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_Barbarian_ is such a twisted and incredibly unique film. Going into this film, I thought I had a pretty good indication of how this was going to go down and was ready for a fun cheesy horror film that follow a pretty generic pattern, but boy was I wrong. Almost the entirety of the trailer was just the first act, and it left me seriously stumped at where this movie was going. That sense of unknown really added to the thick tension that this movie brought throughout. There is a paranoia that occurs with both the audience and the main character. You never know who to trust, even if they give you all the indications that they are trustworthy. In today's horror cinema, it is rare to see a movie so reliant on building tension rather than just jump scares galore. Not to say that this film does not have any jump scares, but they are there to enhance and bring a crescendo to the long scenes of tension and dread. Overall, the acting was brilliant. Georgina Campbell was fantastic. Bill Skarsgård was a bit awkward at times, but I do think that was by choice, as his actor was a kind awkward sweetheart. Justin Long stole the show. His character added a bit of lightness and someone who the audience can really root against. The movie does slightly fall of the rails in the third act, it does not take away from the experience that is Barbarian. In fact, I think it almost enhances the film as something truly unique. **Score:** _87%_ | **Verdict:** _Excellent_
I like Justin Long, he was fantastic in Jeepers Creepers but Barbarian is uninspiring, to say the least. Not that that is the fault of the actors. Without giving too much away, Barbarian feels a little like The Hills Have Eyes, meets Psycho, meets Quasimodo. The problem here is the scripting and handling. Its takes far too long for this story to get off the ground, it has weird, nonsensical plot holes and the reveal comes far to early. Whats left almost feels like a second film. It leaves only a reiteration of the essential earlier plot line with a few wrinkles, as the film moves towards its rather icky, conclusion. Of course, any sense of fear and tension, built up subtly in the first part of the film, is dissipated too. You know what's coming. In summary, this film feels like it borrows from other horror flicks, in the worst possible way, leading to a disjointed but predictable viewing experience that's neither all that scary or even terribly interesting. The only thing propping it up, is the acting, which is of a high standard. Yet, as I've said more times than I can count, that on its own, is not enough.
**While for many horror fans, Barbarian might be compelling and unique, I found it decent but more strange and uncomfortable than scary and not as remarkable as others seem to think.** Barbarian had heavy hype and big expectations before I checked it out. And while it didn’t blow my mind, I can see why many film aficionados would rate it more highly. It had a fresh Jordan Peele-type feel to a story that has been done many times before. I enjoyed the different stories coming together and the obvious nods to tropes of people ignoring clearly dangerous situations and red flags. However, while it had some fun elements, I wasn’t as impressed as many reviews suggested I should be. Definitely not a bad movie by any means, but some of the horror is just strange, and the creature is so bizarre that it’s less scary and more awkward at times.
FULL SPOILER-FREE REVIEW @ https://www.msbreviews.com/movie-reviews/barbarian-spoiler-free-review "Barbarian deserves all the hype it received so far! Zach Cregger's unique storytelling in the horror film will leave any viewer baffled, transforming a generic premise into a truly captivating, suspenseful, thematically rich story where the definition of a "good person" is brilliantly explored. It plays around with the audience's anticipation, especially with fans of the genre already used to the unfolding of formulaic arcs, through exciting twists and sudden tonal changes. Georgina Campbell stands out from the rest, but all the players are important in embodying the idea that "appearances can be deceiving". Mandatory viewing - go in blind." Rating: B+
When "Tess" (a rather prone to over-acting Georgina Campbell) arrives at her airb'n'b she discovers that it is already occupied by "Keith" (Bill Skarsgård). Both are meant to be there - some dodgy booking admin - and so after a bit of a shaky start, and a bottle of red, they agree to share for the night. Next morning, on the hunt for some toilet tissue, she encounters a secret room in the basement that looks like it's been used for nefarious purposes. When her new friend comes home, he goes exploring and next thing, we discover a network of tunnels inhabited by... To be fair to auteur Zach Cregger, there is quite am impactful degree of claustrophobic horror to this but I am afraid I wasn't convinced - right from the start - with the plausibility of the whole thing. Whom, in their right mind, would discover what she does and then go off exploring, on their own, without taking some fairly elementary precautions? The drama and peril here is sort of forced upon us despite any natural alarm bells we might have saying "I don't think so". Anyway, it turns out that "AJ" (Justin Long) owns the house and when he turns up to find it still bestrewn with their luggage, he joins in the hunt in the tunnels and the pace hots up a little as escape becomes the imperative against a foe who makes "Gollum" look like Claudia Schiffer. It is quite a watchable affair, I did quite enjoy it, but I struggled with the realism of the scenarios and maybe just because I'm a scaredy cat, I wasn't ever really persuaded! Fun, though - and certainly at the better end of the recent releases in this often underwhelming genre.
GO INTO THIS MOVIE _**BLIND**_. Do not read anything, watch the trailer, etc. Just go along for the ride.
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