“Barbarian” Movie Review

The “Barbarian” provides a pre-spooky season scare with its disturbing yet entertaining plot and visuals.


Though the movie is titled “Barbarian,” there is no trigger warning that could have prepared me for this near two hour horror film. 

Being a fan of scary movies myself, having seen horrific movies such as the “Conjuring,” “Hereditary,” and many others that make you want to crawl out of your skin, I walked into the theater with confidence that I could handle whatever jump scares this movie may bring.

From the second Tess—the main character played by Georgina Campbell-— entered the perfect little house amidst the rundown small suburb of Chicago, I knew this film was more than just your average scary movie. The movie contains disturbing topics, including incest and rape, making the movie’s concept hard to swallow.

Beyond the upsetting topic itself, the costume and makeup designers almost did too good of a job, as the barbaric monster seemed a little too real and had me scared to go to sleep later that night in fear that it would appear in my nightmares. I don’t think I could even find words disgusting enough to describe this monster, known as “the mother.”  My only suggestion is to not watch the movie on a full stomach. 

Along with the gut wrenching jump scares, the storylines tend to jump around a bit between settings and time periods, which had me slightly confused on what was going on at times. The movie follows Tess, who must stay in an Airbnb with a stranger outside of Chicago when her hotel room is given up. It only gets weirder from there, as Tess discovers the basement contains more than your average washer dryer or box of Christmas decorations. 

Though I was rooting for Tess throughout the duration of the movie, she had me partly annoyed, as she chose to help one of the other characters instead of trying to escape from the mother. While some may see this as courageous, I found it hard to believe and unrealistic, as I couldn’t see anyone willing to stay behind and risk another encounter with the mother, even if it was to try and save a life. 

While the mother was horrific beyond description, I walked away from the movie feeling pity for her. 

Overall, the movie played into each emotion, bringing tears, laughter and many screams to the theater. The movie was a bonding experience for everyone in the room, as we went on this unpredictable ride together, each tightly gripping the seats or each other. 

While I don’t think I’ll be seeing this movie again anytime soon, it was definitely an experience that I don’t regret and hope everyone gets to experience for themselves.