Follow TV Tropes


Film / You're Next

Go To

You're Next is a 2011 horror film directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett (V/H/S).

Aubrey (Barbara Crampton) and Paul (Rob Moran) Davison are celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary, and they've invited all four of their kids: Big Brother Bully Drake (Joe Swanberg), college professor Crispian (AJ Bowen), lowlife Felix (Nicholas Tucci), and overly excitable Aimee (Amy Seimetz). Their respective partners are along for the get-together: Drake's wife, Kelly (Margaret Laney); college student Erin (Sharni Vinson); quiet girl Zee (Wendy Glenn), and underground filmmaker Tariq (Ti West).

No sooner has dinner started than the family's gotten into an argument, but in short order, the quarreling is interrupted by a crossbow attack by a group of people in animal masks. Luckily, Erin knows how to return the assault in kind...


Here's the official trailers and a remix trailer.

Not to be confused with a common phrase in CreepyPasta.

This film provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Erin, who's a trained survivalist. To wit, when the killers first attack, she's the one to take control of the situation and advise everyone on how to escape the room safely. She's also by far the most proactive member of the group — did we mention that she's from Australia? She claims half of the film's kills, killing all of the villains.
  • Annoying Arrows: Played straight and also averted in different scenes. Tariq goes down with one bolt to his forehead. Drake takes his shot in the large muscles of the back and loses a lot of blood, but lives on for most of the movie.
  • An Axe to Grind: The sheep-masked killer carries one for his kills.
  • Advertisement:
  • Asshole Victim: Felix, Zee and Crispian. Being the main perpetrators of what happened to the family, being killed all by Erin is quite a Karmic Death. Subverted with Drake, who shows a kinder side, and a willingness to put his life on the line for his family before he dies.
  • Awesome Aussie: Erin was raised in the Outback. It shows in both her attitude and her badassery.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Erin is an absolute sweetheart to the people she cares about, and a ruthless killer to anyone threatening her life and/or the people she cares about.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Zee, who rarely speaks and is in on the plan.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Crispian came up with the plan, Felix hired the guys to carry it out.
  • Big Brother Bully: Drake seems to have been a bit of one towards Crispian.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Crispian at first looks like the classic nice nerdy boy usually bullied by his bigger brother and stuff. Turns out it's the true mastermind, along with Felix, behind the attack of the killers at the house in order to inhert his family's money. Once his true nature is revealed he can be considered the worst villain of the movie since unlike Felix who at least feels some remorse for his actions and the killers who care for each other, Crispian only cares for money and nothing else, not even his girlfriend.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Assuming Erin survives the gunshot wound, she will definitely be arrested. Not only will Erin likely be initially blamed for all the murders, including those whom she didn't kill, she'll also be charged with the murder of the cop. However, the presence of the cell-phone jammer that won't have her fingerprints and can likely be traced to whoever bought it, the masked men to whom the police can trace a connection to the masterminds, the camera that took pictures of one of the masked men stalking her with a bloody machete, the fact that she has no motive, and her complete disconnection to the film's very first murders that are clearly done by the same people who attacked the house are equally likely to prove her innocence and self-defense. In all likelihood, prosecutors may not bother trying to charge her with anything, except maybe involuntary manslaughter for the cop. No matter what, she's in for a hell of a traumatic legal ordeal.
  • Black Comedy: There's a mix of horror and humor all over the place. One standout moment occurs after Drake gets the arrow in the shoulder, he gets so doped up on painkillers, he barely notices the arrow still sticking out of him, leading to him pulling it out later without any care, fainting. Then after Paul is killed, Felix and Zee just stare at his corpse while Fox Face just simply walks up next to them, scratching the back of his head like "Huh, sorry about that."
  • Black Dude Dies First: Tariq is the first to be killed in the Davison home invasion.
  • Booby Trap:
    • The killers set up the razor wire outside the house. In case the family try running out to escape, which unfortunately claims Aimee.
    • Erin in retaliation, rigs up improvised punji sticks made out of nails and wooden boards near the windows and then an axe trap on the door.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Erin rigs an axe trap to kill any unlucky bastard who opens the front door and Fox Face looks like he's gonna trigger it, only to go through a window instead. Guess what happens just before the credits when the cop who just arrived comes to check the house?
