You’re Next (2013)

Your NextWhen Erin (Sharni Vinson) arrives at her boyfriend’s parents’ house for a weekend with the family, she has little idea that the neighbours are lying dead after having been murdered by men in animal masks. Despite mother Aubrey’s (Barbara Crampton) claims that she could hear someone upstairs, their anniversary celebrations get underway when the rest of her children arrive the following day. It turns out that her fears were well founded, however, and during dinner they are attacked by those same three killers, this time armed with crossbows. As boyfriend Felix (Nicholas Tucci) flees in search of help, Erin battens down the hatches with Aubrey’s son Crispian (A. J. Bowen) and his girlfriend Zee (Wendy Glenn).

Fresh from battling Great White Sharks in an antipodean shopping centre in Bait 3D, Sharni Vinson is once again fighting for her life, this time in the woods of Missouri. It’s a role she does very well, and so it’s little surprise to see that she’s already been cast in the untitled female “Expendables” movie. Vinson aside, however, nobody makes any impression whatsoever, so much so that when a character returns following a period of absence you’re not entirely sure that you’ve seen him before, let alone his name and single claim to characterisation. This is particularly worrying given the sheer size of the ensemble.

While for the most part the main cast may be an uninspiring mix of canon fodder and redshirts, the villains at least have potential. Essentially The Strangers in animal masks — a tiger, a fox and a lamb — the killers in question have that sense of iconography that all successful horror slashers share — you can even picture their The Cabin In The Woods equivalents. Unfortunately, and without wanting to give anything away, the mythology doesn’t exactly lend itself to further instalments. It seems that you can’t make a straight horror movie these days, and while other films have managed to establish rules to later subvert them You’re Next fails to do either.

That said, You’re Next does have its moments. Fortunately, Vinson and the killers get a fair amount of screentime, and both have a few surprises — and jump scares — up their sleeves. It also looks fantastic, with cinematographer Andrew Palmero making the most of the Missouri wilderness and familial summer house to build a tension and atmosphere that director Adam Wingard sadly squanders on generic kills and an unwelcome twist. Filmed back in 2011, the same year it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, You’re Next is only now seeing a world-wild release, but there is no sense of overdue arrival about it. Even without much in the way of hype it still manages to disappoint.

You’re Next is not a bad film, it’s just an unremarkable one. Vinson will likely go on to bigger and better things, and rightfully so, but the best that could be said for Wingard’s film is that it might one day warrant a remake, or — better yet — a loose reimagining.

2.5-Stars

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

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