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Barbarian: A Savagely Funny Horror Thriller

8/26/2022 • 4 min read

(Updated 09/07/2022)

What would you do if you checked into an Airbnb rental and someone was already there? In real life might be an awkward or annoying moment, but probably not a terrifying one. And that's how things start out in BARBARIAN, the horror thriller from debut filmmaker Zach Cregger, starring rs Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, and Justin Long.

We’ve seen some terrific scary movies this year, and it's fitting that we opened 2022 with SCREAM, inspired by Wes Craven. Now that fall is finally approaching, one of the year's most exciting new horror movies is in theatres — and it is very much in the spirit of Craven's great films, too. Here's how BARBARIAN explores some classic horror themes with vigorous energy and rambunctious humor.

Check Out the Visceral Barbarian Trailer


If there's one thing everyone who has seen BARBARIAN can agree upon, it's that the experience is best when you know relatively little. Fortunately, this trailer is edited with that approach in mind. You'll get the bare bones of the scenario in which Tess (Georgina Campbell) experiences a wrinkle in her job-hunting trip to Detroit.

You'll get some idea of what follows the first act, but this BARBARIAN trailer is good about teasing rather than revealing. The first minute or so is almost to make you think this could be a meet-cute rom-com rather than an intense horror thriller. But oh, you would be wrong to think so! As Variety's review says, the first act is "not at all indicative of where the film is headed."

Barbarian's Layers of Thrills and Chills

In short, there's a lot going on in BARBARIAN! The movie plays upon some core horror concepts and preoccupations: Being alone with a stranger, waking up uncertain of what's happening around you, and, of course, the classic "something nasty is in the basement." In this case it might be more like something terrible has happened — and will probably happen again — down in the dark under the house. But what?

We're not going to tell you. But we have questions. What's that videotape all about? What's going on with the narration that pops up two-thirds of the way through the trailer? And what's happening with Justin Long's character, who we see a few times in quick flashes here? (For a bit more info about him, you can see our spoiler-free interview with Campbell, Long, and director Zach Cregger.)

Barbairan Hits Hard

While we often like to see what audiences think of horror movies more than anyone else, we're happy to see critics going wild for BARBARIAN. It has been hailed as "gleefully twisty" and " One of the most brilliantly executed, sharply incisive and wildly scary horror films of the year.."


BARBARIAN opens on September 9.


All images courtesy of 20th Century Studios.

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