    • Similarly, when cornered in the kitchen, it looks like the pot of boiling water is about to come in handy... except enough time has passed that it's barely lukewarm. Then Felix slips on the slickened floor.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Even though crossbow bolts have come flying into the household and killed someone, the family resumes their argument from dinner while debating who should make a run for the car.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: Enforced, as the killers are jamming the signal. Still, Erin is able to get out one text to 911. Then averted in the most ironic way later on when her cell phone rings to finally confirm her text, only to catch the attention of the killers.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The reason for the killings? Felix and Crispian want to cash in on the insurance money, as well as the sizable severance package his father received.
  • Co-Dragons: The masked trio are revealed to be working for Felix and Crispian.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Erin fights so dirty that the three assailants who are trained ex-military men turned mercenaries are practically Cannon Fodder to her. Justified by her survivalist upbringing.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Erin grew up on a survivalist compound due to her father's fear of an impending resource shortage.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The final credits have crime-scene photos of each of the characters, placed in the room of the house they were found in.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Almost all of Erin's fights with the various killers in the film are very one-sided, if they're even a fight at all. To boot, Tiger Mask, Wolf Mask, Lamb Mask, and Crispian all go down very easily. Only Felix and Zee give her any struggle, and even then, she still keeps the upper hand on the both of them.
  • Dark Action Girl: Zee, who probably gives Erin her hardest fight of the film...though that really isn't saying much, since Erin still overpowered her pretty easily.
  • Death by Cameo: Ti West is the first one to bite it after the opening scene.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Crispian starts off as the protagonist in the family drama. After it morphs into a slasher film, he disappears only to return as one of the Big Bads.
  • Dramatic Shattering: The windows get shattered multiple times by the killers.
  • Dirty Coward: Crispian organized the attack at his home with the goal of killing all his family and inheriting their money. However he leaves the house and waits until it's all over, since as he says he can't stand the sight of blood. When Erin discovers the truth, he, fearing she might denounce him or kill him, pathetically tries to bribe her and lies that he still loves her.
  • Dissonant Serenity: After the sheep-masked killer finishes off Drake's wife, he sits down in the middle of his crime scene and begins grunting heavily.
  • Dull Surprise: Perfectly done and an In-Universe example with Erin. She is very expressive before the killing starts, but when people start dying, she turns into The Stoic barely showing emotion even when seeing dead bodies, and shows absolutely nothing but concentration in trying to survive the night. Crispian lampshades it, saying that he's never seen her act like this before.
  • Dwindling Party: Erin is the Sole Survivor of the movie, which fully solidifies her Final Girl status.
  • Establishing Character Moment: During the initial crossbow assault, the family members—at Erin's urging—use dining room chairs as shields while running past the windows. When it's Erin's turn, she makes sure to grab a fire poker, too. All in all, this establishes scene shows that there's a lot more to Erin then we think.
  • Evil All Along: Felix, Zee, and Crispian are the ones who hired the masked killers.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The sheep-masked killer (Craig) completely snaps after his brother is killed.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Felix is the only conspirator who expresses some level of remorse for his group's actions from time to time. He is unhappy that Craig murdered his father right in front of him, and seems genuinely regretful after killing Drake—though this is ultimately subverted when he berates Craig for not doing it, suggesting he was more angry about the fact that he had to get his hand dirty. Nevertheless, he's also appalled that his girlfriend, Zee, wants to have sex on top of his mother's corpse, to the point of pushing her away and walking off in disgust.
  • Eye Scream: Crispian's death, when Erin shanks him through the eye.
  • Failed a Spot Check: In the opening, the man comes out of the shower and sees "YOU'RE NEXT" painted in blood on his window... and only notices his girlfriend's body on the ground outside after reading the message.
  • Faux Action Girl: Aimee decides to try and run for help in order to prove herself to her parents. She doesn't even make it outside the door when she slits her throat on a garrote/razor wire hanging outside the door.
  • Final Girl: Erin could be considered a Deconstructive Parody of one or at least one of the most badass versions of this trope. While at first she appears to be a normal variety, it quickly turns out that she is not only an Action Survivor, but also came from a Crazy Survivalist background. It reaches the point where the remaining masked killers are scared of her. It's also heavily implied that she could be arrested after the events of the movie for the people she killed, if she survives her wound.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • "Dammit Felix! I knew you were into some sketchy shit!"
