Exclusive: Writer Simon Barrett on You’re Next, Sequel Potential and More
This week Lionsgate is finally unleashing Adam Wingard’s superb home invasion thriller You’re Next, and in anticipation of the film’s release, Dread Central recently interviewed writer Simon Barrett.
During our chat with Barrett, he discussed the challenges of creating the story of You’re Next, how surreal it’s been to see all the positive responses to his latest collaboration with Wingard considering their indie roots, whether or not fans can expect a You’re Next sequel and much more.
Check out our interview with Barrett below, and look for more on You’re Next all this week!
Question: I’m sure this has been a surreal two years for both you and Adam; what’s been the most surprising part of the whole process of You’re Next? Has it been the fan interactions lately- the marketing campaign for this movie has been incredible, and it’s what I’ve really been enjoying watching lately.
Simon Barrett: Yeah, I can’t really believe everything Lionsgate has done for this movie; we’re really lucky that things worked out the way that they did even though we had to wait a few years for it to finally come out. I think in some ways, though, the waiting gave us a little more confidence because until recently, the last time we were screening You’re Next was a few years ago; to see people wanting to come back and revisit the movie and still talk about it even after two years isn’t something you see every day. I think we knew that fans and critics wanting to revisit You’re Next again and again was a good sign and that we did a few things right on this one (laughs).
But yeah, to keep getting texts and emails from people all over who are sending us photos of billboards or the masks is definitely one of the most surreal aspects of my career so far. Everything Adam and I have done so far was made on an independent scale; movies like V/H/S or A Horrible Way to Die were designed with a smaller core audience in mind. We had wanted You’re Next to feel bigger and it was made with a bigger audience in mind too; it seems like maybe it worked because Lionsgate has really put everything into this film and I think that shows their confidence in our work, which is amazing.
Question: What I loved about You’re Next was how it felt like an homage to a ton of movies I grew up on but still felt wholly new and unique; was that a huge challenge for you and Adam- to make a movie that could keep that kind of balance throughout?
Simon Barrett: It was, but I think Adam and I are always inspired by those kinds of challenges. I think we both felt like modern horror had been in a rut for a while; it just didn’t feel like anything new had been happening in the genre lately so we sat down and thought about what we could do differently to shake things up a bit. Adam and I are also inspired by a lot of the same things as both filmmakers and fans so we just set out to do something that would surprise everyone – fans of ours and the horror fans who have never even heard of us – tonally and do something vastly different than we ever had before.
We don’t ever want to tell the same story we’ve told before; every single project we’ve worked on has been different than the ones we did before it, and You’re Next is no different. I also think it’s the best movie we’ve made and I think as long as we continue to make movies where we treat our audience like they’re smarter than us – which is definitely true (laughs) – I think we’ll always continue to make the movies we want to see and have horror fans experience too.
Question: That sort of brings us to my next question- you guys really don’t do many sequels, barring V/H/S/2, but that’s more of a companion piece than a sequel to me; so even though you and Adam aren’t necessarily known for sequels, have you guys talked at all about ideas for a follow-up to You’re Next yet?
Simon Barrett: We did V/H/S/2 so yeah, we’re not necessarily opposed to doing sequels; we’re just opposed to making sequels without anything new to say. That’s when you’re making a sequel for the wrong reasons. I think Adam and I will probably do a non-genre movie next before we’d come back for another You’re Next, if we do at all. The tricky things with sequels is to not be too self-indulgent as storytellers; sometimes it can be a dangerous thing if you’re left to your own devices or if you try and pander to your audience.
All that being said, we do have an extremely cool idea for a You’re Next sequel that would continue the story from the first movie which would feel real and organic. Because of how we structured the story of You’re Next, we sort of set ourselves up for a lot of challenges with creating a sequel but I think those are the kinds of challenges that appeal to Adam and myself the most. We can’t just make another one because we want to; there has to be a reason, and that reason has to be feel organic to the original.
The Adam Wingard-directed You’re Next stars Nick Tucci, Wendy Glenn, AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Margaret Laney, Amy Seimetz, Ti West, Calvin Reeder, Larry Fessenden, Kate Lyn Sheil, Barbara Crampton, Rob Moran, and Sharni Vinson.
Look for it in theaters on August 23rd.
The Davison family comes under attack from a terrifying group of sadistic murderers during a family reunion getaway. Barricaded in their secluded vacation home, they fight off a barrage of axes, crossbows, and machetes from both inside and outside the house. However, the masked killers didn’t count on Erin (Vinson), the young girlfriend of the eldest Davison son whose mysterious past has made her very difficult to kill.
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