It’s not quite clear yet how actors and filmmakers that have made a name for themselves in the comedy genre, go ahead and switch gears and create a horror movie masterpiece. It happened with Jordan Peele in Get Out, Us, and the recent Nope film. There are countless others, but now it’s happened again with actor and director Zach Cregger, who has successfully made that leap from comedy to horror gold with Barbarian. This brand new film has all the best elements of horror that transition into other sub-genres fluidly. It’s clear that Cregger knows and understands this horror game because Barbarian is a ton of fun and an immediate big hit. Highly Recommended!
Cregger has assembled a stellar cast including Georgina Campbell (Krypton, Broadchurch), Justin Long, Bill Skarsgard (Pennywise himself), and others as the film examines the horrors that could culminate after renting a house through AirBnB. Barbarian plays out like three different films, including The Descent, Silence of the Lambs, and HBO’s recent Malignant movie. As Cregger’s film starts out like a normal, typical horror movie that’s high on suspense with a few jump scares, quickly dives into true action-packed horror as Tess (Campbell) arrives at her AirBnB in a bad neighborhood in Detroit, only to find that it’s already inhabited by another renter named Keith (Skarsgard).
The screenplay is smart enough to play on those certain nuanced elements of how two strangers might not trust each other at first and always be on edge. The creepiness is at an all-time high through this segment, which then completely switches into an actor named AJ (Long), who has recently been accused of some terrible actions, decides to hightail it to some of his AirBnB properties in order to sell to pay off his lawyers. One of these properties is this particular Detroit abode where AJ gets more than what he bargained for in the most terrifying ways.
Georgina Campbell plays Tessa perfectly. She’s a great blend of showing how terrified she is along with how courageous and brave she can be when she must confront her greatest fears. Skarsgard is always great as well, but it’s with Justin Long where the movie shines. His layered character is utterly brilliant. There hasn’t been a character quite like this before where someone is so villainous, yet so funny and dumb at the same time, and Long plays it out perfectly. Cregger’s eye for horror behind the camera is wonderful as visions of monsters and dark hallways bring a new meaning to terror. Not only that, this horror film is ripe with comedy and some over-the-top aspects that are guaranteed to make audiences yell with glee. Barbarian is a fantastic addition to the horror genre and let’s all hope that Cregger has new plans for many new horror movies on the horizon. Highly Recommended!