Lionsgate sure has been having its fun with the poster campaign for You’re Next, the latest horror thriller from Adam Wingard, who most recently took part in the anthology sequel V/H/S/2, Rex Reed’s favorite film of the summer. The studio first released a trio of your typical, grainy, bathroom-wall-scratchiti one-sheets, with the film’s animal-mask-wearing killers glaring at the viewer, accompanied by blood stains and an overall aesthetic that’s been rampant in this genre since Se7en’s opening credits. But then, Lionsgate unleashed what I first thought was a coincidence of bus-stop-ad overlap: The superimposition of those masked killers on posters for the studio’s other films.
Therefore, it was no accident that the chipper group shot of the stars of The Big Wedding had a machete-wielding wolf crashing the party. Or that the nice quadrant poster of the Tyler Perry-produced Peeples was graced with the presence of an ax-toting sheep. I’ve heard of subliminal advertising, but this is just…bloody hilarious.
Now, Lionsgate and the fine folks at Ignition Print have unveiled the best and most brilliant You’re Next poster yet, a nightmarish floor-plan design in the very shape of those animalisitc disguises, which have been, slowly but surely, embedded in your subconscious. “Home is where the hunt is,” reads the new ad’s tagline, and while the home in question—the setting of a doomed family reunion—is likely not in the shape of a wolf, sheep, or teddy bear, that’s no reason to deride the poster’s nifty intricacy. Like the game of Clue mashed up with a 3D puzzle, the design is basically an impossible blueprint of crime scenes, taking a lot of architectural liberties to illustrate strategic carnage, all while maintaining the suggestion of the movie’s unofficial logo.
If not the specifics of the various room placements (for instance, how does a car pull into that “Garage” at bottom right?), the most enjoyable parts of the poster are its silhouetted figures, shown as either killer (red and, ahem, weapon-carrying) or potential victim (black). The cheekiness of it all is just great, with the murderer at bottom positioned before the welcomingly-marked “Entry,” and certain victims clearly posed to show that they’re hiding (hold your breath, “Sewing Room” girl!). All of these residents/guests, played by, among others, Step Up 3D gyrator Sharni Vinson an on-the-fringes “It Girl” Amy Seimetz, are apparently trapped within the home, with one of them harboring an ultra-deadly secret. That’s all fine and good, and Wingard certainly seems like a horror maestro on the up and up, but honestly, staring at this poster for a while may prove more entertaining than seeing the film itself.