The Barrens (2012)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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as Ranger Bob
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as Peter Luther
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Critic Reviews for The Barrens
There are definitely some worthwhile ideas and components here. They're just trapped in a film that can't afford them.
Bousman doesn't have the vision to hoist the horror up high, settling on a mundane camping thriller only sporadically enlivened by mysterious violence.
Audience Reviews for The Barrens
Stephen Moyer(Bill from "True Blood") stars here as a father who wants to go on a family camping trip in New Jersey to spread his fathers ashes, and hopefully get closer to his family as they continue to grow apart. When they arrive at the woods weird things begin to happen, and he becomes distant and psychotic. Is it him? Or is it the New Jersey Devil, a bigfoot like myth that may or may not be true. Part psychological thriller and part monster movie, "The Barrens" is entertaining, yet not a very good movie either. It has it's moments, and I'd say it has more going for it than against, but something about it just didn't click with me. "The Devil" looks neat, but I've seen much better creatures in these type of movies. The acting is just OK, and the gore is good, but it never had me fully engaged like this movie hopes the viewer to be. If your into horror, then give it a chance because it may work more for you than me. Otherwise, I'd say just find something else at Redbox(where I got it), because there is a lot better out there.
Unlike everyone else I've talked to that has seen The Barrens, I enjoyed most of it and the ending could have been much worse. For a B-movie, it's not bad at all. The film follows a family as they camp throughout the Jersey Barrens for a family weekend away. The family quickly runs into what the dad thinks is the Jersey Devil, a famous legend supposedly living in the barrens. The rest of the family thinks the dad is hallucinating, but he is convinced the Devil is really hunting them. When the Jersey Devil is actually shown, it looks surprisingly great; I also loved the campfire scene where the kid was explaining the story of how the Jersey Devil came to be a legend. The Barrens was only brought to my attention because I live in New Jersey and have always been interested in its folklore. Luckily, The Barrens could have been much worse and turns out to be one of the better B-movies around. Final score: 6.5.
I did thoroughly enjoy The Barrens, but it suffered from several flaws, some of which I won't reveal because they are integral to the plot. Directed by Darren (Saw II) Lynn Bousman and featuring Stephen Moyer from True Blood, The Barrens is a fairly well made little horror film that follows one family as they go camping in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, the supposed home of the legendary cryptid called The Jersey Devil. Moyer's father character becomes increasingly convinced that the Jersey Devil is hunting his family, but the audience remains uncertain whether he is right or whether he is merely paranoid. The Barrens blends in real family drama with its slowly rising sense of dread. Ultimately, certain effects do not quite come off, and the ending seems a bit lame, but otherwise it is a solid bit of horror.
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