Barbarian: This Isn’t Your Mother’s Conan

The Stream: A couple frustrating horror film setups and tropes

The Big Screen: But very surprising twists and turns throughout

The Final Bill: A thrilling move with good scares, great twists and is consistently entertaining.

– Trip Fontaine
Director: Zach Cregger
Writers: Zach Cregger
Stars: Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, Justin Long
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rating: R for some strong violence and gore, disturbing material, language throughout and nudity
Runtime: 1 hour 38 minutes
Production Companies: BoulderLight Pictures, Hammerstone Studios, Almost Never Films Inc., Regency Enterprises, Vertigo Entertainment
Platform: In theaters on September 9, 2022
Notable Trailers: The Menu, Amsterdam

What’s up, Streamers! We were looking for something to watch at the theaters this weekend, but it seemed like there weren’t a lot of offerings. Nothing was really standing out, so we decided to check out Barbarian. It’s supposedly a horror thriller, but that’s really the extent that I knew prior to seeing the movie. Here’s what taking a risk gets you.

Okay, Barbarian probably works best when you know as little as possible going in. The brief synopsis of the movie that I knew was that a young woman goes to the city for a job interview. She arrives at her Airbnb to find that it has already been rented by a mysterious stranger. Sketchy hijinks ensue. I promise even this synopsis does not tell the story of this movie, and that’s a good thing.

While this movie begins with a tired premise, it doesn’t take too long to go off the rails. Yes, the first third has some horror movie tropes that are frustrating, but it is all part of the set up. The movie keeps you on your toes because it is very hard to pin down. There are tonal shifts that are unexpected. There’s a little bit of uneasy romantic tension, some good social commentary and subtext, and then it devolves into the creepy territory that you came for. All of the surprises that come as the movie progresses make up for the more standard stuff that sets the stage.

I feel like that’s all I can say so I don’t spoil anything.

S2S: Official Rating Scale

Ultimately, Barbarian is a surprising movie with thrills and humor. The movie has decent jump scares and a lot of “don’t do that!” moments. There are twists and turns that you will not see coming. Go in knowing as little as possible and get a big box of popcorn.