The Barn is a campy, love letter to monster movies of old. A modern horror that is all about the 80s, a time in horror that was a golden era.
Within the first few minutes’ gore-hounds will be clapping their hands excitedly. An obnoxious young girl make the mistake of knocking on the door of a forbidden barn. The door opens & she gets a pickaxe in the head. It’s utterly fantastic & it doesn’t shy away from the blood.
That’s how The Barn opens & what an opening it is.
The movie then skips forward in time to 1989 on Halloween night where friends Sam (Mitchell Musolino) & Josh (Will Stout) are looking to enjoy their final spook filled night before they graduate. Along with their friends they decide to go to a local rock concert but end up stopping in the town of Wheary Falls. While in town they discover the cursed barn from the start of the movie & unwittingly resurrect the monsters inside.
Straight from hell, these monsters begin to hack & slash their way through the cast in gloriously gory fashion. It’s a bloodbath played out to a rock & synth soundtrack with nostalgic visuals.
It’s sounds like the perfect horror movie but unfortunately it gets dragged down by some notable issues.
The acting is pretty poor for the most part, characters are undefined & unmemorable. In a shorter movie, this wouldn’t be such a problem seeing as it is a throwback but it’s 90 minutes long! It really begins to drag & you can’t shake the feeling that a lot could have been cut.
There are far too many ‘talky’ bits that don’t add anything to the overall film quality, It wants to be an 80’s homage but seems to occasionally misplace the ‘fun’ elements.
The 80’s visuals are nice to look at & it’s interesting to read about just how important capturing that style was for those involved. It does look & feel very much like an 80’s monster horror movie.
The monsters (or demons as you will) are imaginative & pretty nice to look at. The film is careful to not give you too much monster at first. It makes them much more fun to watch when they do dial everything up in an epic bloodbath scene at a Halloween party.
Sadly, the final 20 minutes lack the killer edge. The monsters seem to lose some of their potency when facing off against the two main leads. They come across clumsier & less threatening which means the duo never really feel in peril, even when they seem to be.
All in all, The Barn is a fun movie from an era when horror was willing to take serious risks within the genre. Originality was the name of the game & The Barn can sit proudly alongside many other campy, gore-fests from that time.
If it was just a bit shorter with a few less ‘talky’ scenes, it would certainly be one to be watched every year at Halloween.