COLUMN: “Barbarian,” frightening storytelling at its finest


Rob Le Cates

Drew Coffey is a sophomore television and video production major and can be reached at 217-581-2812.

Drew Coffey, Columnist

To end the Halloween season, it is only appropriate to end the month on a scary, creepy, and disturbing note. 

That is the 2022 horror film “Barbarian” starring Georgina Campbell, Justin Long, and Bill Skarsgård and directed by Zach Cregger. 

The film follows a young woman who is surprised to find a stranger already living in the rental home she had booked. After deciding to share the house for the night, the woman finds a tunnel that reveals there is more to the house than previously thought.  

Acting wise, the film is extremely solid.  

Georgina Campbell brings out the claustrophobic, shocking nature the film demands while offering a character that has a good head on her shoulders. Her character adapts to the events of the film in a way that earns our respect as an audience.  

For horror, that is a difficult feat to accomplish nowadays.  

The designated horror king himself Justin Long is also very good as a flawed actor who also comes to the rental house in the film. He gives his character a great amount of depth and completely embodies the despicable aspects that are present.  

The cinematography and camera work of the film is also impressively well done.  

“Barbarian” primarily utilizes a framework composition but also has handheld, frantic camera work when moments become intense, especially in the tunnels of the house.  

The film also has a scene taking place in the past that creatively uses colors and editing to establish its time period and how it relates to the present story.  

Visually, the special effects in “Barbarian” are fairly impressive and frightening.  

Without giving too many spoilers of the plot away, what’s found in the tunnels is the stuff of nightmares and plenty of effects are used to portray that nightmare in a very disturbing way.  

The writing for this film is among the most impressive and satisfying seen in movies this year.  

There are consistently subtle cues to progress the story and gives subtle ideas about what is really going on in the house. There are also little moments with the characters that explain how they will evolve as the terrifying events of the film continue.  

Impressively, everything in this film is explained and leaves you asking little to no questions regarding the story.  

This helps the audience feel rewarded and satisfied as the film ends and the credits roll.  

The film is also not afraid to occasionally rip the rug out from under you. Just when you think you know where the story is going, the film continues to surprise you until the very end.

“Barbarian” is a refreshingly creative and smart horror film that logically surprises the audience while remaining extremely shocking in its own right.  

For those thinking about booking a rental house, watch this movie and see how quickly you will get off the subject.  

My overall rating: 4.5/5 

Drew Coffey is a sophomore television/video production major. He can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.