The Barbarian is a breath of fresh air in the horror genre

Ava Smith, Arts and Reviews Editor

This review contains brief spoilers.


The Barbarian was a movie that immediately piqued my interest when I saw the trailer. The movie was created by producers of IT, The Grudge and The Ring, which set my expectations high. I am happy to say that The Barbarian met these expectations and is the best horror movie I have seen on the big screen in a long time. The movie followed our main character, Tess, as she arrived at an Airbnb. After she realized that there had been a mistake with the rental, she had to share the house with a man named Kieth and bonded with him during her stay.

While this movie may sound like an unlikely romance, it is quite the opposite. The house had a disturbing history, and in the basement lived a strange man and woman. The woman, known as The Mother, did not seem human, and her father, Frank, was deeply disturbed and disgusting.

The plot of this movie was not what I was expecting, and like the trailer, it kept me guessing what was going to happen next. The Mother’s intentions, for example, were quite a shock to me. I was initially thinking that she was a monster, cannibal, or other typical horror movie antagonist. But, she was convinced that her captive, Tess, was her “baby.” Everything that The Mother did throughout the movie tied back to Tess and her need to be Tess’s “mother.” The Mother’s super human strength and gruesome way of murdering characters contrasted with the gentleness she showed towards Tess was slightly ironic and terrifying. 

 Another element of The Barbarian that I thoroughly enjoyed was the cinematography. A lot of the shots throughout the movie would follow a character for minutes at a time, which helped build suspense and left me on the edge of my seat. I was constantly wondering when The Mother would make a sudden appearance, and when she finally did it was ten times more horrifying than it would have been otherwise because of the camera-work. 

For these reasons, I would recommend The Barbarian to lovers of horror, and would rate the movie a 4.5 out of 5 stars.