Barbarian Film Review 2022 Movie

Movie Bunker Score:


Release: 2022-09-08Genre: HorrorDuration: 103 minsBudget: $ 4,500,000

In town for a job interview, a young woman arrives at her Airbnb late at night only to find that it has been mistakenly double-booked and a strange man is already staying there. Against her better judgement, she decides to stay the night anyway.


Release: 2022-09-08Genre: HorrorDuration: 103 minsBudget: $ 4,500,000

In town for a job interview, a young woman arrives at her Airbnb late at night only to find that it has been mistakenly double-booked and a strange man is already staying there. Against her better judgement, she decides to stay the night anyway.

The Haunting Horrors of Barbarian

In the film Barbarian, Zach Cregger, known for his background in comedy, takes a departure from his usual genre and collaborates with leads Georgina Campbell and Bill Skarsgard to create a chilling horror experience that stands out among the releases of 2022. Personally, having stayed in several Airbnbs in the past, this film resonated with me from the start, evoking a sense of nostalgia. I’ve had my fair share of late-night struggles with lockbox codes in dimly lit alleyways, and the panic that ensues when the code fails to work is all too familiar. There was one instance when I stayed alone in Brooklyn and encountered a similar situation when the code provided to access the key turned out to be for the wrong lockbox, a rookie mistake on my part. This relatability instantly drew me into the story of Barbarian.

A Nightmarish Encounter in Detroit

The protagonist of the film, Tess (Georgina Campbell), finds herself on the outskirts of Detroit, renting an Airbnb on the eve of an important job interview. However, her initial excitement is dampened when the lockbox code provided to her fails to grant her access. It is late at night, and the relentless rain shows no sign of stopping. Tess dials the contact number for the owners of the property but receives no answer. Seeing a flickering light inside the house, Tess desperately tries to get the attention of whoever is inside by knocking on the window and then the door. To her surprise, Keith (Bill Skarsgard), in his pajamas and half-awake, opens the door. As they soon discover, both Tess and Keith have mistakenly booked the same house for the same date.

Tess, a clever and quick-witted woman, decides to spend the night in the only bedroom with a lock on the inside, while Keith settles for the sofa. Sensibly, she takes pictures of Keith’s driver’s license, ensuring that she knows exactly who she is sharing her stay in Detroit with. She also exercises caution by never consuming anything prepared by Keith without her presence. To any discerning viewer, Keith exudes an air of peculiarity, especially when he jokingly claims he is “no monster,” a nod to Skarsgard’s previous role as a child-eating monster in IT. Despite her reservations, Tess begins to trust Keith a bit more after they open a bottle of red wine together and bond over their shared interest in Detroit-based music. With one night survived in the double-booked Airbnb, Tess embarks on her exciting job interview with a promising future in sight.

Unveiling the Unknown: Exploring the Plot of Barbarian

The trailers for Barbarian intentionally leave the film’s actual plot largely undisclosed. This decision proves to be a clever move, as the 103-minute runtime holds many surprises for viewers who are kept guessing throughout. If you have managed to avoid watching any trailers so far, my advice is to continue in blissful ignorance. However, if you have seen the striking posters featuring Tess standing atop a long flight of stairs against a vivid red background, you may already be captivated by the significance of these stairs. It is within the narrative’s progression that the true horror of Barbarian unfolds, and the act of capturing Keith’s identification proves to be the least of Tess’ concerns.

Director Zach Cregger brings a fresh perspective to the horror scene, following in the footsteps of notable comedians-turned-horror-filmmakers like Jordan Peele and David Gordon Green. These three filmmakers have injected new life into the horror genre and, in the cases of Peele and Cregger, created uniquely captivating experiences for audiences. As for Green, he has expanded the Halloween franchise and is currently working on reviving The Exorcist. Whether you love or hate the return of Michael Myers in the latest Halloween trilogy, there’s no denying the excitement of further exploring the world of horror and witnessing Myers’ presence once again on the big screen. Without a doubt, I will keep a keen eye on Cregger’s upcoming projects, eager to see the scares he brings to the film industry.

