‘Barbarian’ is Solid, One of the Best Horror Movies of 2022 … [Thoughts] – Jordan Ruimy

This year’s 12th edition of the Scary Movies festival at Film at Lincoln Center premiered Ari Aster’s extended version of “Midsommar” this past Saturday.
I bought a ticket for Zach Cregger’s “Barbarian” yesterday afternoon, which I missed when I was in Toronto.
The reviews are good, a 79 on Metacritic and 93 on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a fairly smart, darkly humorous, and sometimes horrific ride. However, let’s all calm down on crowning this one the best horror movie of the year …
“Barbarian” has a young woman (Georgina Campbell, so good) booking an Airbnb, but, upon arrival, discovers that the house was double booked and a mysterious man is already staying there. After much convincing, she decides to stay the evening, but soon regrets it.
The plot doesn’t go where you think it does, and that’s more than enough for me to recommend “Barbarian,” especially since the jolts here are delivered in joltingly unpredictable fashion. The film’s main plot even stop halfway through to inventively introduce us to another lead character. I loved that. There are actually four stories being told here and we don’t even realize it.
“Barbarian” is absolutely exploitative in its jump scares, improbable in its payoff, and that is perfectly fine because it keeps evolving and changing into different creations as it goes along. Cregger cleverly structures his film. The setting, dingy rundown Detroit, is also absolutely on-point and brutally authentic.
However, much like “X,” it can’t help but veer into genre tropes by its conclusion and that means it doesn’t deserve its placement with the great neo-horror films of the last 10 years or so (“It Follows,” “Hereditary,” “Get Out”). Also, for my money it is NOT the best horror movie of 2022, that honor goes to Chloe Okuno’s “Watcher.”
The 10 best horror movies of 2022: “Watcher,” “The Black Phone,” “Fresh,” “Pearl,” “Barbarian,” “Speak No Evil,” “Dashcam,” “The Innocents,” “X,” and “Prey.”
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