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Barbarian (2022)


Charlie Barron, Reporter

Barbarian (2022), directed by Zach Cregger, was the sleeper hit of the Halloween season. The true success of the film is that it provides a fresh take on the horror genre.

Zach Cregger, a former comic writer known for The Whitest Kids U’ Known, took a crack at directing features, and turned his normal humorous approach into horror. The importance of his past work is prevalent due to the sheer amount of irony that the film portrays about the ideas of masculinity and femininity. The story revolves around a woman who finds herself and a stranger double booked at an Airbnb, until things go awry. 

Georgina Campbell plays Tess, who is a unique take on the classic “scream queen” role that leading women play in horror films. The casting gets even more interesting with the male  characters. Bill Skarsgard, plays on his fame for his role Pennywise in the IT films, as the mysterious guy that lets Tess stay with him in the AirBnB. Justin Long makes his return to the horror genre as the owner of the house who joins the story midway through. The film consciously plays with the audience’s expectations of casting Skarsgard and Long, both famous for past roles in horror, but both men play completely new roles for them. 

Barbarian, as all modern horror films should strive to do, incorporates things that work undoubtedly to make something entirely new. Cinematographer Zach Kuperstein gave an insightful quote about the visual identity of the film, saying, “The main references were (David) Fincher upstairs, (Sam) Raimi downstairs”. The movie transforms from being a mysterious thriller with a dreadful vibe to a monstrous slasher film that mixes ridiculous with horrifying. 

There have been no plans for a sequel announced, but Cregger has talked about continuing in the horror genre. Especially when paired next to recent horror hits such as Halloween Ends, Barbarian is a disgusting ray of hope for the genre, and can lead to many things to come for this new filmmaker.