    • Felix being the first to call out about the phone jammers, even down to the point about knowing they're illegal and how much they cost. It's revealed later on that he brought the jammer and it was in his car, and after he turned it off, Erin's cell worked.
    • It was also Felix's idea to have someone make a run for it outside to go find help, and he encouraged Aimee to go after she volunteered. Obviously he knew about the piano/razor wire.
    • When one of the killers attacks Erin in the kitchen, he grabs her By the Hair through the window, but makes no move to kill her. This is because, according to Crispian, they weren't supposed to. She was meant to be the passive witness without any motive or connections to the family who could testify to what happened. It's only after she stabs Tiger Mask in the arm that any semblance of trying spare her goes out the window.
    • When Erin is attacked by Tiger Face, Zee and Felix are too shocked to help as she ends up killing him with a meat tenderizer, she even calls them out on it. They didn't help because they hired the masked psychos, but the shock is real—they knew nothing about her time in a survivalist camp.
    • Erin specifically mentions that Crispian doesn't know about her having been raised in a survivalist camp. This becomes important in the climax when Crispian reveals what his goal was, and he expected her to be a passive witness, rather than the reaction she had.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: The killers are ex-military mercenaries, who now use their tracking and killing skills they were taught to make money by pulling some very immoral jobs.
  • Genre-Busting: It starts off as a mumblecore movie, before showing its true colors as a cross between a deconstructive slasher film and a dark, slapstick parody of a deconstructive slasher film.
  • Genre Deconstruction: Of the Slasher Film plot. Most notably:
    • The Final Girl, instead of getting an Adrenaline Makeover, hits the ground running: she was raised by a Crazy Survivalist, which allows her to overcome and overpower the attackers.
    • The first few kills are successful largely because the attackers have inside help, but their plans go increasingly Off the Rails, thanks to something they never accounted for.
    • Rather than Made of Iron monsters, the killers are clearly mere humans, and are thus perfectly vulnerable and prone to making mistakes and miscalculations. In fact, it might be the first slasher movie in history where most of the fatally stupid decisions are made by the killers rather than the victims. At least one scene shows one of the killers being overpowered because he's outnumbered.
    • One victim proves exceedingly difficult to kill, and has to be stabbed numerous times.
    • The killings turn out to be motivated purely by money, rather than the meaningless funzies generally expected from slasher movies.
  • Genre Shift: Towards the start it feels like a serious, dramatic horror, something along the lines of Festen-as-a-slasher-movie. By the end it's far less like a drama and far more like an incredibly violent sitcom or an action movie with horror movie elements.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Erin never undergoes Bleed 'Em and Weep. If you are a threat to her, she will kill you no matter what she has to do.
  • Gorn: Neck slicings, violent stabbings, and grievous wounds aplenty.
  • Groin Attack: How Erin starts her No-Holds-Barred Beatdown against Tiger Mask.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Crispian. He never imagined Erin would be anything more than a passive observer of the carnage he causes. Even when he returns to discover she's killed all of his partners in crime and has been through hell, he still thinks she might go along with his plan and be his girlfriend. She quickly shows him what a mistake that was.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: Part of the big twist of the slasher formula. The masked killers are just three regular human beings, rather than some supernatural monsters or Implacable Men. Erin quickly turns the tables against them and traps, maims and kills all three of them, along with their allies.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: The reason the killers' plans went wrong; Erin never told Crispin that she grew up in a survivalist compound until she was fifteen, so he underestimated what she would do when under attack.
  • Implacable Man: Ultimately subverted with the masked trio. Unlike almost all examples in previous slasher movies where the killers brush off traumatic injuries, the killers in this are regular people and get hurt like anyone else. Played completely straight for Final Girl Erin.
  • Improvised Weapon: Abound, thanks to the fact that most of the family don't have weapons to defend themselves. One standout example is a broken blender + Felix's head = Gorn
  • It's All About Me: Felix and Crispian in spades.
    • The former complains about how difficult it is for him when he's murdering his own older brother. Felix is also unhappy when his own father is murdered...because the killer did the deed in front of him.