Compelling Performances and Unexpected Twists

Georgina Campbell and Bill Skarsgard deliver stellar performances as the leads in Barbarian. Both actors are immensely likable, yet a lingering unease nudges viewers to choose sides, just in case one of them turns out to be a sinister figure. Later in the film, audiences are introduced to AJ (Justin Long), an absolute douchebag whose portrayal by Long oozes wit and charm. Barbarian falls within the sub-genre of horror that intertwines impending doom with profound character exploration, much like Cabin in the Woods. Many films fail to establish a connection between the audience and the characters, leaving viewers indifferent to their survival. However, I found myself wholeheartedly rooting for the well-being of both Tess and Keith, even as I contemplated Keith’s potential as an anti-hero.

Elevating Horror Through Atmospheric Mastery

The atmosphere plays a crucial role in crafting the perfect horror experience, and Barbarian excels in this regard. The film takes unexpected twists and turns that constantly keep viewers on their toes. Even in the rare moments of levity, an overwhelming sense of dread lingers, both for the characters and the audience. The cinematographer Zach Kuperstein, known for his work on the disturbing film The Eyes of My Mother, skillfully enhances the eeriness that permeates Barbarian. Visually, it stands as one of the finest horror films of the new millennium, and it is safe to predict that Barbarian will undoubtedly join those ranks.

A Must-Watch Cinematic Experience

As someone residing in the United Kingdom, I eagerly await the release of Barbarian in local cinemas after witnessing the buzz it generated in the United States. Although the film may have already been available to American audiences for what feels like months, the anticipation remains high here. Watching Barbarian on the big screen is an absolute must, even if a digital release tempts you. The otherworldly essence of the film demands to be witnessed while hidden behind a box of popcorn among fellow cinephiles, allowing you to share the collective jumps and gasps during the terrifying scenes. However, if you lean towards the comfort of your own home for film-watching, I encourage you to experience Barbarian alone and challenge yourself to face the horrors that lurk beneath the surface of the Detroit Airbnb in what has become my favorite horror film of the year.


Barbarian strikes a perfect balance between haunting horror and engaging storytelling. Zach Cregger’s foray into the genre creates an unforgettable experience, complemented by the exceptional performances of Georgina Campbell, Bill SkarsgÃ¥rd, and Justin Long. The film captivates with its twists and turns, maintaining an atmosphere of unease throughout. Through the masterful cinematography of Zach Kuperstein, Barbarian lingers visually in the minds of viewers, solidifying its position as a standout horror film of our time. Whether witnessed in the immersive setting of a cinema or from the comfort of one’s home, Barbarian promises to deliver an unforgettable journey into the depths of fear.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Barbarian suitable for viewers who are easily frightened?

Barbarian does contain intense moments and unsettling themes that may be disturbing to some viewers. However, it ultimately depends on individual preferences and tolerance for horror elements. We recommend approaching with caution if you are easily frightened or have a low tolerance for suspenseful scenes.

2. How does Barbarian compare to other horror films?

Barbarian distinguishes itself through its unique blend of horror and character-driven storytelling. The film combines elements of impending doom with profound character exploration, reminiscent of Cabin in the Woods. The exceptional performances, unexpected twists, and atmospheric mastery elevate Barbarian to stand alongside some of the best horror films of recent years.

3. Is Barbarian based on a true story?

No, Barbarian is a work of fiction. While inspired by real-life experiences in rental accommodations, the events depicted in the film are entirely fictional. However, the story’s relatability and plausibility may enhance the sense of unease and immersion for viewers.

4. Can I watch Barbarian online?

Barbarian is currently available for streaming on HBO Max in the United States. However, for an optimal and immersive experience, we highly recommend watching Barbarian in a cinema, where the film’s atmosphere and visual grandeur can be fully appreciated.

5. Does Barbarian feature graphic violence?

Barbarian includes elements of violence and suspense typical of the horror genre, but it does not rely heavily on graphic violence. While the film may be intense and unsettling, it focuses more on psychological horror and nuanced character dynamics. Viewer discretion is still advised, particularly for those who may be sensitive to suspenseful or violent scenes.