The Big Picture
- Director Adam Wingard’s You’re Next features a classic home invasion plot with a range of two-dimensional characters and lots of bloodshed.
- The estranged Davison family gathers at an isolated estate, tensions rise, and they become fodder for a group of masked killers.
- The characters in the film embody archetypal roles, with the patriarch favoring his eldest son and dismissing his wife’s concerns, and the eldest sibling being the obnoxious golden boy.
Who doesn’t love a home invasion movie featuring an axe-wielding Aussie badass who decimates masked killers? Director Adam Wingard‘s You’re Next follows a classic home invasion plot that goes awry while hosting a range of two-dimensional characters that are purely walking meat. Like many horror protagonists, Erin (Sharni Vinson) has no idea what she’s in for when she arrives at the Davison estate to meet her boyfriend’s estranged, cutthroat, and chaotic family. Each family member has deep-rooted issues with each other that implode during the first family dinner and are only exacerbated when the killings start. Among the squealing and the blood, it becomes hard to keep track of who’s who, and why they hate each other.
The estranged Davison family congregate at an isolated woodland estate to celebrate their parents’ anniversary. Erin arrives with her boyfriend, Crispian (A. J. Bowen), completely unaware of his family’s dynamics and wealth. Each sibling is accompanied by their significant other, some being introduced to the family for the first time and others being no stranger to the drama. As each archetypal character is reunited, tensions slowly rise until they come to a head at the family dinner. Armed with fairly arbitrary motives, the Davisons become fodder for a group of masked invaders, but naturally, they are picked off one by one. In this family, adversity only brings out the worst in them.
When the Davison family comes under attack during their wedding anniversary getaway, the gang of mysterious killers soon learns that one of the victims harbors a secret talent for fighting back.
- Release Date
- September 10, 2011
- Sharni Vinson , Nicholas Tucci , Wendy Glenn , AJ Bowen , Joe Swanberg , Margaret Laney
- Comedy , Horror , Mystery , Thriller
Aubrey and Paul Davison Are ‘You’re Next’s Typical Wealthy Parents
We first meet Paul (Rob Moran) and Aubrey (Barbara Crampton) Davison as they drive into the isolated estate, eager to celebrate their anniversary with their children. As the patriarch of the family tree, Paul is a classic wealthy man, with high expectations for his two eldest sons, ignorance for his youngest, and a soft spot for his spoiled daughter. Yet, comparing Paul’s more boisterous interactions with his eldest son, to his hushed conversation with Crispian about his fellowship, or lack thereof, indicates who he truly favors. This also foreshadows the twist at the end — with his eldest most likely being the sole heir to his wealth and estate, drastic measures must be taken to even the playing field.
The ‘You’re Next’ Sequel That Never Happened Would’ve Been Killer
The writer and director had grand plans to continue Erin’s fight against the masked killers.
On the other hand, Aubrey is touched by the classic female malady, where her concerns and intuition are dismissed as mental health issues (or as the 1900s liked to call it, hysteria). In one of the first sequences, Aubrey’s suspicion of intruders isn’t taken too seriously, especially as her medication is mentioned multiple times. And though Paul goes upstairs to investigate, he abruptly stops as soon as he meets Crispian, who carelessly asks “Why is mom crying outside?” Weeping is where Aubrey’s characterization starts and ends, making her the perfect target for one of the early kills. It’s the paradigm of a traditionally patriarchal household, and it works best as a basic canvas for the upcoming fun kills.
Aimee and Tariq Are the First to Go In ‘You’re Next’
Crispian’s younger sister, Aimee (Amy Seimetz), and her elusive boyfriend, Tariq (Ti West), are the first couple to be fully killed off. As the first out-of-the-blue kill, Tariq simply did not have enough screen time to develop a personality, and, alas, his character archetype seems to be “artsy victim.” He was more of an extension of Aimee’s character archetype: insecure daddy’s little princess. Growing up in a more masculine household with a mother that many characters overtly dismiss, Aimee was bound to develop insecurities, especially considering her father’s penchant for favoritism. During dinner, she desperately defends her boyfriend’s career path and, later, tries to prove her worth by running out to find help. However, like Tariq, she faces a brutal and immediate death, cutting off any hope of achieving her father’s approval.
Drake and Kelly — The Precious Firstborn Couple
The eldest sibling of the Davison family, Drake (Joe Swanberg) is everything a wealthy golden child is stereotyped to be. He is obnoxious, judgmental, arrogant and, most importantly, believes commercials are the “height of the art form these days.” Subsequently, his grating personality causes issues with all his siblings, and he is egotistical enough to believe that it is simply because they are jealous of him — which is partly true. As the louder version of his financially-driven father and the likely sole heir, it is fitting that he is killed at the hands of the brother who orchestrated the invasion.
Drake’s wife, Kelly (Margeret Laney), also feeds into his image as the reflection of his father. Both couples fit into their stereotypical gender roles, with Kelly particularly embodying a whining trophy wife who constantly echoes her husband’s opinions. It also seems her version of Aubrey’s medication is illicit drugs, once again giving the family grounds to dismiss her. Also, like the Davison parents, Drake gets a significant death scene, while Kelly’s is just a fun extra moment.
Are Felix and Zee Anti-social or Sociopathic?
Crispian’s younger brother, Felix (Nicholas Tucci), and his girlfriend, Zee (Wendy Glen), are archetyped as the anti-social, edgy, and jaded couple. Unlike the rest of his siblings, Felix doesn’t seem to care about his dad’s approval and is perfectly fine with being almost forgotten. Most of the pre-invasion drama focuses on the other three siblings while Felix remains content in the background. However, by the end of You’re Next, we realize that the couple’s complacency is more due to their sociopathy. Zee claims the crown for a lack of empathy, especially after her suggestion to become intimate next to Felix’s mother’s corpse. However, Felix’s troubled reactions to seeing his father’s death and killing his brother are unsettling, as he seems completely disconnected from the tragedy he has unleashed. His nervousness and outright petulance towards the mercenaries he hired is a more disturbing reaction than the nonchalance you would expect from a sociopath.
Crispian and Erin — The Coward and the Survivalist
Initially, it seems that Crispian is the most relatable and comparatively normal character in his twisted family tree. Apart from the tension between him, Drake, and his father, he generally gets along pleasantly with the rest of the family — until we realize he is also in on the plan to massacre them. Abandoning Erin and returning only after everyone is dead, it is clear that Crispian’s archetype is a coward. But like Felix, he also harbors a strange emotional disconnect, as he barely bats an eye when he finds out his accomplices have been murdered, and tries to rationally convince Erin to join his plan.
Luckily for us, Erin encapsulates the archetype of a pure badass. With a survivalist background, she allows her rage to guide her actions and retaliates against her homicidal boyfriend’s offer with a knife. Favoring simplistic characters and motives, You’re Next provides this Aussie killing machine with the perfect family drama to unleash her rustic traps on, creating a thrilling film you can laze on the couch and switch off your mind to.
You’re Next is available to stream on DIRECTV in the U.S.
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