Barbarian Walkthrough Explanation and Recommendation
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Barbarian Walkthrough Explanation and Recommendation. The fact that I’ve taken to “horror” movies is actually a pretty recent pivot for me. I was talking to a friend the other day and they were just agog at the idea that I’m a fan. And I’m like, what movie type is so abundantly clear on the moral questions that you are dealing with? What movie type telegraphs its punches with regard to the ethics and justice comments that they are trying to make? The rules of horror movies are really set in stone. The immoral, the weak, the liar, they all die in the end. Guaranteed. They have to, based on the rules of the game. The audience would allow nothing less. And so I love the way the movies setup, define the problem, and then execute swift justice. I may not agree with the justice served or the “crime” that the movie is punishing, but it’s clear all the same. Right? It’s super easy to see the point that the film makers are positing.
With that I bring to you Barbarian. A completely unhinged, totally out of control, movie with all kinds of things to say about male dominance, male assumptions about consent, and the like. This movie goes so far off the rails, I was constantly laughing at its own audaciousness. But it was coherent, and enjoyable through to the end. Another movie I’ll review soon, Speak No Evil, you will not be able to say that… it is decidedly not enjoyable. And I think that brings up a good point, most movies herald the innocent as the winner… but some horror movies are morality tales, which means “the bad guys win.” And the enjoyability levels between those two different branches of the film oeuvre are totally different. Let’s just say this, Barbarian drops the guillotine in all the right directions.
Barbarian is only in theaters as I write this, so quick run to the nearby cinemaplex before it’s too late!! This was a fun one to watch on the big screen. (I walked in a minute late, and it was DARRRRK, and I picked a seat in the front row!?!? hahah. Yeah, minus the chiropractor visit that I now need, that was an awesome life choice! hahah.)
Barbarian Walkthrough Explanation and Recommendation
The movie opens with Tess Marshall (Georgina Campbell) booking a VRBO in a rundown (read, burnt out) neighborhood) of Detroit in order to get to a job interview. But the property is already rented out…. to a guy named Keith (Bill Skarsgård – The Devil All the Time) so the pair need to figure out what to do. Eventually they come to an agreement to share the rental due to a bunch of clever screenplay conveniences (storm, enormous conference going on, etc). But the pair actually hit it off, and have a good time laughing together. But the next night, after her interview, she’s chased into the house by a homeless man (who, was actually trying to save her but, oh, well.)
Needing toilet paper – she finds some in the basement, and accidentally locks herself down there. Discovering a hidden corridor, she finds cages, and other evidence that seems to indicate that someone has been locked against their will in the house. Keith frees her from the basement when he returns and… being the hero (laugh) of our journey, Keith offers to go check the basement out. Subterranean passageways, twisting turning and dark passage ways later… and Keith goes missing. When Tess hears his screams, she goes in after him. (Kudos to her, but no thanks, not me! haha.) Eventually she finds him, and he is rambling about someone else being down there. Next thing we know, that “something” is bashing his head into one of the pillars of the passageway.
Cut to – a few weeks later – when AJ, a Hollywood actor, finds out that another member of his sitcom cast is alleging that he raped her. He’s been summarily fired from his role on the show, and needing money for his legal defense, goes to Detroit to attempt to sell a couple of his rental properties. But when he arrives, he finds Tess’s things. When he searches the house he finds nothing. Jump to, a bar with an old friend of his, when he tells her that the actress needed convincing to have sex with him, but once she was convinced, it was fine. Basically, the audience take away from this scene? AJ is a rapist. Please also note, that Tess is wearing virginal white – and we get no similar mention of past crimes. Hrm. I wonder who is going to live and who is going to die. Wait… didn’t Tess just get mauled by the subterranean villain? Not too fast, my cinephile phriend!
That night, AJ returns to his rental to discover a hidden door, and the underground passage. He heads down, with the idea in his mind that all of this newfound space is declarable as square footage for the sale! YES! (So, he’s not only a rapist, but a brazenly, idiotically selfish one too.) While he’s measuring out the space, he finds a room with a television playing a video about learning how to breastfeed. um. eh? But then comes the horror, chasing him through the halls… it’s a deformed nude woman, that catches AJ and chucks him in a pit with Tess. (SEE? Tess is still alive. Phew.) And we learn really quickly, that all The Mother wants is to raise the pair as her children. To feed them from a bottle, to care for them… etc. Yes, yes it is deranged. Yes, I was weirded out too. But don’t worry, it gets worse, because when AJ refuses to drink from the bottle, she hauls AJ out and forces him to breastfeed instead.
Tess, knowing an opportunity when she sees one, runs like hell, and barely makes it out alive with the help of Andre, the homeless guy that chased her earlier. He tells her to leave, and to not come back, but instead, she gets help from the police. But, Tess is doubted by the police from the jump. They didn’t want to go into that particular neighborhood, and they distrusted everything that she said. And eventually, they just leave Tess there. (Which, is just a throw away commentary on the police, inner city plight, and their overall ineffectiveness when they are really needed.)
Now, flash back to the eighties. We watch as Frank (Richard Brake) gets prepared to abduct a woman. He poses as a city repairman, unlocks her bathroom window, and apparently hauls her away to the tunnel in his house in order to abuse them and ultimately rape them. He raises the offspring from these encounters, and the violence continues. So, we know we have the mother, but what about Frank? Where is this horrible human being hiding out these days?
Well, funny you should ask, AJ, while trying to run for it, stumbles upon a door that The Mother is apparently afraid of. AJ finds Frank inside, in a bit of a vegetative state. AJ also finds video tapes of numerous women that Frank had abducted in the past. AJ, not knowing what Frank is, gives him access to a hand gun, which Frank uses to kill himself. Taking the gun, AJ and flees back into the tunnels. Meanwhile, Tess returns in her car, and runs into The Mother, pinning her to the house and apparently killing her. (Come on, you didn’t think she was dead either.) Tess then goes into the basement and finds AJ, who… true to form, accidentally shoots Tess. But the duo are able to escape – but when they make it outside, The Mother is gone.
Tess, AJ, and Andre reconnect, and Andre shows them to a safe spot, away from The Mother. “Safe.” And it’s then that we learn that The Mother is a product of years and years of rape and incest, culminating in raw, unadulterated evil. The Mother crashes into their safe-house and kills Andre. Tess and AJ flee up a water tower, only to have The Mother chase after them. AJ, knowing that he’s about to die because he dropped the gun, he pushes Tess off the water tower, knowing that The Mother cares for Tess, and would do anything for her. And she dives off the tower, basically catching her and saving her life. AJ, seeing that Tess is still alive, begins to rewrite what just happened as he apologizes to her for throwing her to the ground. But Mother wakes up, and gouges AJ’s eyes out, killing him. The Mother sees that Tess is horribly wounded, and she wants to take her back underground and help heal her wounds. But Tess, grabs the gun and kills The Mother. Tess stumbles away, bloody, but alive.
Thoughts on the Movie Barbarian
As I said from the start – this movie is not pulling its punches. It’s an extraordinarily dull instrument, built to inflict blunt force trauma on the idea that rapists, whether they are the subterranean cellar dweller types, or push the advantage Hollywood types… that they are all from the same root of evil, and only differ in their eventual outcome. AJ raped a fellow actor in his sitcom… and explained it away with the comment that she needed some convincing. And on the other end of that same rapist continuum (where AJ will eventually get to if left to his own devices), is Frank. An abductor-rapist that has gotten away with his crimes for the better part of 40 years. That is what this movie is all about, rape, is rape, is rape. And the fact that the evil that grows from rape – whether psychological, or physical – will eventually come to life and eat you whole.
Tess, was our sinless stand-in. Our virgin-in-white type – who was the only person in this movie with any ounce of moral courage. Numerous times she attempted to save AJ and Keith, even though she could have cut and run. So, kudos to our hero, Tess. And even her murdering of The Mother, is seen as a mercy killing… no one will lever her death onto Tess’s conscience. So good for her. But ultimately, this is a simple movie, with a preposterous – read, EXCITING, premise. Underground tunnels housing unspeakable evil that is hunting for children of its own to love. The manifested evil kills one, abducts two others, and eventually exacts vengeance on a rapist… and is eventually snuffed out by the one compassionate person in the movie.
Did I sum this up correctly? Are there other layers here that I am missing? Rape is bad. Right? All the rape is bad, I think is the message of this movie. Which, I think we all 100% agree with here. No? It’s always bad, and leads to other evils that are even more unspeakable than the first. But it was a fun ride all the same! hahaha. If you are looking for other movies like this, maybe try out The Maus, and The Ritual? Neither deal with rape… but their setups are extremely similar. You might enjoy them both. I did.
Edited by: CY
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