You're Next

By Jennifer Mulligan

Mailed on August 27, 2013

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Dear Mads Heldtberg

Dear Mads,

Thank you for your sense of humour. Considering this movie frustrated me with a lot of unanswered questions, at least your film score was right up my alley. Punched up in the right spots to create suspense. Dark when it needed to be to invoke some fear. But more importantly, you weren’t afraid of using a little levity with the addition of some clever music to help hold the pieces together for such a thinly told story. 

I quite enjoyed the soundtrack that is cued by the first encounter with the animals.  A little pre-story, if you will, of a man (neighbour of the Davison’s that we’re about to meet) and his young lover, which ends with the threat (and title) You’re Next scrawled on the wall.  And, weren’t you lucky that your director was able to get the rights to “Looking For The Magic” by the Dwight Twilley Band.  You used it very effectively to keep bringing us back to that first, seemingly random, murder scene.  Then you really ramped it up with the family dinner, the first of many unfortunate accidents, and all the bloodshed that ensued.  Thanks to you and your creative score, I kept my head in the game.  You held my interest, and kept me caring about the characters and story — however one dimensional everything was in the end.

And, all this despite You’re Next feeling like a story I’d seen before; the random home invasion, the masked men, the ultraviolence, the dark humour, etc.  It felt a little like Strangers, but with a higher fun and slasher factor.  If it weren’t for my love of this genre – and your self-aware score –  I probably would have been bored to tears.

However, walking out of the theatre after You’re Next, I was left with some burning questions, or at least that feeling of nodding along to a catchy pop song with lyrics that don’t quite make sense.

I mean, who is the main character of this story?   I get that Crispian made the big decision, and certainly orchestrated everyone to visit the folks for dinner, but ultimately Erin is the one who decided to fight back against a mob of animal masked home invaders.  You’re Next really becomes her film in the end, whether that’s logical or not, it got the story told in a new way.

And, speaking of logic: What the hell is wrong with Crispian’s family anyway? And why were the bad guys so ill equipped to handle what boils down to essentially one able bodied woman? And more generally, when do you think it’s appropriate to tell your partner about your past?  Especially an interesting past, full of great adventure stories? One that would equip a woman to handle herself in any situation

I’m getting off track, aren’t I? How about you just tell me what soundtrack I could use to get into Erin’s fighting shape. Because, damn.

Anyway, thanks for the laughs. I’ll take clever where I can get it, and at least I got something unexpected out of this film.


Jennifer Mulligan 

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