Review: You’re Next

Paint by numbers or just copying everything that’s come before? Dan finds You’re Next just doesn’t live up to expectations and makes for a dull, if jumpy, ride.

In the run up to the release date, You’re Next rivalled any Hollywood blockbuster for advertising. TV coverage, online competitions, trailers, posters, billboards and preview screenings, it’s been everywhere.

Usually this level of coverage means one of two things. Could this be a very good film that deserves to be seen by all, or is it option two, are the many adverts and competitions just trying to draw the crowds in before the critics tell us how rubbish it really is?

As it happens, I really wanted it to be the former. As a fan of the genre, I’ve been excited that horror has seemed to be getting back on its feet recently. After making an epic movie resurrection with Evil Dead, this film is an opportunity to help cement the big horror comeback.

However, with the film taking two years to get a UK release, I didn’t hold my breath and in the end it just missed the mark, much more dark thriller than horror, if anything.

The story itself is pretty straightforward and the title more or less outlines what you’ll be watching. A family all re-unite for a weekend, in the middle of nowhere, to celebrate their parents anniversary when suddenly the family come under attack by killers in animal masks. One by one, the family are brutally slaughtered but one of the victims has a secret about her background that increases their chances of survival.

So far, so could be any horror film ever made ever. Characters being killed off one by one for no reason at all, with more & more imaginative or schlocky ways of murder with each kill. Unfortunately, it seems like we’re running out of ideas on how people can die, especially here with the characters confined to one house for the entire film.

The film did promise lots of blood and it does deliver, the scene where one unfortunate character gets their head caved in with a meat tenderiser is sure to make you shudder. Another one stepping through a window onto nails made my feet curl (they clearly took inspiration from Home Alone here).

Acting wise, there are no big stars in this film and it shows. The acting is okay but after 30 minutes it starts to grate.

Credit is due to director Andrew Wingard for the suspense created. There are times you’ll be waiting for something to happen, you’ll find yourself on the edge of your seat and then BOOM! Brown underwear.

The big reveal is used to set the film apart from it’s contemporaries, but actually the reveal is quite predictable and just followed the standard paint-by-numbers horror trend. I also can’t shake the feeling that I’ve seen it somewhere before.

All in all, it’s not the worst film I’ve ever seen but it’s nowhere near a great picture. If you’re a blood hound and like to see a film just for violence and maybe a few jumps then you will have a good time. I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it again, once is enough and if you don’t even reach that, you’re not missing out on anything special.

★★☆☆☆

Dan Geeves

You’re Next is out now.

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