"They will hunt you" for You're Next. This black comedy horror thriller film directed by Adam Wingard, and written by Simon Barrett. 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.
Inspired by Wingard's desire to make a home invasion movie, as Wingard noted that they were the only films that still truly frightened him, as well as Agatha Christie mysteries, Barrett wrote a home invasion script with elements of screwball comedy and chamber mystery. Barrett would later note that Bay of Blood (1971) served as an inspiration whilst writing the script. In mid March 2011, with a budget of $1 million, principal photography commenced. Filming took place at an abandoned mansion in Columbia, Missouri for four weeks, mostly at night from 7pm to 7am. The majority of the film was shot with handheld camera to increase tension. The masks in the film were inspired by the masks in Hotline Miami.
The film stars Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, A. J. Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Barbara Crampton and Rob Moran. The Strangers gave us a pair of heroes who fought like hell to survive, becoming closer and stronger in the effort. Wingard's undeveloped protagonists are colossally stupid and frustratingly passive. In addition, the creepy folks with the animal masks are more fumbling than fiendish.
You're Next provides a few scares, but offers little else to distinguish itself from other sadistic, unmotivated home-invasion flicks. The movie deserves more stars for its bottom-line craft, but all the craft in the world can't redeem its story. No one is getting at anything in the film, except the cheapest, ugliest kind of sadistic titillation. It uses cinema to ends that are objectionable and vile. it does it well, with more than usual skill. Wingard has the pretensions of an artist and the indelicacy of a hack. He tries to get under our skin with a pile driver. It unfolds with an almost startling lack of self-awareness, Wingard's fifth effort is such a careful, straight-faced knockoff of '70s exploitation films that it plays like a parody. The film has a couple of scares, but it's not anywhere near as frightening as advertised. Messy, intermittently effective ordeal horror. The formula of calm followed by shock is repeated until one tires of the technical polish of Wingard's fifth film (with nods towards The Strangers and The Evil Dead) in the absence of coherent plot or character development. But I guess it's just hard for a movie about characters with animal masks to have any real teeth. Nothing gets the old heart pumping like the fear of home invasion, but you wouldn't know it by this one, an utterly pointless portrait of domestic terror. After such initial promise, it doesn't take long for the film to become awfully familiar. Wingard's psycho-thriller gets the job done for nearly two-thirds of its length. But when it shows its hand, it folds.
Simon says You're Next receives: