The Reel Review

B+

When a woman visiting Detroit for a job interview discovers the Airbnb she is renting for the night is double-booked, she goes against her better judgment and stays, kicking off a nightmarish descent into terror, in this horror/thriller starring Georgina Campbell (All My Friends Hate Me), Bill Skarsgård (It, It Chapter Two, Deadpool 2) and Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers).

Georgina Campbell in Barbarian

At first glance, Barbarian looks to be run-of-the-mill, don’t-go-in-the-basement horror, but writer/director Zach Cregger quickly turns it on its head, with more dizzying twists and turns than a runaway rollercoaster in the dark. Flashbacks – and flash forwards – help flesh out the terrifying story, while respecting the audience enough to let us figure it out without spelling out every detail.

Georgina Campbell in Barbarian

Campbell’s Tess is a terrific protagonist, a wisely mistrustful woman caught in increasingly absurd, gore-filled madness, with heaping doses of spine-tingling frights and humor, and even social commentary on men who are completely rotten but repeatedly convince themselves that they aren’t. The final act goes a bit off the rails, but by the time the credits roll, you’ll be asking yourself, just who IS the barbarian in this crazy, terrifying tale?

REEL FACTS

• Prior to casting Justin Long as AJ, Zach Cregger originally offered the role to Zac Efron, who turned it down.

Barbarian writer/director Zach Cregger also has a cameo role, as Everett.

Barbarian was filmed in Bulgaria and Detroit, Michigan.

 

Video & Photo

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