The slasher film has gone through quite the upheaval over the years, arguably Scream was the film that had the greatest impact on this particular type of horror. Before Wes Craven single-handedly set the horror genre into reboot, slasher films were stuck in a rut, essentially becoming a crazy man running through the woods after a screaming girl. Craven proved that horror could certainly be a lot smarter.
However, with the advent of the Saw franchise, horror seemed to reverse backwards, the films becoming all about the amount of blood you could spill in the space of two hours and just how brutal (in both senses of the word) you could make every scene. There are a few films that have certainly helped with making horror that little bit more clever, Cabin in the Woods is certainly the most well-written of these, but James Wan and The Conjuring has definitely asked for horror to be taken more seriously, just with some simple scares.
What is pretty refreshing about You’re Next is the fact that it doesn’t try to live up to any of the horror ideals set out by the genre, and it certainly doesn’t adhere to any of the horror rules. What a lot of directors seem to have forgotten is that horror can also be fun, but if you are going to make a fun horror film, it better be a damn good one.
Beginning with a typical “horror” entrance, a couple, who have taken up residency in a house in the woods, are brutally murdered without anyone to come to their aid. The film then focuses on the Davison family who arrive at the house next door on a short break with their family to celebrate their anniversary. However, their dinner with their extended family starts to go horribly wrong when they are attacked by a group of unknowns with bows and arrows outside the house.
When the family begin to be taken out one by one, Erin, the girlfriend of one of the sons takes it upon herself to defend the rest of the family while her boyfriend, Crispian, goes in search of help. But Erin has no idea who is actually behind the attacks or who is targeting the family she is desperately trying to protect.
While the acting in the film is pretty sub-standard, Sharni Vinson who plays Erin most certainly carries the entire project. However, this really isn’t played for scares, this is just plain good fun. Although some people may be slightly insulted about what it is being played for laughs, the key is not to take the project too seriously. Even the reveal is played for laughs…
The amount of blood spilt in the film is excessive in parts, the house nearly destroyed throughout the ordeal but there are certainly enough moves to keep you second guessing who is behind the attacks.
Try not to expect too much here, this is not the next Scream, but it’s a fairly enjoyable ride.