The decades-long glut of horror movies cannot help but numb the regular filmgoer to the shocks, effects and jolts that are standard issue in this weary genre.
Too many vampires, serial killers, zombies or alien beasties, too many shrieking, bleeding coeds or gutted jocks and eviscerated cops, and the movies lose their sting.
Then a film like Youre Next comes along and reminds us that all you need to suck fans into your movie are people in jeopardy, pitiless killers and those one or two victims who fight back and win our sympathy.
The adult children of a wealthy couple (Barbara Crampton, Rob Moran) gather in their country house to help them celebrate a wedding anniversary. We barely have time to pick up on the friction over Crispian (A.J. Bowen), an academic, dating a student (Sharni Vinson) something brother Drake (Joe Swanberg) disapproves of and the disconnect between hipster brother Felix (Nicholas Tucci), his Goth girlfriend Zee (Wendy Glenn) and bubbly sister Aimee (Amy Seimetz), who is dating a filmmaker.
Then the crossbow bolts come crashing through the window, nobodys cellphone works, and people in the house start dying at the hands of hooded, animal-masked intruders. Is it a random act, part of a spree (weve seen neighbors slaughtered) or some sort of Satanic ritual?
Youre Next reaches for laughs with its cheap scares and bizarre reactions to life-or-death situations. People volunteer to go out there where the killers are, and get in a car to fetch help, or go upstairs alone to check out a noise.
Youre Next was shelved for a couple of years. But not because it is damaged goods. The frights are passable, the foreshadowing telling and the humor sick as it is quite funny.
So seriously, if you see just one slaughterhouse horror picture this year