Slasher Sundays: You’re Next (2011)

Written by Culture, Film

The era of the proto-slasher is a mixed bag, with some stumbling down the stairs as they attempt to re-define the genre whilst others embrace this post-80s era spectacularly. You’re Next is one of these examples, a film that manages to stay refreshing in a sect of horror that has been done to death.

Our merry band of spoilt brats and their various plus ones are thrown into a game of survival of the fittest.

You’re Next has a simple but effective premise: a rich white family has a stereotypical, unpleasant gathering. This reunion of sorts is thwarted by an attack from a band of militaristic and highly prepared hitmen who are there for reasons that aren’t unveiled until the final act. However, a lot is learned through trickled information over the course of the film as the twists and turns spill outwards like the innards of many unfortunate guests.

Our merry band of spoilt brats and their various plus ones are thrown into a game of survival of the fittest, but none of them are smart prey and instead stumble into their own demise more often than not, making classic slasher mistakes and basic nonsensical choices in true horror fashion. It’s believable because they are completely and utterly arrogant and self-assured, all whilst being stuck in perpetual in-fighting that ultimately bogs down their chances by a significant percentage.

What You’re Next excels at in particular is that, unlike other post-90s slashers such as Cry_Wolf, it doesn’t attempt to be smart or intuitive, instead reveling in being an action-packed spectacle. It does throw a touch of girl power and a sprinkle of satirical dark humour on top for a nice glaze, but the final product is one that understands its simplicity, working spectacularly with its limited toolset. The cinematography is outstanding, the visuals are stunning, the performances are great and the plot is well-paced, thrilling and engaging from start to finish.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-watch modern horror, You’re Next is a perfect choice, and Adam Wingard’s future as a director is an exciting one.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Featured image credit: IMDb

Last modified: 9th March 2020

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