    • The latter is The Sociopath as described below, and has absolutely no care in the world for anyone aside from himself. To boot, he doesn't care when he learns the Psychos For Hire, his brother, and Zee are dead because he'll get all of the inheritance for himself. He also tries to sweet-talk Erin because he doesn't want to go to jail.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As much of a self-centered ass that Drake can be, he without a doubt loves his parents, even taking an arrow to the back when saving his mother.
  • Jitter Cam: Some of the kills are filmed this way, including the one that involves a camera flashing on and off in the dark.
  • Kubrick Stare: The fox-masked killer pulls off a few.
  • Lack of Empathy: All of the killers, of course, but especially the ringleaders Felix and Crispian. They have their brother, sister-in-law, sister, sister's boyfriend, parents, and two neighbors brutally murdered in the most hands-off way possible in order to inherit mom and dad's riches. Felix is at least somewhat shaken by the things he does (although he still complains that his older brother is taking too long to die because it's hard on him even though he's the one stabbing his brother). By contrast, in the end Crispian is nonchalant about the entire situation, including the deaths of his brother and their accomplices and the suffering he put the girl he "loves" through.
  • Lodged-Blade Recycling: Felix stabs Erin in the back during his and Zee's fight with her. She pulls said knife out and kills Zee with it.
  • Machete Mayhem: Tom favours a machete as his close-combat weapon.
  • Made of Iron: Unlike every other example in the slasher genre, the killers realistically get hurt, cry in pain, and go down easily.
    • Played for Laughs with Drake who has an arrow sticking out of him, but after taking some painkillers, walks around as if nothing's happened.
    • Exaggerated when he is stabbed with six screwdrivers and still is looking bemused at Felix, who is utterly perplexed.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The killers wear animal masks. The downsides of this approach are considered, though, as they occasionally are shown having some trouble getting enough air through the masks, and Erin gets the drop on them a few times due to No Peripheral Vision.
  • Mood Whiplash: All over the place. A prime example would be Paul's death. He suffers a Slashed Throat and lays there dying. As the disturbing soundtrack swells up, Fox Mask casually walks up to Felix and Zee hand behind his hood with a "Gee, sorry about that." demeanor. Felix then berates Fox Mask for killing Paul in front of him, while Fox Mask takes his earbud out.
  • Mook Horror Show: By the end of the movie, Erin has wiped out the villains basically single-handedly, and she's acting more like a traditional Slasher Movie villain than the actual masked killers.
  • Moral Myopia: Played with. Lamb Mask reacts badly to discovering Tiger Mask's corpse, since they're brothers, despite spending the night massacring an entire family. However, as he later notes to Felix, he actually liked his brother while Felix's family is so dysfunctional that a third of it was willing to kill the rest over money.
  • Mugging the Monster: A large part of the premise. Who knew that the Final Girl would turn out to have been raised in a survivalist camp? It's later revealed that Crispian intended for her to survive and be a witness; he just didn't know she would have that reaction.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Trailers for this movie tend to play up the horror aspect, while leaving out the Black Comedy almost entirely.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Literally, as Zee tries to get Felix to have sex with her next to the body of his dead mother. Thankfully, Felix is freaked out at this request.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Erin when it comes to one of the killers. She goes to town with that meat tenderizer.
    Erin: (Pulls off killer's mask) Anyone know this guy?
    Felix: No... although it's kind of hard to tell.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Felix wanted to be this, but circumstances kept it from happening, and he kills Drake personally, and tag-teams against Erin with Zee. Crispian is a straight example.
  • Not What It Looks Like: The finale has the cop arrived just as Erin kills Crispian, shooting her in response.
  • Off with His Head!: Averted with Kelly's death, the axe instead lodges halfway through the head.
  • One-Woman Army: Erin racks up the highest kill count in the film, with seven kills. She kills Tiger Mask, Lamb Mask, Wolf Mask, Crispian, Felix, Zee, and an unfortunate police officer who fell into a trap she set for the killers.
  • Properly Paranoid: When Aubrey is cleaning the house, she hears tumbling and footsteps upstairs. After realizing it wasn’t her husband, she immediately suspects that someone is in the house, and wants to get out of there and call the police. She was right to be suspicious, because the person inside the house was one the masked killers.
  • Psycho for Hire: The three masked killers turn out to be these. They may be in it for the money, but there's a few hints that they enjoy the whole thing.
