Movie Review: Barbarian


By Andrew McManus - Contributing Columnist



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Directed by: Zach Cregger

Starring:

● Georgina Campbell as Tess Marshall

● Bill Skarsgård as Keith Toshko

● Justin Long as AJ Gilbride

● Matthew Patrick Davis as The Mother

● Richard Brake as Frank

Runtime: 103 minutes

Rating: R (for some strong violence and gore, disturbing material, language throughout and nudity)

Well….it’s obviously getting closer and closer to Halloween. We have another horror movie this week! Spoiler alert…it is FANTASTIC. Barbarian is a film I knew very little about and that’s a good thing. From the trailers it looks like a young woman shows up at a house she booked with AirBNB and it was double booked. There’s a creepy guy staying there (played by the same actor who played Pennywise in the IT remake) and things get weird. Would this be a generic stalker film??? Nope. Let’s see how good this is.

Onto the film.

We open and meet our heroine Tess (Campbell) as she approaches a home that looks like a standard home you’d see in a nice suburb. She checks her email. Gets the code to use the lockbox for the key and heads to the front porch. It’s dark and raining and she’s desperate to get in. The sound of rain hitting the roof adds to the eerie ambience and you immediately feel for our lead and want her to GET INSIDE! However….there is no key. What’s going on??? Tess (Campbell) goes back to the car and starts to leave but a light turns on in the house. Back she runs to the front door and pounds on the door and window. A man named Keith (Skarsgård) answers the door. He’s confused.

Keith (Skarsgård) starts to ask questions and after some miscommunication he offers the bedroom for the night. He will sleep on the couch. Tess (Campbell) hesitates but eventually comes in. She wants to see his booking confirmation (they used different companies) and remains cautious. Good Tess. Be smart. My ONE complaint with the film is there is an unnecessary dilemma that forces to two to spent time together. Tess (Campbell) says she has an issue with sheets and needs clean ones…..so Keith (Skarsgård) offers to wash them. A little strange, but then the actors start to talk. They bond over music and wine. These seems lile the man will be a serial killer or trap the heroine in the house. I will say one more thing about the plot and nothing more…..THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN! Or does it?

If you’re a fan of the horror genre. Go see this film! The cast is engaging, funny, brave, and scared at times. It works. The twists are absolutely shocking. We see a film go one way, boom here’s a 180. Wait. Lets go the other way. You have layer after layer of stories and eventually it blends together. I was VERY VERY impressed. The cinematography is another aspect to praise. You have shots as the lead. Shots with a flashlight leading the way. The director uses darkness as its own character. You grasp for any light like our cast. This is a movie you will talk about the whole way home and think about it for days if not weeks. My brother Aaron who’s a horror movie buff said this about the film, ” I went in not knowing much so I expected a generic horror movie but it flips everything about horror tropes on its head.” Well said. Go see this film. 5 stars out of 5

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By Andrew McManus

Contributing Columnist