Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (3)
| Fresh (2)
| Rotten (1)
| DVD (1)
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.
[Bousman fans:] It's not quite up to Saw and Mother's Day levels in gut wrenching horror, but The Barrens is a good mix of supernatural and visceral.
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.
darren lynn bousman really needs a bigger budget for the ideas he puts to film. this is definitely the case of the barrens which for all the hard work of its actors is let down by a next to nothing budget.
the idea of Bousman taking on the jersey devill had me interested and thought it would deliver I grim new take on the myth. The film becomes a paranoia thriller for the most part and does become tiresome before the truth is revealed. the monster is quite poorly designed and this is probably because of the budget, I would have liked to see the creature in full without the poor cgi.
the support characters are quite bad with only the family really having effect on the story. as horror films go this isn't the worst of its kind but its a long way off being the masterpiece. don't expect a lot from this film and you'll find an intriguing play on ideas but overall its a mess of ideas. I enjoyed the film in parts but some of the film just didn't work in my opinion.
more work on the creature and on the story would have fixed some of the bad dialogue and unnecessary support characters
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