Barbarian 2022 Horror Film: Deep, Disturbing, and…Funny?
Barbarian (2022) is a horror movie with deep, disturbing themes. But do you know about its comedic origins? Enjoy this guest post by writer Taylor Lundy.
Barbarian (2022) Horror Film’s Unlikely Background: Comedy
When I say ‘The Whitest Kids You Know’, what comes to mind? Maybe a friend so pasty you can almost see their insides, or an acquaintance that constantly acts…stereotypically Caucasian. For some, what may come to mind is the internet sketch group of the same name, WKUK for short.
The group began in ’99 when founding member Trevor Moore moved to New York, enrolled in the School of Visual Art’s Film program and eventually met other founding members Sam Brown and Zach Cregger. In 2006, they began their TV show which was an instant hit and ran for five seasons. I have personally guffawed to many of their skits, particularly the group’s first feature film, ‘The Civil War on Drugs’. Moore and Cregger later made the Hollywood movie ‘Miss March’ in 2009 and in 2012, Moore announced the troupe was writing a true WKUK movie. Trevor Moore unfortunately left us in 2021, but Cregger has said that the film, titled ‘Mars’ is still being finished using crowdfunding, is almost done and will of course be the trios final work.
Barbarian (2022) Cast: Horror Comedy?
But why are we talking about a comedy group, this is a horror-centric blog? What gives? Well, it may not be widely known, but Zach Cregger has dipped his toes, or maybe full-on swan dove into the horror genre with a movie called ‘Barbarian’. He has stated in an interview that his horror influences include the great Sam Raimi, particularly ‘Evil Dead II’, and other movies like ‘Audition’ by Takashi Miike and the Austrian movie ‘Angst’. The man has obviously done is homework in regards to the genre.
Until recently, I had no idea Cregger had delved into horror, but saw an article about the movie and upon seeing Cregger’s name, my interest was definitely piqued. I almost exclusively know him as a member of WKUK, but knew he had been doing other projects like the sitcoms ‘Friends with Benefits’ and ‘Wrecked’. However, I had no idea he had made such a drastic change going from comedy to horror.
But when you think about it, it actually makes sense and isn’t actually so drastic when you take into consideration the new and growing trend of Horror-Comedy. Cregger explained that “It’s all about subverting expectations. It’s all about being a step ahead of the audience, zigging when they expect you to zag, and timing. It’s just timing and tone. That’s the anatomy of a joke; that’s the anatomy of a scare. I do feel like I’ve been working that muscle group out for a long time through comedy” (source). So really, even though it seems like such a radical change in direction, the genres actually employ similar structures and practices.
I went ahead and watched the trailer.
Is Barbarian (2022) a Horror Comedy?
Although Cregger said there is some twisted comedy in the film, you don’t get that at all from the trailer, which makes the movie look truly horrifying (as it probably is). All the viewer gets about the plot, is that a woman is attempting to rent an Airbnb, however when she get’s there, it is double booked. After being invited in she eventually learns that the house isn’t what it seems and makes some horrifying discoveries. The trailer was very well done and as I said, makes the movie look terrifyingly good. Upon watching the trailer, I also learned that an actor I enjoy, Justin Long, is in the movie. Similar to Cregger, he was also first known for being a comedy actor but has now ventured into horror, for example in the 2014 movie ‘Tusk’ by Kevin Smith.
After that nerve-wracking trailer and after learning two of my favorite comedy actors are in this movie, as well as the great Bill Skarsgård, I absolutely cannot wait to see it. After watching it, I will post a more in-depth review and analysis and of course, my opinion of the movie. If you haven’t seen it yet, then watch it with me! Let’s get scared!