20th Century Studios
Written by Zach Cregger
Directed by Zach Cregger
Starring Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgard, Justin Long, Matthew Patrick Davis, Richard Brake, Kurt Bruanohler, Jaymes Butler and Sophie Sorensen
A woman staying at an Airbnb discovers that the house she has rented is not what it seems.
It’s spooky season and I have decided to dive back into the horror season by taking a look at some recent horror movies and thrillers rather than jump back into old favorites. One of the recent horror offerings I decided to see was Barbarian and I can honestly say that it was nothing like I expected.
One of the best aspects of the film is how it lures you in as a viewer. When Tess (Georgina Campbell) finds herself in an unfamiliar Detroit neighborhood in the middle of a storm trying to check into an AirBnB, she discovers that someone is already in the home, Keith (Bill Skarsgard).
Knowing the kind of characters Skarsgard has played in the past, I assumed that the film would be a psychological thriller with Campbell versus Skarsgard in a kind of cat and mouse story with Skarsgard playing the villain. I could not be more wrong and the film does a brilliant job of playing into that expectations right up until the moment where everything in the film changes.
What follows is a brilliant film that subverted all of my expectations and delivered an experience that was completely unique, but also had shades of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho mixed in as the characters you think are the main protagonist and antagonist are replaced with another character AJ (Long) who delivers an interesting story as well that brings him back to the same house. His story is unique in the revelation that he is not a good man and is put in the position for the viewer to either sympathize with what is happening to him or applaud him getting what he deserves.
There is another story in the middle of the film that informs the circumstances that created this environment and its actual antagonist and there is a great point of view perspective as we see the world through Frank’s (Brake) perspective and how his actions created the conflict in the film. It’s an interesting change in tone and tension.
Both stories come together in the final act and the film brings all of its characters together in ways that are compelling and entertaining throughout, I loved the unpredictability of this film all the way up to its exciting and unexpected conclusion.
Barbarian is an entertaining, surprising, unique and often scary film that both delighted me and engaged me throughout. It’s a great, spooky film that I definitely recommend checking out for Halloween.