In the realm of horror movies, managing expectations matters far more than in other genres. For every surprisingly decent horror film there are a dozen disappointments, and the former are so rare that they become cause for celebration. Adam Wingard’s You’re Next
seeks to be such a film. Centering on a family reunion gone horribly awry, the film believes that the only thing more terrifying than a home invasion is a home invasion carried out by people wearing spooky masks. But its promising (and, at times, even enthralling) first half gives way to a second act that’s ultimately more interested in showcasing increasingly ghoulish methods of dispatching unsuspecting victims than it is in maintaining suspense. You’re Next
has a great, dark sense of humor—one character spends much of the film with a crossbow bolt lodged in his back, the sight of which serves as a recurring punch line—but the longer it goes on, the more mean-spirited it becomes. Wingard’s camera takes excessive pleasure in lingering over dead bodies, and while it’s nothing new for a horror flick to treat its characters as little more than cannon fodder, that’s a disappointing tack for a movie that seems poised to transcend its genre’s more tired conventions.