Barbarian Brings a Real Fear to the Screen

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BARBARIAN movie review
Georgina Campbell as Tess in 20th Century Studios' BARBARIAN, exclusively on Hulu. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Scary movie season is kicking off in theaters, and this year one of the first out of the gate is Barbarian. A horror movie with a few twists, a couple of different storylines, and a new reason to be wary about Air B&B rentals.

When Tess arrives at her Air B&B rental before a potential job interview, she finds that someone is already staying there. Despite her best interest, she decides to stay the night. Actively cautious of the strange man staying in the house, she seemingly does everything right and doesn’t let her guard down right away. But everything isn’t as it seems, and she finds out that she should have trusted her gut from the beginning.

BARBARIAN movie review
Georgina Campbell as Tess in 20th Century Studios’ BARBARIAN, exclusively on Hulu. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The movie takes several twists and turns, and hops back in time a bit as well, giving viewers a bit more context for the horrors hidden in the house. But until it all comes together, the different storylines seem disjointed, and out of place against the original one. They all come together in the end making a complete story.

Set in Detroit, pretty much only in name and a couple of shots downtown the movie really could have been set anywhere. But they chose Detroit mostly for name recognition and the use of ruin porn of burnt-out neighborhoods. While this may not seem like a big issue for most viewers, local audiences will pick up on the use of the city just as a plot point without making it part of the actual story. We won’t even discuss the number of parking tickets that would have been racked up and the bad parking jobs done by the main character in the film.

Barbarian isn’t a jump scare movie, although it does provide a couple for the audience. It is more of a scary creature/darkness type thriller that is definitely a different twist from what we’ve seen before. It plays on the fear of the unknown, the darknesses we can’t see, and even the fear of what could happen when you rent a place from a stranger. We won’t say that Tess didn’t make some major missteps in renting a place in an area without doing research (similar to the lack of research done on Detroit by the writers), but this is something that most people don’t do when they’re traveling. It may unlock some new fears in viewers, but will certainly give them an interesting story to talk about.

Barbarian is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Overall Rating:

Three and a Half Stars Review

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About Barbarian:

Barbarian Movie Poster

Traveling to Detroit for a job interview, a young woman books a rental home. But when she arrives late at night, she discovers that the house is double booked and a strange man is already staying there. Against her better judgement, she decides to spend the evening, but soon discovers that there’s a lot more to fear than just an unexpected house guest.

From 20th Century Studios and New Regency, “Barbarian” stars Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, Justin Long, Matthew Patrick Davis, Richard Brake, Jaymes Butler and Kurt Braunohler. The film was written and directed by Zach Cregger. The producers are Arnon Milchan, Roy Lee, Raphael Margules and J.D. Lifshitz.Yariv Milchan, Michael Schaefer, Natalie Lehmann, Danny Chan, Alex Lebovici and Bill Skarsgård are the film’s executive producers.

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