|Studio||20th Century Studios|
|Release Date||September 9, 2022|
|Actors||Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, Justin Long, Matthew Patrick Davis|
|Rating||3 out of 5|
Barbarian (2022) Movie Review: A Throwback Horror with 5 Star Potential
“Barbarian” takes you on a journey through three distinctive acts, each with its own flavor.
We’re introduced to Tess (played by Georgina Campbell), who finds herself stranded outside a rundown Air BnB in Detroit during a stormy night. All she wants is to get inside, but the missing key leads to an unexpected encounter with Keith (Bill Skarsgard), who, it turns out, also rented the same place. The tension in these scenes sets the stage with a classic horror vibe. The sepia tones add an eerie atmosphere, enhancing the suspense. Campbell and Skarsgard’s chemistry shines as they navigate the awkward situation, leaving you wondering whether Keith can be trusted. When Tess explores the mysterious tunnels beneath the house, you can’t help but shout at the screen, immersed in the classic horror experience.
The second act takes a sharp turn, surprising you as it transports you from the horror realm to an oceanside highway in a convertible, where we meet the detestable character AJ (Justin Long). It’s a jarring shift that makes you question how the first two acts connect. Your mind races with possibilities, envisioning a boss girl’s revenge against a misogynistic character in a dramatic twist. Unfortunately, that’s not the direction the story takes.
This final act feels like it belongs in an entirely different movie. The potential for a unique tie-in between the first two parts is squandered in favor of a generic horror movie ending. The tension built in the earlier acts dissipates, leaving the film devoid of nuance. It transforms into your typical creature feature, complete with an unconvincing monster with superhuman strength that lacks genuine fear factor. It borrows heavily from “The Descent,” a film that handled this material much better.
Despite its flaws, “Barbarian” offers an enjoyable throwback horror experience filled with style and intrigue, especially in the first two acts. You’ll find yourself concocting your own endings, as the provided one falls short of expectations. “Barbarian” starts strong but loses steam in its final act, shifting from a potential 5/5 to a 3/5. Nevertheless, it’s a movie worth watching for horror enthusiasts who appreciate a touch of nostalgia.