In Review: You’re Next on DVD

by Neil Sheppard on 14/01/2014


Back in 2006, French film Ils (Them) tried to break the horror mould by telling the reportedly-true story of a happy couple in an isolated house being terrorised by anonymous home invaders in masks. This saved the film from having to give its killers a back story – they were just thrill-seeking psychopaths out for a joyride – and the plot could be stripped back to simple, visceral horror. It’s a trick that’s been mimicked over and over recently and You’re Next (2011) is… well… next.

Adam Wingard’s latest tries to carve out a niche with some memorable scenes; not least the set-up of our cast sitting down to a family reunion dinner only to be interrupted mid-feud as masked crazies open fire on them with a crossbow through the window. Even more of a stand-out is our Final Girl, Erin (Sharni Vinson), the Australian girlfriend and former student of one of the sons. Almost uniquely, Erin is our hero, not out of celebrity or virginity, but through sheer badassery.

The plot’s central mystery – why the family is being attacked – is enough to keep you guessing until the end, but You’re Next is quite slow at times and, alas, Erin is a hell of a lot scarier than the film’s meagre villains. While there’s some nice tension, there’s not much here to keep you awake at night. Good effort, but the movie just isn’t quite clever enough to stop you wondering what the horror genre will dredge up next.


First up on the extras is a brief but informative making-of doc; unfortunately, what it informs you is that everyone on the set has a completely different idea of the film’s concept. Some see it as a comedy, some see it as a straight horror, some seem to think it’s a genre-redefining classic and others quite obviously think it was just a job. On the one hand, it explains the uneven tone of the film, but equally you have to respect that it came out as coherent as it did.

Elsewhere, we get two commentaries – one with director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett and another with the same duo, but also two of the cast interrupting them with irreverent in-jokes. The former is reasonably enlightening, while the latter grates.

Neil has awarded You’re Next three Torches of Truth


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