Posts Tagged ‘Barbarian’


I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres.  Today we talk about the latest remake of “Pinocchio” starring Tom Hanks, the historical drama “Medieval” and the house of horrors flick “Barbarian.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in on the CKTB Niagara in the Morning morning show with guest host Stephanie Vivier to talk the new movies coming to theatres. This week we look at the latest remake of “Pinocchio” starring Tom Hanks, the historical drama “Medieval” and the house of horrors flick “Barbarian.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the latest remake of “Pinocchio” starring Tom Hanks, the historical drama “Medieval” and the house of horrors flick “Barbarian.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to flip a coin! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the latest remake of “Pinocchio” starring Tom Hanks, the historical drama “Medieval” and the house of horrors flick “Barbarian.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

BARBARIAN: 3 ½ STARS. “truly keeps the viewer off balance throughout.”

The grisly events in “Barbarian,” a new house rental horror film now playing in theatres, are a better advertisement for staying in a hotel than anything the Canadian Hotel & Lodging Association could have dreamed up.

The story begins with Tess (Georgina Campbell) pulling up in front of an Airbnb in the rundown neighborhood of Brightmoor in Detroit. Turns out, the only house on the block without broken windows or a kicked-in front door, is doubled booked, and Keith (Bill Skarsgård), is already settled in. She booked on Airbnb, he booked on another site, wires were crossed, but instead of sending her out in the rain to find another place to stay, he invites her in. You take the bed, he says, I’ll sleep on the coach. She reluctantly agrees, won over by his charm and seemingly good-guy vibes.

After lights out, strange things happen. At first, it’s creepy but explainable, like creaky old doors that open and close by themselves, but, the next day, when she goes to the basement to retrieve some supplies, the house reveals a dark secret.

Cut to Los Angeles, present day, and the worst moment of self-involved television star AJ Gilbride’s (Justin Long) life. Accused of sexual impropriety by a co-star, he’s fired from his show and is the subject of an exposé in the Hollywood Reporter. His career in tatters and his bank account running dry, he decides to sell off assets, including an Airbnb property he owns in Brightmoor, Detroit. “I’m not here on vacation,” he tells his lawyer as he lands in Michigan. “I’m here for some liquidity.”

As the story of Tess and AJ collide, “Barbarian” takes one last left turn, this time to Detroit, circa the Reagan years, with the origin story of the innocent looking house’s evil.

“Barbarian” is an audacious thriller with a heaping handful of solid scares. Director Zach Cregger zigs and zags, trusting the audience to hang on for the wild ride. It’s worth the trip. The tense atmosphere of Tess and Keith’s story gives way to AJ’s MeToo cautionary tale and the sinister origin story before throwing it all into the hopper to create a genre-busting final third act. Nothing is off the table as the movie tackles the worst of human nature, narcissism, murder and even incest. It’s a heady mix that should have you moving toward the edge of your seat.

“Barbarian” is one of the rare, recent horror movies that truly keeps the viewer off balance throughout. It’s never clear where the story is going, and that off-the-hook storytelling keeps the creepy story compelling. It’s a roller coaster in which only one thing is clear: Never rent an Airbnb built over a catacomb.


Rhymes-For-Young-Ghouls-e1389736337611By Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

Writing in the Toronto International Film Festival program book Steve Gravestock said Rhymes with Young Ghouls plays, “as if an S.E. Hinton novel were re-imagined as a righteously furious, surreal thriller.”

The self-assured debut feature from director Jeff Barnaby is the story of Aila (Devery Jacobs), an Aboriginal teenager who is guided by the spirits of her departed mother and brother to exact revenge against a vicious Indian Agent named Popper.

“I think the idea behind what we were doing was to show the enormity of that went on,” says Barnaby. “You do want to shock people but not with the content of the film but with the idea that the content of the film actually happened. Most of the reviews have been astoundingly positive but the couple of bad ones that we’ve gotten have complained about the Popper role, and how over the top it is and how he is like this moustache twisting villain, but if you know the history, these guys had to have existed.

“I suppose you could be polite about saying, ‘You can’t leave the reserve and you can’t go find work and you have to live in this poverty, and by the way, you have to give us your kids.’ I’m sure there was an Indian Agent or truant officer somewhere who was really cool about it but at the end of the day these are the acts of evil men.”

It’s a pop culture savvy movie; a work Barnaby calls “a cinephile’s film.” A pop culture sponge himself, he says years of influences came together in the making of Rhymes with Young Ghouls.

“I grew up being saturated in everything, comic books, books,” he says. “My stepmom was going to university at the time so she was bringing home all these great books, like English poetry, T.S. Elliot and Robert Frost, so I began to appreciate art at a very early age.”

Near the top of the influence list are Batman and Conan the Barbarian.

“They are both anti-heroes but they share this idea of not being above physical violence in order to rectify a situation,” he says. “They both lost their parents, they’re both vigilantes particularly with Conan we follow the storyline of the first Schwarzenegger movie—a religious cult comes along and destroys his family and he goes searching for them and destroys the cult. That is more or less the model we used for Rhymes although very loosely, in the way Scorsese says he used The Searchers for Taxi Driver.”

He also cites Scott Hampton’s The Upturned Stone, Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest and Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club but adds the influences go “through all these filters and by the time it hits the screen what you are trying to emulate has turned into something completely different.”