“Why would anybody do this?!” asks a horrified Drake (Joe Swanberg) when three masked killers begin attacking his family at their getaway home in the woods in the horror film You’re Next.
When Crispian Davidson (AJ Bowen) and his girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson) arrive at his parents’ wedding anniversary dinner, they surprise his dad who was checking the house to see if an intruder was upstairs after Crispian’s mom Aubrey (Barbara Crampton) claimed to have heard a noise. Soon the rest of the family and friends arrive to celebrate what should be a fun and memorable weekend, but as a fight begins between brothers Crispian and Drake, suddenly arrows are being fired at the family, breaking windows and sending the family into a panic.
Terrified, in shock, and not knowing what to do, the Davidsons begin to listen to Erin who seems to have all the best ideas on how to avoid and fight the masked murders currently working their way into the home on what seems to be a bloodthirsty killing spree.
Suspenseful and gory, You’re Next is an effective take on the home-invasion plot for the first half of the movie but becomes overly violent and predictable in the second half of the film. Sharni Vinson gives the film’s stand out performance as Erin the girlfriend who has incredible survival instincts and gives the killers a real fight. She’s reminiscent of heroines of earlier slasher films such as ‘Laurie’ (Jamie Lee Curtis) from Halloween or ‘Sydney’ (Neve Campbell) in Scream.
The three masked killers are at first very intimidating and scary but when one of them gets attacked by Erin and unmasked, the fear factor drops considerably. The film also takes a drastic turn in its tone and action a little more than halfway through, going from a horror film to a dark comedy. Unfortunately, it falls short of succeeding with the tonal shift.
With over-the top gore and scares that ultimately lose their steam midway through, You’re Next is a small budget horror film that gets lost amongst all the blood and carnage.
You’re Next opens in theaters on August 23, 2013 and is rated R for strong bloody violence, language and some sexuality/nudity.