Never take anything for granted be it in life or even judge a book by it’s cover. Same could be said about Zach Cregger’s absolute bonkers Barbarian.
Genre film is like the comfort blanket of film. You have an idea in what you’ll be getting, you’ll enjoy it regardless if it’s any good. Horror is one genre loved by the fans, loathed by everyone else. There is times even hardcore fans will turn their noses up at films. Barbarian is that breath of fresh air or should I say splash of fresh blood?
This is one film, the less you know the better the ride will be. It’s unpredictability make Cregger’s directorial feature debut a rewarding watch. Just remember expect the unexpected as you will pulled in many directions.
The film starts in what looks an awkward mix up between two people. A dark and very wet Detroit suburb, Tess (Georgina Campbell) is in the city for a job interview. She rents a AirBnb type property in the city she can’t get in, only to find out it’s been double booked with Keith (Bill Skarsgård). With the weather getting worse outside and nowhere to go Tess reluctantly takes Keith offer to stay the night and file a complaint with the letting agency in the morning.
The following morning Tess heads out to find out the house is the only tact house in the area. Every house is empty, falling apart and after the problems of the night before red flags keep popping up for Tess. After returning from what looks a successful interview, things take a terrifying turn.
As mentioned before, the less you know about Barbarian the better. There is something Tess finds turns the film upside down. Thus making even briefly talking about is a massive spoiler. This is one film which you want to not to look at social media until you see the film. Twitter gave away who also may or may not be in the film.
Cregger has crafted a genuinely tense film. Things that are in the film may not be highly original, the complete package on offers is refreshingly macabre, gruesome. Crafted in a way, drip feeding the viewer little more on the story only to crank things to another level. You will be always be curious as much as on the edge of your seat.
Georgina Campbell is honestly fervent and committed in the lead role. You genuinely care for her and want her to survive in the darkness. Some of her choices might be stereotypically horror, you want to continue to tell the tale. Having Bill Skarsgård in the cast was a great move keeps your suspicions on high alert. He was Pennywise the Clown in the recent IT films but will he be ‘floating’ down there?
Zach Kuperstein’s cinematography amps up your nerves shifting our gears when we don’t expect it. Anna Dubrich’s composes music that equally plays into uneasiness like a roller coaster ride.
Barbarian is a film that will play on your anxieties as much as those we have before job interviews. It’s also plays male toxicities and those left behind to clean up the mess. Cregger has created a tense film that will play on your claustrophobia and fears as much as it will make you laugh.
Horror, Thriller | USA, 2022 | 15 | 29th October 2022 (UK) | Cinema | 20th Century Studios | Dir. Zach Cregger | Bill Skarsgård, Justin Long, Richard Brake, Matthew Patrick Davis
This review was originally posted at The Peoples Movies 31st October 2022 | Original review link