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‘Barbarian’ shows that monsters can be human

“Barbarian” is an extremely eerie film that leaves you with a turning stomach, and it is not for the faint of heart. It dives into controversial themes that make the movie an uncomfortable watch. The concept may have been a little harder for audiences to comprehend, but critics are on board. The film was directed by Zach Cregger and features actors Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgard, and Justin Long. Campbell plays Tess Marshall who arrives late at night to her Airbnb and discovers it has been double booked with Skarsgard’s character, Keith. Keith offers to let Tess stay since it may be her only option. Tess reluctantly agrees after realizing the neighborhood surrounding the Airbnb looks like a place you don’t want to be caught after dark in. 

During her stay, Tess discovers disturbing features of the house and quickly realizes that her and Keith may not be alone. As she unwittingly gets taken into the dark depths of the house, she learns more about its history and thus we are taken on a thrill ride that will have chills crawling up your spine. There are plot twists and turns at every corner throughout the film, and a couple jumpscares thrown in as well. 

To take a deeper look into the foundation of the movie, there are themes explored about male misogyny, motherhood and abuse. If these themes are triggering for any possible viewers, it is recommended to stay away from this film. 

 Long’s character, AJ, is the careless actor and Airbnb house owner that only cares about his next check. After he is faced with sexual misconduct allegations by a co-star, he is forced to sell some of his properties to cover legal costs. He is an unlikable and selfish character who exhibits extreme arrogance. He believes that he can do no wrong and that he should be applauded for anything he does. 

The movie brings Tess and AJ together in the plot and it brings out AJ’s self-entitlement. AJ learns more about the dark history of his Airbnb, and is disgusted by the previous male owner’s misogynistic crimes, but it also serves as a reflection of what he himself is capable of. 

The whole movie serves as the worst case scenario in male misogyny and AJ navigates through the information, blind to the fact that he exhibits the traits. It especially shows towards the end of the movie when he hurts Tess so that he may survive, automatically assuming his life is more important than hers. 

The ultimate message of the movie seems to be to condemn abusive men to the lowest, most barbaric form. Overall, it is a hard movie to watch and it delves into dark topics, but it is an incredibly well directed film and the actors did a great job in their roles.


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