Movie Review: Barbarian – Portsmouth Daily Times


Directed by: Zach Cregger


● Georgina Campbell as Tess Marshall

● Bill Skarsgård as Keith Toshko

● Justin Long as AJ Gilbride

● Matthew Patrick Davis as The Mother

● Richard Brake as Frank

Duration: 103 minutes

Rating: R (for some strong violence and gore, disturbing material, language throughout, and nudity)

Well… it’s obviously getting closer to Halloween. We have another horror movie this week! Spoiler alert…it’s FANTASTIC. Barbarian is a movie I knew very little about and that’s a good thing. From the trailers, it appears that a young woman shows up at a home she booked with AirBNB and was double booked. There’s a creepy guy staying there (played by the same actor who played Pennywise in the IT remake) and things get weird. Would this be a generic stalker movie? No. Let’s see how good this is.

In the film.

We open and meet our heroine Tess (Campbell) as she walks up to a house that looks like a standard house you’d see in a nice suburb. She checks her email. She gets the code to use the safe for the key and heads out to the front porch. It’s dark and rainy and she’s desperate to get inside. The sound of rain hitting the roof adds to the spooky vibe and you immediately feel our clue and want it IN. However… there is no key. What’s going on??? Tess (Campbell) gets back in the car and starts to drive away, but a light goes on in the house. She runs to the front door and bangs on the door and window. A man named Keith (Skarsgård) opens the door. He is confused.

Keith (Skarsgård) starts asking questions and, after a miscommunication, offers the room for the night. He will sleep on the sofa. Tess (Campbell) hesitates, but she finally walks in. She wants to see the booking confirmation from her (they used different companies) and she remains wary. Good Tess. She be smart. My ONLY complaint with the movie is that there is an unnecessary dilemma that forces the two of them to spend time together. Tess (Campbell) says that she has a problem with the sheets and needs clean ones… so Keith (Skarsgård) offers to wash them. A little weird, but then the actors start talking. They come together for music and wine. It seems that the man will either be a serial killer or catch the heroine in the house. I will say one more thing about the plot and nothing else… THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN! Or if?

If you are a fan of the horror genre. Go see this movie! The cast is engaging, funny, brave, and scared at times. Works. The twists are absolutely stunning. We watch a movie go one way, boom, here’s 180. Wait. Let’s go the other way. You have layer upon layer of stories and eventually they blend together. I was VERY VERY impressed. The cinematography is another aspect to praise. You have shots as the protagonist. Shots with a flashlight marking the way. The director uses darkness as a character of his own. You cling to any light like our cast. This is a movie you’ll talk about all the way home and think about for days, if not weeks. My brother Aaron, who is a horror movie aficionado, had this to say about the movie: “I came in not knowing much, so I was expecting a generic horror movie, but it turns everything about horror tropes upside down.” Well said. Go see this movie. 5 stars out of 5


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