners through the French windows, Erin (Sharni Vinson) is quickly revealed as the first responder within the group, leading the survivors to relative safety until the home invasion can begin in earnest.
Reuniting Alabama-based film-maker Wingard with several of the cast of his sleeper A Horrible Way to Die, You’re Next is surprisingly coy about gore, given Wingard's pedigree for gutting his cast-members. The climactic revelations, about how and why the murders are occurring, are obvious from the midway point, and the size of the cast only bloats the running time to feature length; there’s simply not enough meat on the bones to create any kind of dramatic frisson.
You’re Next does at least have some gravity, and takes the notion of home invasion seriously, skillfully marking out the geography of the house and pitting Erin against near impossible physical odds to ensure her survival. But in a genre where the next big thing is all important, You’re Next’s retread of The Strangers (and the French original Ils aka Them) arrives too low on originality to be anything other than an ordeal to sit through, and for all the wrong reasons.