"I thought you just surfed together. I didn't know you were related."
By the time "You're Next" gets to that revelatory line of dialogue, odds are incredulous laughter has already set in. The victims of this supposed scare-fest are a family that treat each other like dirt, so it's nearly impossible to show any allegiance towards them. When one couple is alone together, the two mock another's girlfriend because she has an accent. If the goal here was to get the audience to root for the killers and for these terrible people to get their comeuppance, then mission accomplished.
The family is comprised of at least one director who has produced a much better horror film. Ti West, the director of "The House of the Devil" and "The Innkeepers", plays the boyfriend of one of the siblings. At least he's the first victim(easily spoiled in the trailer), because maybe getting away from this family as quickly as possible was the best thing for him. Indie filmmaker Joe Swanberg plays one of the brothers as well, and Rob Moran(recognizable from nearly every one of the Farrelly Brothers' movies) plays the father. At least A.J. Bowen's character is the one that goes for help. He disappears right before his acting could possibly get any worse.
"You're Next" has viewers jumping in their seats early on, but once the house out in the middle of nowhere starts to fill up with family members, the suspense gives way to violence and brutality. How many times does someone have to hit another over the head with a meat tenderizer before the viewer gets the point? Probably not that many.
When these characters aren't uttering the atrocious dialogue, they behave in the stupidest of ways. When the family members find a fresh body inside the house, it doesn't click for awhile that one of the killers is probably in the house. Meanwhile, the dad makes a discovery that begs more questions than answers, and it doesn't seem to matter in the long run anyhow(it is certainly never mentioned again). Also, how many of the masked men are there? The end credits seem to acknowledge three, but that would mean injuries to some of them would have magically healed themselves. And I could be wrong, but I believe a knife through the eye wouldn't exactly be healed by rubbing some dirt on it.
"You're Next" eventually explains itself, but by that point it is expected that motives would be threadbare and barely make sense. Of course, this is just a movie, but there isn't enough praise to give to overlook the bad acting, and writing that is even worse. There are plot and logic holes bigger than the ones in some of these characters after the movie is done with them. Giving a character a cigarette and making her roll her eyes like a you-know-what isn't character development. And having to reiterate the spelling of her name is even worse. The filmmakers behind "You're Next" obviously think the gratuitous violence and bloodletting will make people forgive and forget the fact that the rest of the film feels like it was made up as they went along. Well, this reviewer didn't forget, and such issues can't be forgiven. Now it's clear how they got their title. Anyone who buys a ticket to "You're Next" is the next one to be taken for a ride.