It takes a lot for a movie to really scare me. They can make me jump or flinch a little, but to really scare me is difficult. It’s for that reason that I tend to prefer watching horror films with a more comedic edge. You’re Next fits into that mould perfectly. The movie is genuinely suspenseful, with some spectacular jump scares during the first half, but it’s also very funny and very clever.
You’re Next is at its base a home invasion flick. A family gets together at a summer home, and while they’re having a lively family dinner they come under attack by men in creepy goat masks. They don’t know how many men are attacking them or why, but we get to watch as one by one most of the characters are picked off. Emerging as the hero of the film is Erin, played by Sharni Vinson, the fiancé of one of the sons. She’s an outsider to this family, but she ends up taking control of the situation and kicks some serious ass in the process.
Where the comedy comes in is mostly through the extremely sharp dialogue. Many people unfamiliar with horror would likely find the dialogue laughably bad, but in truth the constant cliché and on-the-nose speech is clear satire of horror tropes. For example, when one character suggests hiding in the basement, Erin responds thatthe bad guys could just throw gas down there and set them on fire. This level of awareness is very funny, and it’s compounded by the fact that the characters end up falling into those cliché situations anyway.
The light satire makes You’re Next a ton of fun to watch, especially in a Midnight Madness-type setting, but the film doesn’t hold back on the scares. The jump scares in this movie are amazing, even when they’re telegraphed far in advance by staging and music. Those men in masks are really creepy, and a lot of the deaths are gory and gross. Director Adam Wingard pushes the film to the limits when it comes to the horror and violence, which only adds to the frantically fun lunacy.
You’re Next is the perfect film to watch with a big, rowdy, excited group of horror fans. It’s got blood and guts and jumps and laughs and a kick-ass lady for a lead. The film takes cues from Scream and Home Alone and Alien and Evil Dead, and if that kind of crazy mixture sounds fun to you then You’re Next is definitely a horror film to watch out for.