"Barbarian" is nerve-racking - from the opening seconds, not minutes, but seconds of the film, director Zach Cregger immediately immerses viewers in an experience that leaves knuckles white, nails bitten, and minds consistently wondering what on God's green earth could possibly happen next.
Viewing "Barbarian" without any knowledge of what it is about is the optimal viewing experience; however, even if you've seen the trailer for this film, you'll be happy to know that it spoils basically zero of the twists and turns this movie has to offer. Thus, I do not want to spoil anything either, which makes this an incredibly hard review to write! So, what I will do is attempt to explain the basic premise of "Barbarian," and what makes it one of the most thrilling theatre experiences I've had in a long time.
Starring the beautiful Georgina Campbell as a lone Airbnb renter who is staying overnight at a house in Detroit, Michigan, "Barbarian" opens with Georgina's character, Tess, arriving at her rental to find that another man - played by Bill Skarsgård - is already occupying the home. Claiming that this incident is the result of a simple mixup of double booking, Bill's character Keith invites Tess in to stay the night, promising that, in the morning, they will both get this situation sorted out. From that point on, the movie becomes a razor sharp thriller that will infect audiences with its inherent uneasiness.
Is Keith truly a stranger caught up in an innocent mistake, or is he someone, or something, more nefarious? And is the rental property all it seems to be, or is there a greater mystery to be uncovered beneath its welcoming surface? "Barbarian" begins by introducing question after question to its audience, ensuring that viewers remain on the edge of their seat trying to predict what will next occur. Second after second and minute after minute, this movie is full of surprises, to the point where, after the 45 minute mark, my expectations were blown out of the water to the point where it felt useless trying to guess what would happen next, because I hadn't the slightest idea what could possibly happen next. And that is the highest compliment I can give this movie because, regardless of how you choose to describe this movie, you cannot claim it to be predictable. And on a side note, the fact that the characters actually made intelligent decisions and thought things out only made the viewing experience more tense, because, since everyone was already doing what I assumed a smart person would do, I had no idea how the scenes and sequences would progress. And I also want to pay my compliments to the soundtrack, the direction, and the cinematography, all of which combined perfectly to create a truly chilling experience.
I feel like this is a vague and poorly written review, but only because I do not want to spoil anything for anyone. You may have seen the teasers claiming that this film is so scary that people are screaming, vomiting, and passing out in the theatre - while that is just false marketing at its finest, I will say that "Barbarian" did induce a physical reaction from me at parts - I could feel my heart practically beating out of my chest during certain sequences due to the suspense. So, while I don't necessarily find this film to be scary, it is one of the most adrenaline pumping experiences I have had in a long, long time. If you are at all a fan of thrillers, I'd recommend seeing this on the biggest screen you can find, and preferably late at night. This isn't the most horrifying movie you'll ever see, but it is sure to get your blood pumping.
Horror / Thriller
Horror / Thriller
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In town for a job interview, a young woman arrives at her Airbnb rental late at night only to find that the house has been mistakenly double-booked and a strange man is already staying there. Against her better judgment, she decides to stay the night anyway, but soon discovers that there is much more to be afraid of in the house than the other house guest.
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