Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer
Plot: A woman staying at an Airbnb discovers that the house she has rented is not what it seems.
Review: Of all the horror movies I’ve seen this year none of them shocked me, chilled me and kept me on my toes the way Barbarian did. Most horror movies out there have a straightforward premise where you can predict where the dominoes will fall. Barbarian, on the other hand, uses its first shocking kill to let audiences know it’s anything but predictable.
Director Zach Cregger (who has a small role here as Everett) does a phenomenal job of knowing when to dial up the tension and dread to unbearable levels and when to give viewers time to catch their breath. Utilising cool camera shots and angles that at times made you feel like you were in a fish bowl looking out or causing corridors to look much longer than they actually were, as well as many others, all worked together to keep things feeling off-kilter in the best ways. If you can make a baby bottle full of milk terrifying, you KNOW you’ve got some skills! Zach Cregger is definitely a name I’m going to be looking out for in the future.
Another outstanding aspect of this movie is the cast. Everyone delivers but its lead actress Georgina Campbell (Black Mirror, Suspicion, Krypton) as Tess who truly shines as a woman who arrives at a house that’s been rented out as an Airbnb only to discover a young man named Keith (Bill Skarsgård) is already staying there, apparently due to a mix up. Yes, that’s the same Bill Skarsgård who most recently played Pennywise the Clown in IT Part I and II and whose mere presence due to his now iconic role will instantly set audiences on edge. Justin Long (Dodgeball, Tusk, Jeepers Creepers) is also introduced later on in the story as well as mainstay horror actor Richard Brake (Doom, 31).
The only time this movie falters is when it goes into more conventional territory. Scenes of Tess trying to get help from the police only to be dismissed as a “crackhead” not only dragged the tension down but also felt trite and a bit too on-the-nose (cops are the worse, we get it). But thankfully moments like this don’t take up too much screen time.
Overall though, Barbarian is a wonderfully twisted movie and a solid introduction to Cregger’s talents as a director. I recommend watching this in cinemas or at the very least the darkest room you can find to truly enjoy what this creepy tale has to offer.
Score: 7.5 out of 10
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Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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