Look I consider myself a reasonable guy and that’s why I wanted to see this film. The trailer for You’re Next looked amazing! It looked like a legitimate horror film with some super intense moments, but what director Adam Wingard (VHS, The ABC’s of Death) created was everything but. The pieces were all there, but none of it quite fit. I’ll explain, but first the synopsis…
When the Davison family comes under attack during their wedding anniversary getaway, the gang of mysterious killers soon learns that one of victims harbors a secret talent for fighting back.
I don’t know what happens when these youthful sprites like director Ti West (House of the Devil, VHS), who makes a cameo in the film, and all the rest of the VHS crew, get together to come up with these ideas that they think are going to be so ground breaking. This film had no idea what it wanted to be. Nothing get’s explained and just when you think there’s some semblance of a story on the horizon the horrendous dialogue and bad acting come along and throws educated viewers for a loop. The real travesty of You’re Next is that it could’ve been a great film, but they break the rules of horror films all throughout this debacle and not in a good way.
As if they were rushed to put this film out, director Adam Wingard could of had a field day of believable blood and gore, but instead makes decisions that cost the films credibility early on. Case and point…the family is pinned down inside the entry way of the home, one family member has already taken an arrow through the eye at the dinner table and another is comically nursing an arrow in his back. Suddenly a family member decides the best course of action is for the fastest family member to race right out the front door (where the killers are) and to the car to try and find help. The daughter of the father of the household decides to do it and no one questions her decision, not the girls mother or father.
What happens next can only be best described as one of the dumbest film deaths of 2013. The girl backs up against the wall and does a “Six Million Dollar Man” (thanks Rich) towards the door complete with slow motion. All that was missing was the “ne ne ne ne ne” sound effect. Then, in some strange twist of fate, the killers new this was their plan and placed a steel wire, exactly to the girls height specifications, just outside the door. Door opens and she runs right into the wire slicing her own throat and as the blood spilled out of her neck, so did any hopes of suspending disbelief from that point on.
It was like watching Home Alone meets The Strangers, they even had a scene in which one of the invaders steps through a window and onto a nail. It goes on like this throughout the whole film and when the big reveal comes as to why this is all happening, it’s none too astonishing. I think about half way through the film there wasn’t a soul in the theater that didn’t have an “idea” why these murders were happening. But that’s not the strange part for me, the strange part is the murder of the neighbor and his mistress at the beginning of the film. They never explain why these intruders decided to kill the neighbor and how their death was even remotely apart of the plot of this film.
I know what Adam is trying to do, he tried to create a cult classic, but he went “the full retard” with You’re Next and we all know you never want to do that. You especially don’t want to waste precious marketing strategies by revealing the killers in a film where there anonymity was the whole reason we kinda wanted to see the film in the first place. I thought and this is probably why I was so let down, was that director Adam Wingard, was trying to create a franchise out of these animal faced killers. Somehow it struck me as a good idea and most certainly the right time for some masked villains to roll up on the scene. This was not the case, the reveal destroyed the third wall for me. Seriously, this film could have been a reheated piece of shit and I would’ve still been slightly invested had they not given the identity of those killers away. It was a stupid move, marketing wise, but this was just one of many things that was wrong with this picture.
So what’s next? How long can this next generation of hacks continue to get funded when there are some true horror auteurs out there making people piss their pants? I guess as long as nepotism will hold out, cause something tells me someones aunt or uncle works for Lionsgate Pictures. I mean how else would the company that put out SAW (the first one mind you) allow this shit to go to theaters? It doesn’t make sense. Do the folks at LGF see that level of potential in Adam Wingard? I didn’t.
My recommendation is to just keep watching the trailer below, cause that’s about as good as it gets. Just no real surprises.
- You’re Next (TIFF 2011) Review – Masked Mayhem from Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett (horrorboom.com)
- Review – You’re Next (thepopcornjunkie.com)
- You’re Next (2011) (mrmoviefilmblog.wordpress.com)
- The ABCs of Death (Book and Film) (thegoreterly.com)