“Barbarian” - movie review

Story posted September 15, 2022 in Arts & Entertainment by Jack Freiser.

“Barbarian,” written and directed by Zach Cregger, is the latest horror movie to release this year. This has been a strong year for original horror movies. “X,” “Nope,” “Bodies Bodies Bodies” and “Fresh” have all been standout films with incredible moments. However, none are as effective and shocking as this movie.

“Barbarian” is spectacular. It is filled with amazing gore, incredible suspense and some of the best directing of the year. It is important to go into this movie knowing as little as possible, and even the trailer gives away nothing. This movie is unlike any other movie out right now, and it is impossible to predict where this movie is going.

The writing in this movie is fantastic. Every little detail is important to the overarching story and the movie is able to stay away from being cliché. There are many twists and turns in this film and it is insanely difficult for the audience to predict what will happen next.

The movie has a unique structure, departing from the normal three acts. The story also never becomes over the top. It feels semi-believable and is grounded in reality throughout.

The characters are also given a bunch of substance, which is sometimes lacking in horror movies. The characters all have distinct personalities, which make their actions throughout the story very believable.

The performances in this film are also stellar. Tess (Georgina Campbell) is an amazing final girl. It is very easy to root for her, especially since she is not an idiot when it comes to her decision-making throughout the story. She is able to succeed in the more horrific scenes yet also believably play a badass in the other more action based scenes. She was the true standout in this movie.

Bill Skarsgard and Justin Long also delivered really great performances. Long, who plays AJ, is really hateable, and the movie is able to tackle a very topical problem in a very mature way. Long also has comedic moments, which work for the film and never feel out of place. Skarsgard, who plays Keith, is also an enjoyable character. His chemistry with Campbell is quite compelling and it allows audiences to root for the duo.

The writing and acting are quite notable, however the directing is without a doubt the best part of this film. The directing is super weird, but in the best way. There are a lot of weird pans and wide shots that make the audience feel a bit claustrophobic. The directing also elevates the suspense. There are many shots of empty space, in which the audience is anticipating something to jump out.

The weird jump cuts and transitions are also used perfectly throughout the movie. These directing decisions enhance this horror movie and truly make it special. The jumpscares, although sparse, are quite effective and the gore is also quite realistic and shocking.

This was a truly sensational horror movie. It is filled with shocking twists, amazing characters and incredibly tense suspense. This movie's originality is quite special, and hopefully the critical success of original horror movies this year will inspire more studios to make more of these original stories. This is a must watch for any horror fan, and the short run time makes this a super fast watch that will keep the audience on the edge of their seat throughout the entire film.

Rating: 4.5/5

Jack Freiser is a third-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jef5614@psu.edu.