Title – Barbarian (2022)
Director – Zach Cregger (Miss March)
Cast – Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, Justin Long, Richard Brake
Plot – Heading to Detroit for a job interview, Tess (Campbell) discovers the Airbnb she has booked is not the idyllic retreat she had hoped for.
“Do I look like some kind of monster?”
Review by Eddie on 02/11/2022
It may not provide the highest dosage of jump out of your seat/spill your popcorn scares when compared with some other genre releases of 2022 but there’s little doubt that Zach Cregger’s surprisingly great Barbarian is one of the most impressive and unpredictable horror films of the year.
If someone were too have told us that a horror film set in a Detroit Airbnb, starring Justin Long and directed by a member of The Whitest Kids U Know was going to be one of the years biggest surprise hits both commercially and critically, many would have rightfully laughed them straight back to the crazy corner they came from but against all the odds Cregger’s wild journey is a must watch experience that takes inspiration from a raft of areas all the while creating a flavour all of its own.
Best experienced with as little prior knowledge as possible, all anyone needs to know is that Barbarian finds Georgina Campbell’s Tess (in what is a star making turn) alone in Detroit, only to find that the Airbnb she has booked in a suspect neighbourhood isn’t the type of abode one wishes to accommodate themselves in with Bill Skarsgård’s oddball Keith (a nice turn from the actor who also acts as one of the films producers) and Justin Long’s wannabe property magnate/troubled actor AJ also playing key parts in Tess’s far from typical stay.
Filmed with a confidence and clear vision by Cregger, Barbarian excels in creating an ominous and well-rounded foundation that takes many various twists and turns along its way, subverting expectations and predictions as it marches towards its bonkers endgame that is surely going to create some of the most noteworthy water cooler moments for film fans to discuss as we near the end of year movie going debriefs.
Expertly balancing chills, thrills, spills and comedic interludes (a scene involving AJ measuring the square meterage of his house is side-splittingly hilarious), Barbarian is an all round feature that gives us a fully-formed genre offering that is at home in its wild blood splattered moments as it is its quiet conversation lead moments and in an age where many horror films feel the need to use loud noises and jump scares to fill-in for genuinely spine-tingling chills, Barbarian takes the less trodden path to give its audience a ride that isn’t all sugar with zero substance.
Feeling like it may well have existed in the golden age of horror of the late 70’s and 80’s, Barbarian is a breath of fresh air in a genre that has struggled over recent times to deliver products worthy of note and much like we experienced with Jordan Peele and his debut Get Out, it feels as though with this film we have heralded in a new key player in the horror market with Zach Cregger, a filmmaker many will be eagerly keeping an eye on from here on out.
Final Say –
A film that had no right in being as fun, crazy and well-made as it has ended up being, Barbarian is one of the most exciting feature film rides of 2022 and gives the horror landscape a new offering to get excited about after a lean period of weak entries.
4 tape measures out of 5