Director – Zach Cregger (Miss March, The Whitest Kids U’Know)
Starring – Georgina Campbell (Black Mirror, His Dark Materials), Bill Skarsgard (It, Deadpool 2), and Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers, Tusk)
Release Date – 2022
Rating – 4/5
Last year I was bitching about the lack of new movies to watch and review due to the restrictions brought on by the pandemic. However, 2022 has really delivered on the quality films. Not only has the indie productions I’ve seen been hits but the theatrical and pop horror films have been exceptional as well. So far this year I’ve enjoyed X, Nope, The Black Phone, plus the dozen or so indie flicks that impressed me. I haven’t seen Pearl yet but I can only imagine how amazing it is.
Several weeks back news of Barbarian broke many seemed to enjoy it during it’s limited theatrical run. I wanted to check it out but was unable to find the time between my day job and a never-ending sickness that seems to be running through my family. A few days back I received a press release for the VOD release of the film and I was lucky enough to get a link with a digital code sent over. I had to see this one as soon as possible and quickly worked it into my schedule. I’m glad I did because it was fucking amazing.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows actor AJ Gilbride (Long) who finds himself struggling financially when an actress he had previously worked with claimed he sexually assaulted her. He tries to consolidate all his date and sell properties he no longer needs which forces him to move into a home he was using as an Air BnB in Michigan. He had never visited the property before but suspects something is wrong when he learns that it has not been rented for several weeks yet there is someone’s belongings still there. After doing a little exploring in the basement he uncovers something sinister living beneath the home and will soon be forced to fight for his own life. **Spoiler Alert**
Barbarian is a film that makes you think it’s going to go one direction before completely pulling the rug out from under you. The movie is constantly shifting and the viewer never knows where it will take them next. While I do see similarities between it and the Full Moon film Castle Freak starring Jeffrey Combs, Barbarian has enough of it’s own originality to feel like a completely different movie.
The acting in this one is fucking fantastic. Justin Long never disappoints and has really made a name for himself portraying the baby-faced victim in so many genre films from Jeepers Creepers to Kevin Smith’s Tusk. His character is a little different here but he knocks it out of the park. We also get a fun performances from Georgina Campbell and Richard Brake. I was a little bummed by how little screen time Bill Skarsgard had. I was expecting to see a lot more from him.
The story for this one is amazing and really keeps the viewer guessing. The film’s beginning makes you think you know where the story is going to go before it completely changes it up. From that point forward you never know what the next scene will bring your way. I still see some similarities to Castle Freak but not enough to ruin the experience.
Finally, this one has some great practical effects and gory deaths. It’s not as bloody as the previously reviewed film Terrifier 2 but it does mix blood and gore with story which is more than I can say about Terrifier 2. Overall, Barbarian is a must see and in the running for my favorite film of the year. I fucking loved it and can see other genre fans enjoying it as well. I highly recommend it.