When a dangerous situation emerges, and one is faced with a fatal conflict, one of two things can happen. A person can choose to shut down; flee the scene, and simply run away from their crisis. Or, he or she can face the challenge head on, and fight the hand dealt. This choice to run away or stay and battle is called the “fight or flight response”, and it’s something that every person undergoes at some point in his or her life. Of course, if a few armed animal-mask-wearing maniacs invade your home, the response may be a bit more intense than usual.
You’re Next is a well demonstrated, exaggerated, enthralling personification of fight or flight. If you were eating dinner with the ones you loved, and suddenly, a team of psychotic miscreants attacked your home, how would you react? Would you muster your courage and fight? Would you run for your life? Or would your body fail to comply with your brain’s demands, and leave you standing stiff, unable to react? We’d all like to think that we’d choose “fight”, but we can’t hide our true nature when the consequences proves so drastic. When the situation calls for it, that’s when our real character emerges.
In Erin’s case, she chooses to fight. All she wanted to do was meet her boyfriend, Crispian’s family, and find solace in something she never had herself. Despite her desires, once chaos erupts, Erin’s wants wash away, and the warrior within arises. Her innate battle mode shines through, and it soon becomes apparent that there are more than a few secrets floating around the house. The rest of the family stands agape and watches, incredulous that such a young, small girl, can depend on herself in such dire events.
Full of excitement, You’re Next is easily one of the most terrifying films to come out in recent history. The unabashed brutal, innovative violence that director Adam Wingard brings to the feature is so honest and unrelenting that this home invasion feels real. The film wastes no time floundering with build up, and instead, jumps in the action within the first few minutes. Each moment is writhed with panic and despair. As the movie goes on, it becomes so intense that you’ll find yourself constantly on the edge of your seat, leaning forward, trying to anticipate every blow. The masks add a certain degree of terror, because it is always more frightening to be beaten by an unchanging face. Also, it lends to the mysterious side of the movie, because you start to wonder who is behind the masks, and what they’re trying to accomplish.
Despite its tense mood, You’re Next travels at a quick pace. The appropriate, well-timed humor creates a fun, much-needed relief between the moments of carnage, and aids in balancing out all of the mayhem. The twist at the end is a pretty predictable, but the film is still very enjoyable overall. Horror is evolving, with female characters becoming more resilient than ever before, and filmmakers Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett are leading the way to change. They aren’t afraid to portray a strong depiction of a woman, just as much as they do not fear showing an abundance of blood and devastating fatalities. Together, they created one of the most impressive, pulse-pounding home invasion films ever made.