The cult classic You Are Next is actually a lot more understandable than it seems


There’s no doubt that 2013’s You’re Next owes much of its success to Scream. Though Neve Campbell is leaving the ongoing franchise, it continues to be an inspiration for slasher films that embrace both comedy and fright. While some horror movies aim to get you right in the heart, You’re Next isn’t afraid to make audiences laugh.

While Jordan Peele excelled in his groundbreaking Get Out, director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett wanted You’re Next to retain all that gory goodness at the same time. Given its relative box office success and resulting cult following, there’s no question that it succeeded.


In an interview with Bloody Disgusting, Simon, Adam and the film’s producers discussed the origins of the film and its sadly understandable true meaning.

Will there be a You’re Next 2?

As far as home invasion movies go, You’re Next is pretty terrifying. While the film features a mostly wealthy cast of characters, the idea of ​​your home being taken over by a group of masked evildoers is something that can strike fear in the hearts of virtually anyone.

It’s also a very simple concept for a horror film. As Bloody Disgusting points out, it’s the film’s execution (as well as its deeper meaning) that makes the film so effective.

However, it could have been much more effective if the film had been released immediately after it made a splash at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. Instead, it was not released theatrically for a whopping two years. The result of this decision was a lower box office than hoped. Despite its cult status, according to Movie Web, there is no chance of a sequel.

The origin of You’re Next

Director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett came up with the idea for You’re Next over a dinner party with the film’s producers Jess and Keith Calder and others.

According to their amazing interview with Bloody Disgusting, all of these filmmakers shared a sense that the tone of horror films had changed. Apart from the Scream series, almost every other film in the genre has been dark and depressing. But they wanted to make a “funny” horror film. Something with energy and even some laughter.

“Horror movies can’t just be about all the horrible things the bad guys do, but the amazing things the heroes do to fight back,” producer Keith Calder told Bloody Disgusting.

Keith claimed the main influences for the film weren’t actually horror movies, but rather stories like Die Hard, Aliens and Home Alone.

Also Read: Skeet Ulrich and Matthew Lillard have some brutally honest feelings about the original Scream and its cast

“During that meal we realized what a common sensibility we have for horror, film and influences,” Keith continued. “We also had a shared sense of humor and approach to how we felt films should be made.”

That was a connecting feeling. Each of them wanted to dwell in the free-spirited energy that comes with low-budget filmmaking. So they could experiment. Not just with how they actually made the film, but also with the tone from a structural point of view.

Related: The Smart Reason Drew Barrymore Said No to a Bigger Role on Scream

The meeting was perhaps the most inspirational for writer Simon Barrett, who told Bloody Disgusting that he wrote the screenplay “incredibly quickly.”

“I just knew how I wanted it to end and recreated it from there,” Simon explained to Bloody Disgusting. “I drew from Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’ and the screwball comedy, and from a lot of different ideas based on what Adam thought we should do next. It turned out to work better than we could have expected.”

What was the point of You’re Next?

Every great film, including the horror genre, works because of a deeper meaning. Usually it’s a hidden allegory that only the smartest viewers will pick up. In the case of You’re Next, the true meaning of the film isn’t all that difficult to see. But it’s effective because it was authentic to the life of the filmmakers.

“I find [director] Adam [Wingard] and I was way ahead of our colleagues in our willingness to speak openly about being very poor,” Simon Barrett told Bloody Disgusting of the film’s true meaning.

“Everyone we knew was kind of broke, and it felt really understandable — America’s income inequality. I wanted to set that up and then try to pay it off in a way that was more in the tradition of a screwball comedy. Every character in the family has their own motivations, and then people turn out to be different than you’d assume.”

Also Read: Justin Long Thinks This Is The Real Villain In The Absolutely Pesky Horror Movie Barbarian

Simon went on to say that he wanted the villains to have motivations that reflected that theme.

“I thought if we kept raising certain amounts of money over and over again, that would really draw attention to it. We also focused on the idea that the father made his money working for a defense company and the people who end up hiring his children to come after him – they are veterans of one of our last stands.”

The idea was that these themes were (and remain) an integral part of American culture, whether people wanted to admit it or not.

“[But] Not many people have commented on these things,” Simon admitted. “For me, there’s definitely a big theme in the film, that people are different than you’d think.”


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