Review for You're Next
You're Next is either one of the best slasher/horror comedies in a long time or one of the dumbest. There doesn't seem to be an even ground on this. For everyone who says they love it, there seems to be an equal number who think it is nonsense. This causes a problem as I can't quite tell where I am with this film. In some ways I think it has just the right edge of horror and comedy and in others I think it is the stupidest film I have ever seen. I seem to be in the minority, as most either give it 10/10, Five Star reviews or are comparing it to the worst that Asylum put out.
A reunion of a wealthy family is disrupted when a gang of masked killers (after first killing the neighbours) set upon the Davison family out to kill them all one by one. After one of the grisly murders they find the time to stencil You're Next on the wall in blood and it seems there is no chance anyone is getting out alive. The attack appears to be random, but maybe that is not the case. However, the gang did not expect Erin played by the super hot Sharni Vinson, who was trained by her family in survivalist tactics' and decides to fight back with brutal consequences for all.
Now, where do I begin?
The film itself is fine. It really is. As a horror and slasher film it does exactly what you expect with buckets of blood, gory kills and jumpscares aplenty. The mix of humour works to some extent, however some of the moments are either stupid are so predictable that you do wonder whether they were intended or not.
The plot is predictable and I think the problem I found was a mixture of two things. One, we are not given any reason to care about any members of the family and any attempts to do that is undercut by the fact they are actually (or at least the members of the wealthy Davison family) all pretty loathsome silver spoon cliches that there's no reason to care. The other is that when you actually find out why the gang is doing it, it is explained so poorly that you spend the rest of the film going: What? Wait what?
One of the other problems I had was that once Erin goes all 'End Girl Survivor' she turns into a mixture of Jigsaw and Macauley Culkin in Home Alone with elaborate traps that would take more than just a few minutes to rig up. One moment is almost identical to Home Alone with the character standing on a nail and though (I presume) it is played for laughs, it does at least show what would really happen if you did that. The ending is also a little too silly and though I understand what the creators were going for it feels like once they had decided to go silly, they went all out and I'll never be able to look at a blender in the same way again.
The Blu-ray comes with very few extras which is a shame. A short featurette gives you the basics of how it was made and doesn't really go into much detail. This is disappointing, as it would have been nice to have seen what the creators were going for and also may explain why the film had such a delay between filming in 2011 and its eventual release in 2013.
However, if you can manage it, most of these stories and more are revealed in the two commentaries that accompany the film. I would say that this is too much. I could understand if the commentaries featured completely different people, but the first features Director Adam Wingard and Writer Simon Barrett and the other features them again and also stars Shami Vinson and Barbara Crampton.
The first one is fine and features all the stories you would expect from the creators, from the original ideas, casting choices and so forth as well as problems encountered when filming. The second is a complete mess and maybe if it had been just the two stars with maybe a few others it would have worked better. It felt just too much like 'Too many cooks spoil the commentary', almost like the ones for The Simpsons that feature dozens of people, half of which don't say more than a few things.
You're Next will either be a great film for you or a bad one. It really would be difficult for me to convince anyone otherwise. It's almost a film you would need to experience to actually form an opinion. I enjoyed most of it, I certainly enjoyed watching Shami Vinson and at times the mix of horror and comedy worked, but there were times when it really didn't. It would be interesting to see what this team had next in store, but if it's You're Next Two I'm afraid I'll probably pass... maybe.