Criticism, ‘Barbarian’: Disney + premieres the terrifying surprise of the year
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Once in a while, proposals arrive that surprise by offering something unexpected. That’s what ‘Barbarian’ isthe first solo film by American actor Zach Cregger, which has become not only one of the most successful horror films of this 2022, but also one of the most applauded, knowing combine the elements of the genre and, thereby, create a story that leaves a constant feeling of not knowing what is going to happen and that, in addition, knows how to take the usual clichés of terror to his field.
The tape begins with a young woman arriving at a house that she has rented through Airbnb. The woman has traveled to Detroit for a job interview and sees how almost all the buildings around her accommodation offer a tremendously inhospitable image of the neighborhood. With a scenario conducive to something happening, everything seems to indicate it when the protagonist sees that there is another boy staying in the same room. Of course, the woman is wary of entering, since the atmosphere of the film is well responsible for creating an atmosphere of mistrust in a situation that has several readings. However, the protagonist enters.
Cregger played the expected elements of horror stories, with a staging that appears to be predictable., to this is added that the boy who receives the protagonist -played by Georgina Campbell- is nothing more and nothing less than Bill Skarsgård, already converted into an icon of terror -who does not come up with the image of Pennywise to mind when you see it? Nevertheless, the director unsettles with a series of turns that are the ones that keep the audience waitingespecially since fear initially begins in a tremendously organic way and in very real situations.
A pleasant surprise and ideal to enjoy on Halloween
And that is where the ingenuity of this twisted puzzle is seen, even in narrative matters, since the film becomes a story film with the house as the central axis -similarly to ‘The Curse’ by Takashi Shimizu-. But once again it is a mere illusion that Cregger uses to create a context and prepare the audience for the final act. And that is where the director and screenwriter is right, his innovation is to select the most conventional situations, characters and stories of terror to weave a magnificent story that brings the best of each element.
To this is added the magnificent interpretation of Georgina Campbell, who magnificently represents the contradictions of today’s thirtysomething millennials. Added to this is also an accurate representation of certain masculine codes that make it clear why, faced with an unexpected and uncomfortable situation, they react in a very different way with respect to them. And Cregger, in this sense, makes a good game of mirrors between the characters embodied by Skarsgård and Justin Long.two completely opposite views that not only give the film more reading, but also a depth that invites subsequent conversation.
Terror has been consolidating for a long time as a genre in constant innovation, ‘Barbarian’ is one more example. One of those surprises that is appreciated that it arises, to which is added a wonderful control of time, being a story that keeps the public in constant expectation, thanks to the continuous feeling that something can happen. A quality entertainment and ideal to enjoy this Halloween.
The best: The constant feeling that something could happen at any moment. His opening scene and the number of reads he has.
Worst: It innovates in terms of using known elements of the genre, but it does not contribute anything different. Despite being a box office success and going through theaters in several markets (including in his native United States), in Spain it has been unfairly condemned to streaming. It was the ideal opening for Halloween.