The not so subtle title pretty much sums up the film, this is however not such a predictable slasher film as its been marketed, but more of a indie neo-Peckinpah ode to the everyday man (well woman) refusing to be a victim and fighting back (wither that be against masked killers or sexist stereotypes/prejudices of the common female victimisation in slasher films).
The film is directed by prince of the underground horror scene Adam Wingard; who has made his name from his segments in both horror ciné-mix-tapes V/H/S & The ABC’s Of Death. Wingard has made a film that challenges the perspective and mantra of the standard horror film, cleverly mixing violence with comedy and even some unpredictable plot twists.
You’re Next was completed way back in 2011 and was a smash at TIFF, but was not picked up and distributed by Lionsgate until 2013. Mr. Wingard described his film as "I think we’re coming out of the age of horror films where I think people are tired of being punished by violence and so forth. While “You’re Next” is a super violent film, we approach it completely differently."
I feel this statement is just, yet from what I have seen, I feel instead of a regurgitated Wes Craven ode to horror, this film has taken influence from more of a Hitchcock realm, as this film does give our Killers a motive instead of mindless murder for thrills, but ultimately is a disciple from the CinéChurch of Peckinpah.
Using violence as a lubricant to the narrative, this film has that raw video-nasty ethics, including some gruesome violence, the casual nudity and the one of two dodgy pieces of dialogue; However You’re Next also nods to the cinematography of Lars Von Trier’s Dogme docu-style. Difficult & debatable to summarise this film as Art or Exploitation?
The film I would say is not a “Horror film”, but a ultra-violent stage-play, 6 actors, one set etc, very theatrically laid out. This film is entertaining & border line satire, the pace of the film is surprisingly slow during the anticipated siege of the house, but the 1st & 3rd acts were we are introduced to who & what is about to happen flows perfectly.
You’re Next will be ideal for those who love the films of Peckinpah, Fredkin & Hitchcock, with a pinch of Von Trier & a dab of Craven, making this a recipe which at first glimpse, deceptively appears to be a B-Exploitation Picture, however it does matures into a layered drama with a insidious agenda behind it.