You're Next is indebted to the slashers of the 80s it frequently alludes to. The music, the slow build stalking sequences and the bloody kills are all present and correct but things are slightly out of sync with this slasher. The victims are a family, not the half naked teens of some summer camp. The kills stack up quickly and the final girl doesn't start out meek and learn to man up slowly as people die around her.
In fact Aussie stunner Sharni Vinson is the biggest reason to watch You're Next and her character Erin is quick to fight back when the masked men come a-knocking. She is endlessly resourceful, smart, strong and sexy and you will root for her right to the vicious end. As the body count surges and spikes, Vinson's Erin is forced into action; not just action but brilliantly brutal violence. The other victims might be infrequently sympathetic but screaming and shouting at each other does provide some darkly comic moments.
There are plenty of suspenseful build ups, some shocking scares and a twist or two in the tale to watch out for but You're Next never quite fully delivers on the terror of the set up or the promise of the premise. The use of music is often inventive and occasionally bold and makes some sequences stand out from the rest. The problem is you can never quite forget that wonderful trailer for the film that promised so much and was scored to Lou Reed's Perfect Day (see below if you haven't seen it).
The mystery behind who is attacking the family becomes clearer mid way through the film and from there the suspense drops noticeably but there are still some thrills to be had as You're Next delivers it's next surprises. The comparisons to Scream and the touting of You're Next as the future of horror are forced and not fair to Scream or this film. While it shows some great potential and has some beautifully scored moments, it will be even more interesting to see what director Adam Wingard has in store for us next.
Watch the trailer here:
Recent reviews at I Love That Film: