A young woman traveling to Detroit for a job interview rents a house for the night. But when she arrives late at night, she discovers that the house is double booked and that a strange man is already staying there. Against her better judgment, she decides to spend the night there but soon discovers that there is much more to fear than an unexpected guest.
Barbarian is a film that works excellently on tension. It is the great strong point of the film, especially in the first hour in which an anguished atmosphere is created. No more is needed. No tricks or special effects.
Zach Cregger plays with the viewer and introduces us to 476 Barbary Street, the only house still standing in a suburb of Detroit. There, both us and the protagonist, we get into an uncomfortable situation that will only raise more doubts as the minutes go by. The American director achieves this by putting the camera in the most uncomfortable places, playing with silence and putting us in the shoes of Tess ( Georgina Campbell ).
“Barbarian” presents itself as a horror work at the height of a time when topics such as abuse of power and sexual assault have become the focus of social attention through the hashtag #MeToo. But Zach Cregger’s horror patriarchy should develop very differently than we suspect based on the first third. At first it is just the facade of the inconspicuous house in a neighborhood that is not inconspicuous at all – the director, after two abrupt leaps, steadily advances into the moldy cellar and the vault of his story, until we no longer find ourselves in modern America in terms of civilization, but in found in a Stone Age cave.