Barbarian – Film Review
by Fran Winston
Directed by: Zach Cregger
Starring: Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, Justin Long
In cinemas now!
The title of this film was actually a placeholder while writer/director Cregger was creating the script and it stuck. It feels somewhat misleading for this horror thriller and I must admit that the title meant I was expecting a very different movie than what you get here.
It begins with a situation that would terrify most women. Tess Marshall (Campbell) arrives at her Airbnb in Detroit only to find a strange man called Keith (Skarsgård) already in residence. He’s equal parts charming and creepy and for a while you think you know where this is going. But then they find a secret lair under the house and have a run in with a deranged and deformed woman. Fast forward two weeks later and the owner of the house AJ (Long) arrives to appraise it before selling it. When he discovers the underground space he immediately thinks he can add it to the home’s square footage. But the space is still harbouring its dark secret and he will come to rue his discovery!
This is extremely smart taking the audience down numerous rabbit holes before we find out what is really going on. It’s highly unpredictable which is what you want from a horror flick. Cregger manages to build the tension nicely and when the first twist lands it’s jaw-dropping as you really don’t see it coming.
While there is a small amount of gore this doesn’t rely on it to creep the audience out and there are plenty of jump scares and shocking moments. There are many things that go bump in the night and Creggar manages to tap into things that instil fear in us all. Unlike many horror films, this actually leaves you feeling satisfied at the end. With a glut of horror releases hitting cinemas for Halloween it would be a shame if this got overlooked as it is one of the cleverest additions to the genre in a long time.