  • Rasputinian Death: Probably due to being doped up on painkillers, but Drake gets stabbed with a toolbox's worth of screwdrivers before he finally falls. Lampshaded by his killer, Felix.
  • Razor Floss: Ever seen someone get knocked down by running into a clothesline? Picture that happening with piano wire and their neck getting sliced, which kills Aimee.
  • Reconstruction: On a more subtle level, it reconstructs Cellphones Are Useless by simply having the villains use jammers.
  • Slashed Throat: The deaths of Paul and Aimee.
  • The Sociopath: Crispian is revealed to be this. He orchestrated the entire scheme of having his family brutally slaughtered and divide the money of the inheritance with Felix. When Felix and the rest of his accomplices die he's happy since now he's the only heir and the entire money will go to him. He also never shows worry for Erin's life and when she confronts him he tries to bribe her and lies about still loving her.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: The trio of killers are ex-soldiers who served together prior to the story. And don't seem the least bit bothered on being hired to murder and entire innocent family.
  • Soft Glass: Very much averted throughout, but primarily in Erin's Super Window Jump near the climax, which results in a shard the size of a butcher's knife getting lodged in her thigh.
  • Sole Survivor: Erin is only one to survive not merely among the dinner guests, but among all the movie's characters.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Whenever the killers get hurt, instead of staying silent like a Made of Iron Implacable Man they scream & whimper in pain.
    • Wearing a spooky mask while you're trying to kill a bunch of people is going to make your job much harder, since it restricts your vision and breathing.
    • When you're the last person alive in a house full of corpses, and the trap you set up at the front door earlier kills a policeman, of course you're going to look like the perpetrator.
    • Erin sets up a pot of boiling water to throw at one of the killers. Unfortunately, by the time she actually gets to use it, so much has time has passed that it's barely lukewarm, though the killer learns the hard way that water makes tile floors slippery.
    • Imagine what Home Alone would be like as a straight-up home invasion movie. Amusing Injuries go right out the window.
    • Soft Glass only exists in the movies, and going through a window in real life is going to leave you cut to ribbons from glass shards.
    • When Drake tries to pull an arrow out of his back, he immediately passes out from the pain.
    • It doesn't matter how tough or psychotic you are, being strangled for several seconds by someone will knock the wind out of you for a several moments as you try to recover your breath and leave you utterly helpless, as Zee found out.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Erin and Crispian, the latter being the former's college teacher. In fairness, he isn't her teacher currently. This does lead to an argument between Crispian and Drake, though. During the climax, Crispian explains that Erin could use the inheritance to pay off her student loans.
  • The Quiet One: Zee's not particularly chatty.
  • Too Dumb to Live: While Erin might have taken survival courses, it certainly helped that her aggressors used up their ammunition early on, and constantly split up instead of working together. For individual mistakes:
    • Tiger Mask blindly reaching through a window to grab Erin instead of stabbing her. Then he carelessly jumps through a window again and gets killed for it.
    • Lamb Mask carelessly poking his head through an open window, getting stabbed in the eye by Erin.
    • Fox Mask walking towards a flashing camera, which is clearly not a trap allowing himself to get blinded, making it easy for Erin to kill him from behind.
    • To be fair, all the family members, save Erin and those in on the scheme aren't much better: constantly failing to keep their heads on a swivel, splitting up, repeatedly trying to leave despite the house giving them cover from the arrows and not knowing how many are outside. Erin has to point out the most basic things like picking up weapons or that one of the attackers is inside, even as their numbers dwindle.
  • Training from Hell: What Erin was subjected to as a child. Her father was convinced that civilized society would fall apart and raised her off the grid as a hardcore survivalist. It explains why she’s such a capable combatant.
  • Twisted Ankle: Paul suffers one when trying to get up from the dinner table due to the haste of it, as Tariq had just gotten an arrow shot into his forehead.
  • Villain Killer: Erin kills all of the villains herself. In fact, by the end, she's become more of a slasher than the masked villains are.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Tariq and Aimee are the first two of the family to die.
    • Tiger Mask only appears twice before Erin kills him.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Felix asks this verbatim to Drake after he refuses to die despite six screwdrivers stabbed into him.
  • Worst Aid: Aimee wants to pull a crossbow bolt out of Drake's back. Then Drake himself (doped up on painkillers) pulls it out and faints.