By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
The next time you book an Airbnb, you should double check that everything is set, otherwise, you might find yourself in a predicament like Georgina Campbell (TV's "Suspicion") does in the thrilling new horror movie, "Barbarian."
In "Barbarian," Campbell plays Tess Marshall, a young woman who is in Detroit for a job interview. Here's the thing. I can't imagine she didn't realize that this Airbnb was in one of the most run-down areas in the city. This place looks like a zombie war zone.
When she arrives at the house it is raining like crazy, and the house key isn't in the box. Well, that's the first sign that this trip isn't going to end well for her. Tess tries calling the Airbnb property assistant but can't reach anyone. She then notices there is a light on in the house and someone is inside. She rings the doorbell and is shocked when a tall, slender guy (a terrific Bill Skarsgard, "John Wick: Chapter 4") asks what she wants. Tess explains that she booked the house a month ago. Keith (Skarsgard) says he booked it too. Clearly, there has been a mix up. Now Tess isn't sure what to do.
Keith offers her to stay the night and they can hash out everything in the morning because nothing is open. She would be a fool to drive around and try to find a place now. Plus, most everything is booked because of a medical convention in town. Still, Tess doesn't know this guy. He could be a psycho, killer clown, or something.
Against her better judgement she agrees to stay. Although Keith comes across as a little weird at first, he seems to be a perfect gentleman. Over coffee and wine, they soon discover they even have a few things in common.
As the night wears on, Tess realizes it's not Keith she should fear, but a basement room that is filled with all sorts of crazy things that go bump in the night and is linked to an old man (Richard Brake, "The Munsters").
"Barbarian" gets more bizarre and outright frightening as it rolls along. You won’t be able to predict all the clever twists and turns that director/screenwriter Zach Cregger (TV's "Wrecked") trots out here. That's a very good thing.
When Justin Long ("Clerks III") comes on the scene, this crazy script is flipped once again. Long plays AJ Gilbride, an up-and-coming Hollywood actor/producer who finds himself embroiled in a date/rape scandal involving a co-star. It's about to derail his promising career. Everyone is walking away from him, and he is nearly broke. The only thing that may get him out of his dire financial situation is the little house he owns. Can you guess where it is?
As much as I would love to reveal some of the outright thrilling parts of "Barbarian," I won't. There are many and they are just too good to spoil. You really just have to see this movie.
"Halloween Ends" arrives in theaters next month and it looks fantastic, but "Barbarian," is hands down one of my favorite horror movies this year.
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Watch This Trailer For "BARBARIAN"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.