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Barbarian Review: Perfectly Unsettling

It seems it’s been a while since theaters were graced with a genuinely good horror film. Barbarian, releasing September 9th, looks to change that.

Bill Skarsgård as Keith in 20th Century Studios’ BARBARIAN, exclusively on Hulu. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.


First and foremost let me start off by saying, by no means am I a horror expert. This review is a relatively fresh take to the genre. With that being said I thought Barbarian was a great film. The plot is very intricate in a way that you wouldn’t expect from a typical horror film, whilst also giving those well needed jump scares. I went into this film expecting something a lot, and I mean a lot, different then what we got, but for good reason, as I believe these twists and turns are what make this film what it is. This movie does a great job at making you feel uneasy even when there isn’t an immediate threat or scare on the screen, which I believe is the key to keeping an audience intrigued with a horror film. This is a film that will make you uneasy, anxious, and most importantly scared, in the best ways possible.

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One thing that I do have to point out is , if you are going to see this film, I urge you to see it on the biggest and loudest screen possible. I got the amazing privilege of watching this film in IMAX with laser and the visuals were absolutely astounding. The color range is truly used to its max as the  moments with the darkest lighting were often the most intense and exhilarating. Secondly,and even more exciting (in my opinion), the audio quality was simply exhilarating. When things got tense, THEY GOT TENSE, and you could feel it through the silence and the screams. I truly don’t believe watching this film at home, even with the best of surround sound systems, will match seeing this film in theaters. 

Georgina Campbell as Tess in 20th Century Studios’ BARBARIAN, exclusively on Hulu. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The cast of this film do a truly exceptional job of giving this truly unique and unsettling production the life it needs. Georgina Campbell plays the role of Tess Marshall, absolutely phenomenally. Tess is a woman who has rented an out of town AirBNB for an upcoming interview, which she soon learns in a mixup that takes a turn for the worse. BIll Skarsgård plays the role of Keith, the man who coincidentally has rented the same exact property as Tess. Keith is an unusual man, as while his intentions are genuine, he is very persistent and has a slight eariness about him that Bill Skarsgård does such a great job at portraying. Justin Long plays the role of A.J Gilbride, a director who is stuck in the midst of an allegation that alters his life for the worse. Long plays the role of a man who is angry and forced to get by, by any means possible, so well. Even when it feels he’s at the losing end of these allegations, the human side that he shows makes him a character you can really feel attached to. 

I would say this movie is perfect for the fans of the horror genre, but I genuinely think it’s a great watch no matter what your favorite genre is. As I said before I’m not a huge horror fan myself, but this was a genuinely enjoyable film. If you’re a fan of horror, or movies in general, I recommend you see Barbarian, releasing September 9th, in the largest and loudest theater possible.

SCORE: 8/10

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Written by Elijah Boxhill

Elijah Boxhill is a critic and author for Fandomwire. Elijah is also one of the hosts of the FandomWire comic book based podcast, Comic Book Saga. Twitter: @OpticalCinema TikTok: @OpticalCinema Instagram: @ElijahBoxhill