You’re Next is a home invasion horror film where a family are attacked in their home by psycho killers. This type of horror movie has become a fairly popular little sub-genre of slasher films during the last ten years. The Strangers with Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman was probably the film that renewed interest in this particular kind of slasher flick. The home invasion slasher first became popular in the eighties when films like Mother’s Day were released. The sub-genre then disappeared into obscurity until The Strangers did well at the box office. Other home invasion movies like the Mother’s Day remake were also fairly successful. This year at least two films in this genre will be released at cinemas as trailers for You’re Next and The Purge are currently doing the rounds. Professor and Author Paula Marantz Cohen once described how the genre does a good job at reflecting an increased fear of the erosion of distinctions between private and public space. Films that can unsettle an audience in that way can be popular on a friday night at the local cinema.
In You’re Next the Davison family travel to a remote woodland location to celebrate a wedding anniversary. Sending the main characters to such a remote location is a well worn cliche but it does isolate the victims and work as a plot device. Things go downhill when a random crew of nutcases wearing masks turn up and attempt to kill the family. Some family members will no doubt be killed and at least one of them will decide to fight back based on the info in the trailer. Watching ordinary people attempt to outfox a bunch of lunatics is usually quite intriguing. When a normal family is forced into a fight or flight situation it is interesting to see how far they will go to defend their home. It’s especially entertaining if the protagonists are smart enough to use their knowledge of the familiar surroundings to their advantage.
The trailer is well made and it makes nice use of the song Perfect Day by Lou Reed. The family are introduced and they seem like good people the audience will root for to survive and win. The psychos are also quite creepy with their strange animal masks and they never talk. The trailer is not very scary but it’s effective enough to stand out at the cinema and it may make a few people jump. The cast is made up of unknown actors apart from the director Ti West who is popular and has a role as a family member. The director Adam Wingard has experience directing horror films but his previous films are not well known. You’re Next may put the director in the spotlight if the film is popular.
It’s a shame the film looks so derivative and routine though. On paper it looks like the film ticks all the boxes for a formulaic slasher flick. It may fail to attract jaded horror fans tired of seeing the same old formula used over and over again. There are too many horror remakes and formula jobs being released these days and not enough original ideas. The film will clearly not win any praise for originality but The Strangers was not very original either and it still did well. There is always a chance that the film will win out if it is well made and acted.
Not every film can or will be a masterpiece or completely original plot-wise.
Those people willing to overlook the films lack of originality may yet find You’re Next a thrilling and fun experience when it is released on August 23rd.
Have a look at the trailer and share your thoughts.