In BARBARIAN (2022), a woman shows up at an Airbnb only to discover it has been double booked by a man, only she doesn’t know the house contains a horrifying secret. Overall, I found this well written and engaging, even if its impression wasn’t very lasting.
The first act is excellent, tense with paranoia and vague threat, and very well written. The situation and dialogue all feel real even as the house and neighborhood appear threatening. The story changes gears several times and introduces new elements, which makes this movie one to plunge into while knowing as little as possible about it.
As a horror movie, it’s definitely different, while playing on the familiar. The solid cast including Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, and Justin Long makes a big difference in pulling off its ambitions. There’s plenty here that’s interesting and engaging, only with its innovative structure, BARBARIAN seemed to promise to come together in a surprising way but instead served up a fairly conventional finish.
So overall, I liked BARBARIAN a lot and enjoyed the ride even if I didn’t find the destination as having the impact I’d hoped for.