The Barbarian movie Layered Secrets Make It Horror-Film Catnip The horror film Barbarian is best approached

by an audience that knows as little as possible about it. The film's trailer encourages this to an extent

that may put some viewers off: it goes a little beyond the film's initial setup. Even in our spoiler-phobic times, 

keeping secrets makes sense for a horror movie — it's only scary if the audience has no idea what's coming. 

But the real test of a well-produced film is when there are no surprises left. At the end of its 102-minute run time,

with its secrets uncovered, the Barbarian still has a lot to offer. And part of it is something for the audience

to fear beyond its initial ominous portrait of the quiet terror that can lurk inside a house when two strangers are forced

together in the stormtroopers of a dark night. Written and directed by Zack Krieger (formerly of the sketch comedy group

The Whitest Kids You' Know), The Barbarians starts off quite simply. Tess Marshall (Georgina Campbell) arrives at an Airbnb

on the outskirts of Detroit, where she learns that it has been double-booked and that a man named Keith (Bill Skarsgard) 

is already living there. Caught in a storm with no other options readily available and an important job interview in the morning,

Tess makes the risky decision to stay the night. Tess is a legendary modern horror-movie hero - doe-eyed but not naive,

a guarded but kind young woman who just wants to do a good job and get back to where she is from. Her bad decisions

 the kind every horror hero has to make, from staying home to exploring her depths - stems mostly from her kindness

and wanting to believe the best about others. Keith, to his credit, knows what it all looks like. He's smart enough to know

Tess has no reason to trust him, and every reason to expect the worst. And he goes out of his way to try to rectify

that awareness to make sure she's as comfortable as she can be. However, he can't really do anything; 

The weight and history of too many women being threatened by too many men in a position like this is overwhelming,

and casts a shadow on Barbarik as a whole. Even as Keith continually attempts to comfort Tess, he - and the audience

can never really trust him. (Even if Skarsgard is unrecognizable as the man without makeup who played Pennywise in

the recent It movies, the volatile energy is still there, and put to good use.) Is.) That's where The Barbarian begins:

as a mysterious tale about two strangers forced to ride out a storm together, told from the perspective of a woman who must

constantly worry whether she's the man she's dating. Sharing a home with her is dangerous. Even with the modern Airbnb spin, 

 it's classic horror-movie material, enough to support a quick-and-dirty exploitation movie. But Krieger only uses

uses the premise as the premise for something more ambitious, delivering a lean, surprising film with effective thrills, 

delivering a lean, surprising film with effective thrills, while giving audiences plenty to think about afterward.