You’re Next (2011)

A figure wearing a fox mask stands in a doorway holding a machete by his side

You’re Next was one of the biggest horror films of 2013, even if the film was made in 2011. The film received critical acclaim upon release and it helped to kick-start a resurgence of horror films in mainstream cinema such as It Follows, Stephen King’s It and Get Out. To this day, You’re Next is commonly regarded as one of the best horror films to arrive in the last ten years. As a result, I’ll admit I was reasonably hyped to see You’re Next after reading the positive reviews and seeing the youtube parodies, despite already knowing that You’re Next is a straight-forward slasher/home invasion film. However, my experience of watching You’re Next would turn out to be quite different to what I was expecting.

I was aware before going watching the film that You’re Next was supposed to be quite straight-forward, but I wasn’t aware of how straight-forward the film actually is. I was disappointed to find that You’re Next is yet another victim of the overused ‘paint my numbers’ slasher formula. I was able to predict every death, every character interaction and every plot-point because the film doesn’t deviate from the formula that I have seen many times, and You’re Next doesn’t anything original or innovative to the standard formula. Throughout the film I was constantly waiting, wanting something new, something different, something that would warrant critic and fan appraisal, something better than the films that came before it like Intruder, Friday The 13th or even Hatchet. Instead, I was sadly disappointed that the film did nothing new story-wise, I was only pleasantly surprised by the last three minutes of screen time which was enjoyably unpredictable, but it wasn’t worth the 87 minutes that got me there. I was also very shocked to see that You’re Next was incredibly cliched as well: I was shaking my head at scenes of pointless slow-mo, camera shaking, and characters arguing that their phones don’t work. I’ve seen multiple cases where films have used cliches like these, especially horror films made in the last ten years. In my personal opinion, it’s getting really tiresome, and I need to witness something different, I’m practically begging for something different, it doesn’t have to be new, it just has to be unexpectedly different to what’s been shown time and time again without any self-awareness.

That’s not to say everything about You’re Next is disappointing. The film-makers have a clear awareness of cinematography as the film is quite well shot – or at least it is when the cameraman isn’t having a seizure – and the characters are portrayed by decent actors, but the most positive aspect of You’re Next is the fact that the film has rather enjoyable slasher movie villains. The villains take their cues from classic slasher villains such as Michael Myers and Jason Voorhess, however, You’re Next also takes a big cue from Wilderness, one of my personal favourite slasher movies, by giving the villains military backgrounds, have them stalk and kill from unpredictable places and leave traps for the victims. This is something rarely witnessed in slasher movies and it’s definitely a noteworthy addition to You’re Next, unfortunately, it’s the only noteworthy addition worth mentioning.

I was very disappointed with You’re Next. For a film with a $1,000,000 budget and an investment from Lionsgate Entertainment Corporation, I expected something much better than what was given. The creators of You’re Next had 30 years of slasher movie history that they could have learnt from, but instead they decided to give horror fans a run-of-the-mill slasher film with barely any redeeming qualities. Honestly, I didn’t thoroughly dislike You’re Next. I actually thought it was reasonably entertaining, but I’m really insulted by the fact that talented, industry experienced film-makers decide to hash out an ‘okay’ film which gets eaten up by fans and critics alike. Stitches and Last House On The Left (2009) were better horror movies than You’re Next, yet those films were panned whilst You’re Next receives the title of one of the greatest films of the past 10 years, I don’t understand it. In conclusion, You’re Next isn’t a must-see film, it’s not bad, but it isn’t spectacularly good either.

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