Directed by Zach Cregger, Barbarian is a 2022 horror film. Travelling for a job interview, when Tess (Georgina Campbell, Black Mirror’s “Hang the DJ“) arrives at her rental home, she finds that Keith (Bill Skarsgard, Pennywise in IT) is already there. Forced by the weather, and with her job interview looming, Tess decides to stay the night unaware of the dark secrets the house and neighbourhood holds.
+ both Keith and Tess are a lot of fun. I found their initial tense dynamic, and the way it evolved into something more friendly but awkward really charming. I was having a great time speculating about them as the film went on
+ there are some good spooks throughout the movie, though to me nothing matched the introductory tension between Keith and Tess. A short section of the film acts like a separate mini-movie, and I found it to be real world horrifying. There are also some references to police and the roles race and/or gender play in report making… but truthfully I wouldn’t read too much into that
+ a few surprises which were thankfully not outright spoiled in the trailers, including the big question of just who Keith and Tess are. Obviously I can’t go into too much detail for fear of spoilers, but there are some real whammys. However, see below for some more thoughts on this
– various plot threads are brought up and then dropped almost as if they were just added to fill in time. I can’t help but notice lots of plot holes the moment I start to think about them for more than a second
– some things here are meant to be scary but I found them to be absolutely hilarious in a way very similar to Malignant, which I cannot stress enough is not a compliment
> this film features one of my all time most hated actors, and it wasn’t advertised. This is the bad kind of surprise
Should you see this film: Essentially, this is a movie of three parts, and only one of those parts is worth watching. If you stop the movie at the 43 minute mark, this might be considered one of the best horror movies of recent memory. Unfortunately, there was another half a movie that is not worth your time.