Studio-Provided Plot Synopsis: One of the smartest and most terrifying films in years, You’re Next reinvents the genre by putting a fresh twist on home-invasion horror. When a gang of masked, ax-wielding murderers descend upon the Davison family reunion, the hapless victims seem trapped…until an unlikely guest of the family proves to be the most talented killer of all.
My Thoughts: One of my favorite films last year was Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard’s send-up of the horror genre, The Cabin in the Woods. While You’re Next doesn’t have the same approach, it similarly honors and freshens up the genre. If the former film was a send-up of current horror films, though, You’re Next draws inspiration more from the now-dated horror films of the 70s and 80s. The acting is intentionally over-the-top, filled with nearly every character making at least one decision that falls into what I like to call the “stupid white people making stupid decisions” trap that many horror films contain. Here, though, these decisions are played with a wink to the audience. The biggest key to the film’s success, though, may be the lead performance by Sharni Vinson as the newest member of the extended family. In the hands of another actress, I can see this role going over the top. Vinson manages to ground it enough where it’s easy to accept that she grew up in a survivalist group in Australia. In a year that’s contained a surprising amount of solid horror films, You’re Next may be one of the best. For fans of the genre, it’s worth the price of admission.