By Taylor Griffin
Just as I started to have faith in the art of horror films again, this load of trite guff happens. Reeking of apathy and lacking continuity, “You’re Next,” released on Aug. 23, is a bloody awful time that’s less of a suspense quencher and more of a sadistic “Home Alone.”
The plot follows the Davison clan gathering together at their parents’ new house in the woods. Catty comments and trivial squabbling around the dinner table is abruptly cut short when assassins invade their home, killing them off one by one. While it’s certainly the typical slice-‘em-up flick, the last seven minutes or so offer a compelling twist to the norm.
This movie was so embarrassing it made the ’90s era horror flicks seem like “Rosemary’s Baby.” On top of which, it’s rather difficult to take an intruder wearing a lamb mask seriously.
Severe déjà vu ensues from the start. Imitation may be the highest form or flattery, but it’s a downright slap in the kisser to have little or no deviance from other slashers. Didn’t we see this with “The Strangers” in 2008 or even this summer’s “The Purge”?
At face value, the plot appears to encompass a strategic yet mindless group of crossbow assassins targeting a well-to-do family with petty problems, and from the start, it is. The momentum that stalemates through much of the running time revs up a bit in the last seven minutes or so, at or around the time Erin prepares a brain-matter smoothie still in the guy’s noggin.
Senseless mayhem ensues yet drastically subsides in inappropriate times. At one point, Erin stands bloodied after bumping off one of the perps, has a nonchalant dialogue with the youngest brother and never acknowledges the mangled dead sister-in-law flopped out the window. That’s a head scratcher.
With a formulated plot that’s expected of a horror flick, its relatively-green director Adam Wingard doesn’t seem to have a clue on how to execute anything more than textbook scare tactics. The film becomes so cookie-cutter, it’s practically insulting to watch.
The film loses much more than credibility and believability when one of the killers yells, “Would you just die already?” whilst knifing his own brother.
As a movie born in the throes of house invasion horror, a genre that’s grown moldy in the past few years, “You’re Next” is mostly tepid and never boils over into anything more than a formulated scary movie plot. While it’s a long-overdue break from the beaten dead horse that is the occult genre, this less-than-impressive spooker’s popularity will be as swift as a crossbow arrow’s shot.