“Barbarian” was barbaric



[Ed. Note—Also, it’s a horror movie. You may find stuff in here that scares you.]

Most people have heard about the “movie with that weird dungeon in that sketchy basement,” and I keep hearing how that movie was good or even great, but I am here to tell you that this movie was a trainwreck. First I want to start by saying the plot was good, and I liked the idea behind the movie: some girl and some guy are planted in an AirBnB that has a dark secret, so they have to figure out how to survive the time they stay there.

The Trailer

Okay, so the trailer was really, really good. I thought this movie would be like a 9/10 or something based on the trailer, which was just so much better than the others at the movie I saw before it, and it had Bill Skarsgård (Pennywise from It), one of the better horror movie actors in my experience. The trailer hints at a better story than the movie delivered, but I don’t want to get to into the details that much; it spoils the movie. [Ed. Note—so are there spoilers in here or what?]

The Movie

Oh, boy, this movie was a carefully crafted catastrophe. I really thought this movie had potential, and now I . . .

the beginning

The opening scenes were good, as they don’t quite dig into how these people destroyed the movie . . . yet. They were laid out well: you get to meet Keith and Tess, who are good characters. It also shows how they can act under pressure with small issues, i.e., dirty sheets, a cup of tea, an interview in the morning. The bottom line: these two characters were set up well and they serve their purpose. Until disaster strikes . . .

the part where they find the “Sketchy Basement Dungeon”

Okay, so Tess is home alone after her interview and Keith is out buying things, Tess gets chased down by a crazy man yelling “Little girl, don’t do it” or “Don’t go in there, little girl.” Tess is frightened and runs inside to hide. She goes to the bathroom, which has no toilet paper, and finds some in . . . the basement!

She finds a small rope and pulls it (SHE DIDN’T WIPE—KINDA GROSS). This rope opens a secret tunnel that is pitch black (I know, scary because dark) and in there she finds a room with a camera, a poo bucket, a bed, and a bloody handprint on the wall. Subpar torture room, really. She runs to the top of the stairs, only to find that the door is locked and she has the keys and no phone. She waits for Keith to get home, and when he does, he helps her out. She tells him to pack up. He says “I’m gonna look in the funny torture room,” and does. But he doesn’t come back for a little while. Tess isn’t thrilled and tries to find him, even though she vowed she wouldn’t go down there. OMG, ANOTHER DOOR! Cool, more set-up. I wonder what’s down there. So there is this giant stone staircase and darkness, and Tess hears Keith yelling for help. She gets down there and finds him and he says someone bit him, and that there is someone down there . . .


Out of nowhere, AJ Gilbride comes into the story. There he is, jamming out to his tunes before he gets a call which informs him he’s being charged with some serious things. So he does what any normal person does and goes to Detroit. There he finds his house (the AirBnB) and a car in front of it. He explores the house because he finds evidence of squatters, searching every nook and cranny to find the “Sketchy Basement Dungeon.” He’s thrilled—more square footage to add so he can market this house faster. Then he does the horror-movie-common-sense thing and goes down into the weird dark place, and finds . . . TESS! Wow, amazing writing! And she’s perfectly healthy! Nice! AJ is angry, to say the least, that there is a squatter and an actual monster. This monster tries to breastfeed AJ. She kind of looks like a Stephen King monster (a naked old woman) and he escapes,  and Tess does too.


The movie cuts to some old creepy guy stalking women at the grocery store, then following them to their house. After this, I can only infer he is in fact kidnapping them. AJ finds this weirdo and starts trying to help him. The guy is incredibly feeble and ill, so AJ has to give him water and finds these tapes of the guy torturing the girls he captured (based on AJ’s reaction—the tapes aren’t shown). AJ calls the guy sick, before the guy just randomly pulls a gun and shoots himself. Good, since now AJ can kill the weird monster thing with the gun.

the very-poorly-thought-out ending

Tess finds a man (the guy yelling at her earlier) who saves her, but she goes back in to save AJ. They find each other and barely escape. Tess finds this man, and it’s nighttime, which means the monsters are gonna come out. I’ll leave the actual ending for anyone that wants to watch the movie, but it didn’t really match up with the rest in my opinion.


I was very disappointed by how this movie failed to meet its potential. Overall, I think most people will like the movie more than I did; I would say it deserves a 7/10 for the average viewer, but to me, this movie tricked you into thinking it would be better than it was. Out of all of the horror movies I have seen, this one ranks in the lower half. So I would give it a 5/10, but like I said most people will like it more than me because I’m picky and I have a large amount of horror movies to compare it to, and the two others I can think of are the Collector movies. Those two are amazing and this one was subpar.

I’d like to do a horror movie review on every issue I can write on. Thanks for reading, and see you next time!