Barbarian (2022)

Barbarian (2022)

Movie Details

Movie: Barbarian (2022)
Director: Zach Cregger
Cast: Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, and Justin Long
Genres: Horror/Mystery
Release date: 9 September 2022
IMDB Rating: 7/10
Language: English
Duration: 1h 42m


Barbarian (2022)


This is exactly what I need once a year. Horror, playing hide-and-seek with me, the darling of the festival audience, which will surprise in cinema distribution, or this case here (unfortunately) on VOD. Look for Barbara on Disney+, but don’t worry, this is a regular ride. At the outset, however, it is necessary to admit that Barbarian will similarly divide its audience to James Wan’s Pernicious Evil last year. Zach Cregger, the director and screenwriter of two teen comedies, a permanent member of improv and sketch groups, and one of the authors of the TV show Whitest Kids U Know, quite unexpectedly plunged into horror. However, it would be a mistake to take his work deadly seriously, even for a minute.

Many fans may not like it, because when the main character arrives at the opening and instead of an empty cozy cabin (on the outskirts of Detroit) she finds another guest with the visage of Pennywise removed, everyone wants to scream at the top of their lungs at the TV to turn to heel and flees away. Even here, Cregger plays with the audience’s expectations, because although the first third of the film plays according to the home invasion rules, you find out that you have it all a bit upside down. At the same time, the first third with a slight twist still resembles a traditional horror film. What follows is already a cocktail balancing act behind the bar as Cregger adds more and more ingredients, but he does it so expertly and casually that you simply can’t get off this roller coaster, excitedly guessing what will happen next.

Those “genre twists” are not self-serving, they are not even intended to disguise a modest budget. On the contrary, I think that filming a straightforward home invasion would be much cheaper, but at the same time significantly more boring. Cregger wants to entertain himself and the audience, and he makes full use of the sarcasm gathered while inventing sketches. Barbarian doesn’t blast its genre in the vein of Scream, doesn’t cheaply play with your expectations, instead subtly pokes at the toxic environment of contemporary Hollywood, ponders gender clichés, and whenever you feel like you’ve definitively crossed over to comedy.

The less you know about Barbarian beforehand, the better for you. But at the same time, you should keep your arms open, because anyone with tunnel vision within the horror genre will roll their eyes at Cregger’s antics. At the same time, the all-over destruction is the infusion that the genre needs year after year. I have a feeling that Cregger will want to use his success with Barbaro to move the genre further, and it’s probably just as well because he told everything he needed to hear in a modest hundred minutes. At the same time, it is clear that horror needs these open-minded people who come from outside and try it from somewhere else. Conservative fans may reject Barbar, or they may not see through the slightly rushed banal finale, but others will appreciate the solid author’s handwriting and the friendly game of cat and mouse.

Cregger’s trip to the border between horror and friendly or opposite genres is inspiring in the lightness with which he overcomes expected obstacles and subconscious prejudices. It shows creators and experienced matadors of the genre that you don’t necessarily have to make fun of horror or its fans to defy conventions and come up with something new. Good ideas don’t cost a thing, although it’s certain that if not for Cregger’s rich history with successful sketch shows, no one would pay for his “weird horror”.

What if, fortunately, it doesn’t play out, and so we can finally harvest something ripe and tasty in this year’s field among the rows of bland reimaginings and dozens of premises? The seven may not look so attractive as a result, but just like last year with Wan, who – admittedly – was even more open and lackluster, I actually can’t wait to play Barbara again. In this film, it’s not about someone running from a bug up the stairs, or shining a flashlight into the bowels of a dark cellar, shouting to the woods “Is there anyone there?”. This is a film by a fan for the fans and a clear message saying “Let’s try something a little different without cheating on the classics”.

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