Barbarian review: Twists keep coming in the ultimate horror house movie

You’ll want to avoid spoilers at all costs (Picture: Alamy Stock Photo)

Ready to put your scares on for Halloween? Be assured that ‘strong bloody violence, gore and horror’ are guaranteed, according to the BBFC certificate for Barbarian.

What that doesn’t warn you about is the story’s crazy predictability, which has turned this chill-ride into a US sleeper hit.

The movie opens with that horror cliché – the stormy night. Thunder is rumbling as a young woman called Tess (Georgina Campbell) pulls up at a house she’s rented in Detroit. But there’s no key in the safe. And when she calls the host there’s no answer.

But then a light inside pops on and a tall dark stranger, Keith (Bill Skarsgård), opens the door. He claims he’s booked this house, via another app, but invites Tess inside to crash on the sofa til morning…

Given Skarsgård played Pennywise the killer clown in Stephen King remake It, we’re all primed for stranger danger at the start of this encounter but you won’t see the twists coming – writer-director Zach Cregger is a master at keeping us hanging.

Like the best horrors, it’s ‘about’ stuff – gentrification, abuse, toxic masculinity, taking responsibility. There’s also plenty of jump scares.

I’d advise you don’t even watch the trailer. The fun here comes with the unknown.

Out Friday in cinemas


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