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BARBARIAN (Zach Creeger, 2022)

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  • BARBARIAN (Zach Creeger, 2022)

    BARBARIAN (2022) - Two young people accidentally rent the same B&B. Tess (Georgina Campbell) and Keith (Bill Skarsgard) decide to stay for the night and sort it out later. A skeezy actor AJ (Justin Long) also figures in the mix.

    Writer-Director Zach Creeger amps up the dread right from the start with even the most ordinary happenings being treated as sinister. A daytime meeting at a cafe is shot and scored like an axe murder is about to happen. When the first act finally reaches its climax its not the shocker it should be because the audience has been strung along too much. It's indicative of Creeger's lack of a sense of pace and moderation ( (same with much of Anna Drubich's soundtrack). Instead of lulling the viewer, it's more like: Finally! SOMEthing happened to justify all the caterwauling.

    Many horror films rely on the 'Idiot plot' where only a fool would remain in the situation that is putting them in peril. Of course, without said idiots, many of the movies would be over by half-time. Creeger certainly has them here. On the positive side of the ledger, Campbell and Skarsgard do play off well with one another and most of the cast is similarly decent including that of a neighborhood drifter named Andre (Jaymes Butler). There are also a couple of amusing real estate barbs. Creeger does a couple of interesting structural moves, but they only temporarily divert from the deficiencies.

    Unfortunately, BARBARIAN isn't just content with idiocy, but, also piles on the most Absurd of plots - even for a horror flick. Even the mildest scrutiny takes apart the premise's logic. As things escalate so does the Absurdity. A movie can survive idiots and absurdity - but, not both. At least not in the case of BARBARIAN.