The Barrens Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 23, 2013
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.
Super Reviewer
½ October 29, 2012
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.
½ October 9, 2012
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.
½ March 25, 2015
Just felt like watching a bad Made-for-TV movie. Guy in this movie doesnt seem to have any issues dragging his family into more and more danger.
½ August 23, 2014
Second rate movie that makes no sense!
½ August 22, 2014
*There are no spoilers here-however there may be teases to certain scenes prevalence to the movie's over all effect on the viewer. No statement leads to any obvious details of this movie*

"The Barrens" is a psychological thriller/horror film directed by Darren Lynn Bousman and stars Stephen Moyer, Mia Kershner, Erik Knudsen, Allie MacDonald and Shawn Ashmore. The film focuses on a family man trying to strengthen the bonds with with his wife and children by returning to the great outdoors to the place he spent his childhood vacations- The Barrens, home to the Jersey Devil. The film deals with some very troublesome issues that many families face these days- disconnection from one another. In the world of high speed lifestyles and digital personalities there is nothing more alien than those we share blood and shelter with. Sometimes we are aliens even to ourselves in this new global stressed world. So why not get back to nature, back to basics, and back to the birthplace of evil and legend?! A very dark emotional set up that just spirals deeper into the void of despair.

"The Barrens" is a double fake out film. It is common in a lot of horror films where the audience is set up to believe then question one outcome of the plot only to have those very answers we seek to be simple distraction as we are lead back into a different synopsis. Sometimes it works in cinema and sometimes it just pisses the movie goer off never to see another film that vaguely resembles the premise. This time it works. There are no major trick story moments where your forced to decide whether what you see is real or not. You clearly know that something is deeply broken in the main character played by Stephen Moyer. What is left up in the air is the question of just how deep those breaks go. Also the film keeps a dark and sinister air about it from start to finish. There is no moment of rest where humor or comfortability takes over the story. It is steady as you go right up until the final tragic moment.

The ending is pretty killer in the fact that the whole time you are pointing blame in one direction for the nightmare unfolding, you soon become aware of the truth of the story. Is the Jersey Devil lurking in the thick pines of The Barrens or is it a more natural relatable killer at work? The film is really genius in the subtle way it plays with this "ever guessing" style of story telling because it doesn't force you to think one way or the other. The movie just carries you along for the ride into a chilling thriller. There are no really big scares or shock moments in this film but then again the movie didn't need them. I wouldn't go so far as to call it full on horror but it is a great suspenseful thriller.
August 21, 2014
This movie is just plan derpy. If you want to watch a horror movie just to make fun of it, watch it. Other then that, don't wasted an hour and a half of this crap.
½ March 30, 2014
I've just seen this movies. It's absolutely ludicrous. How nobody realised that the father was a lunatic right from the start is beyond me: he has fits of rage, is senselessly jealous, sleep walks, leads his family into the middles of the woods despite rumours of bear attacks and the fact that a per on went missing the day before. He is completely crazy right from the start and yet nobody questions him. Besides the awful characterisation of the protagonist, there is also the fact that the director is too heavy handed, like someone who missed the "Horror 101" class in college. The monster appears too early and in too much detail (so you can count each and every special effects mistakes). The violent scenes are as subtle as an anvil and I bet they used the same props to make human and deer intestines.
March 13, 2013
For a mind game, it delivers. For a good horror flick, it doesn't. One way or another, it's just another passable film.
October 27, 2013
I only watched this movie because it had Stephen "Vampire Bill" Moyer in it, but it was very suspenseful, because you never quite knew for sure if it was psychological or supernatural. I liked it.
July 28, 2013
Great ideas and conecpt, poorly executed
½ June 15, 2013
despite some creepy atmosphere and cool-looking creature, The Barrens is let down by slow-moving story, cliches and a decent horror vision...easily the worst movie directed by Darren so far [C]
½ June 11, 2013
WORST MOVIE OF THE YEAR
½ June 3, 2013
not a bad movie, good performance by vampire Bill. Yet another movie the ending took way from it.
Super Reviewer
April 23, 2013
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.
March 2, 2013
A decent movie,though has its "boring" moments.
Nevertheless,watchable for the "True Blood" actor.
½ January 31, 2013
One family's trip into the wilderness turns into their worst nightmare when several other campers are found torn apart in the forests of New Jersey. Could the legend of the Jersey Devil really be true, or is some other force responsible for the mysterious deaths in THE BARRENS? Darren Lynn Bousman presents his take on the Jersey Devil myth in this bloody new thriller, which is no less forgettable than the other attempts that have already been made on the story. The main issue lies in the over-dramatized lead performance by Stephen Moyer, who becomes increasingly unbearable as father figure Richard Vineyard. None of the snotty teenagers in the supporting cast help to make things any better. Bousman also adds several irrelevant twists that only serve to confuse and complicate an otherwise simple plot. When the creature is finally revealed, it looks like a mangled mess of animal parts and shabby animatronics. Even the flashy editing gives a sense of cheapness to the look of the film, which is quite unusual for the otherwise talented director. Unless you prefer for your creature features to be filled with annoying characters instead of either frights or action, we suggest you avoid THE BARRENS.
January 26, 2013
Went from meandering,pointless horror flick to just silly at the end.
Matt S.
Super Reviewer
January 20, 2013
The Barrens took a promising premise and did nothing remotely interesting with it. The film had some suspense, grisly but off screen deaths and a likable cast. The result though came up very generic, slow moving, underdeveloped and dull. There were absolutely no scares, terror or entertainment value to this picture, making it one of the weakest horror films of 2012.

The film stars Stephen Moyer from the True Blood series and Mia Kirshner from The Black Dahlia. They play Richard and Cynthia Vineyard who go on a camping trip with their kids, but soon their trip takes a sinister turn when mysterious vanishings and death follows them. Richard is convinced that it is The Jersey Devil that has been after him since he was a little boy and paranoia soon takes over when no one believes him. I thought the performances were lackluster and has a botch script that brought the flawed film down even further. The characters were underdeveloped and didn't make me give a damn about their story and what happens to them. It's a shame because they are likable actors in an unlikable film.

Director, Darren Lynn Bousman is becoming a hit and miss filmmaker, although it's not as bad as 11-11-11, The Barrens is by far his weakest effort. I did not like his filming style in this movie; it came off as uninspired and amateurish compared to his many superior efforts such as Mother's Day, Saw III, and Repo! The Genetic Opera. He is capable of so much more than this flat, made for SyFy channel movie. The writing and filming was just lazy to me. Hopefully it's a hit next time because he definitely has it in him.

Overall, the poster is more interesting to look at than watching the actual film. The premise and leads alone may keep you intrigued for the most part and has a twist or two towards the end, but The Barrens is as tedious as they come. Disappointing addition to the horror genre.
January 13, 2013
Had me enjoying myself right up until the end, when we get a second twist, which wasn't nearly as good as the first twist - nor was it needed. Stephen Moyer did a fine job, as well.
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