You’re Next Screen 12 articles

You’re Next

2011

You’re Next Poster
  • ...Director Adam Wingard shoots everything so closely that we not only get very little sense of the space but we also notice how bad the acting is.... It’s the spatial confusion that’s the real killer here: At one point, a light goes on in the background, and it’s supposed to be shocking, but the framing is such that it feels casual, almost like a mistake. My guard went up instantly, and it pretty much never came back down.

  • The movie, which Simon Barrett wrote, fails every test of logic. You can hear the eyes of a packed theater roll in unison once the reason for the invasion is revealed. Once we know, none of the film's little horror ticks make sense, not the pre-invasion lurking of the masked men around the house, not the scrawling of the movie's title on a wall in blood after Davison gets a machete to the head

  • The big twist is actually pretty mild, especially when you consider how well Mario Bava pulled off the same idea 40 years earlier in Bay of Blood, and the characters are too flimsy to give it any real dramatic punch. Still, it's a solid retelling of an old story, distinguished by its not-at-all-squeamish final girl and its string of grisly jokes.

  • It's precisely tooled for the stuff horror genre fans love--all the reliable beats are there--but the murders are hilarious. When the Davidsons decide to send for help and Amy sells herself to the family as their fastest runner, she's offended they decline and whines, "You never believed in me!" By the time I got excited for the next funny death, I had to check in with my moral compass--and so will you.

  • [...The twists] quickly become wrenches in the plot, needlessly complicating the film as it stumbles toward a predictable denouement. Nevertheless, pulpy pleasures abound: scenes of extreme violence are abstracted to the point of comic absurdity, and there are multiple nods to vintage exploitation thrillers.

  • If the first half of the film is dark and relentless, then the second is a more slapstick affair, with loads of macabre jokes and a succession of devilishly inventive demises, albeit at the expense of narrative cohesion. With every revelation, each more ridiculous than the last, there’s a slight twinge of disappointment. You wish Wingard and his screenwriter Simon Barrett had been a touch more ambitious and a little less Scooby Doo.

  • It’s true that You’re Next isn’t terribly stylish... nor is it really very clever: it doesn’t go for Cabin in the Woods-type post-modernism, commenting on its own generic slasher plot. As the film unfolds, however, one increasingly feels that Wingard and Co. know exactly what they’re doing, which is to find the elusive sweet-spot between (dry) comedy and horror and create a film that’s confident, pacy and unusually honest, almost retro in its no-frills directness.

  • Beneath this humour there lingers a palpable cynicism—towards family, relationships and even academia—that never allows You’re Next to descend into a mere spoof. Instead, the film creates both a fresh text from old conventions and fresh kills with innocuous objects.

  • What separates Adam Wingard’s latest feature (he’s since contributed segments to The ABCs of Death and both installments of V/H/S) from other recent home-invasion outings is its impeccable balance of serious scares and humor. It is, then, a rare example of satisfying horror-comedy, a crowd-pleaser laced with some hilariously gruesome violence. It also takes family dysfunction to delirious new heights...

  • Wingard milks door-creeping suspense for all it’s got, and when the script takes a turn toward devious backstabbing, there’s relish in it. Nothing here is new, but you can’t call expert craft like this warmed-over. Solidly satisfying with ruthless forward momentum, the film plays like a minor triumph.

  • Injecting the home-invasion thriller with fresh DNA, Adam Wingard’s“You’re Next” strays just enough from formula to tweak our jaded appetites. That it does so without spraying the gore to geyserlike excess says a great deal about Mr. Wingard’s sensibility. Never one to linger ghoulishly over violence — or to rely on bloodletting to plug a weak script — he prefers to strike and move on.

  • It's worth noting that a lesser film would harp on the class differences between Erin and the Davidsons. But You're Next avoids peddling a tired theme, choosing instead to employ the age-old plot point of money as a motive for murder. The lack of forced timeliness is one reason the film stands to outlive its era, and another is the ace craftsmanship on display.

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