Knock knock, you’re dead…
Barely 10 minutes into You’re Next, you’ll feel like you’ve seen all of this many times before. Arms will be crossed, posture will be slouched and expectations will be similarly lowered as you settle in for just another survival horror story. The film has all the usual jumps you might expect – everything seems to a jumping-off point early on – and it’s also stacked with the all-too familiar familial arguments. So far, so boring…
And then something happens. Having led the audience down a (nasty, weed-covered) garden path, the film suddenly delivers them at a destination they weren’t expecting. Turning the tables on the standard home-invasion horror, Simon Barrett’s (A Horrible Way To Die, V/H/S) script injects pace and plenty of surprises into a story that sees a gang of masked, axe-wielding murderers descend upon a family reunion.
Sharni Vinson is the stand out as the girl who goes a little Buffy, shocking the killers who expected to have everything their own way. Although top marks also go to Wendy Glenn as goth girlfriend Zee, channelling a mean streak that makes her seem like the bitchier big sister of Parks & Rec’s Aubrey Plaza.
‘Laugh out loud’ probably isn’t a quote director Adam Wingard (V/H/S, The ABCs Of Death) would want to see on the film’s poster, but there are a couple of moments where the humour cuts so darkly that it’s impossible to stifle a chuckle.
Smart, slick, funny and gruesome, this ticks every box for horror fans. And having slouched down into your seat at the beginning, You’re Next will make you sit up and take notice just as quickly.
You’re Next opens on 23 August in the US and on 30 August 2013 in the UK.