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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Barn (2016)

This is another independent movie that I picked up at Grossfest. I had heard amazing things about The Barn and I’ll tell you right up front after watching the movie I totally get it. This is awesome!

The movie kicks off in the fifties where we see the inhabitants of a small town getting ready for a harvest fest and some good old-fashioned trick or treating. The kids are warned to stay away from the pumpkin patch and a particular barn. Which of course means that one little girl drags a friend along to go where they aren’t supposed to. This ends with a pickaxe to the noggin’ and the introduction of our three main baddies Hollow Jack, the Candy Corn Scarecrow, and the Boogeyman. Damn they killed a kid! This movie is already awesome.

Thirty years later we are introduced to our main characters Sam and Josh. They are soon to graduate high school but want one more kick ass Halloween. But first they have to deal with parents, a local killjoy named Mrs. Barnhart, and the difficulty of getting their friends together to go see a killer concert. To these ends they end up trick-r-treating in a nearby town on their way to the show. Yeah same town that the barn is at. As a dare they knock on the door and summon the demonic bad guys. The rest of the movie is them trying to not die and follow Sam’s rules of Halloween to destroy the creatures before it is too late.

I love this movie. First it effortlessly captures the spirit of the eighties horror flicks. So many try and most fail to do so. Between the original music that would have fit right into the decade of direct to VHS horror, the clothes, and dialogue it works perfectly. The cast is top notch and pulls off their roles brilliantly. You have an ensemble cast without a single weak link which is a rarity in independent productions. There are also appearances by both Ari Lehman and the legendary Linnea Quigley. Seeing them in small but cool roles only adds to the fun. Going back to the music I have to again say that they nail it. The synth score with some metal mixed in is exactly what you would have heard on an actual flick from the eighties. Little touches like this set the Barn apart and show the superior effort and talent that these filmmakers have.

My new October crew. I look forward to revisiting the Barn.
As much as I’ve gone on about the movie already I’ve saved the best part for last. The creatures are insanely cool. From the miner inspired Boogeyman to the creepy ass Scarecrow and Jack-o-Lantern demon they are crazy good. I love the effect that they use with Hollow Jack having a pumpkin head complete with candles in his eyes. Independent filmmakers if you are going to use CGI in your movie this is how you do it! I also dig the Scarecrow because having grown up in Ohio I know how creepy it is to run into one hanging around a cornfield. The best of the creatures has to be the Boogeyman. He certainly has the most personality and wields his weapons with flair. And he likes to eat fingers!

I thought the kills were fun. After the little girl gets a pick axe to the brain it takes a while for the mayhem to continue. But when it does we get a hammer to the head, an arm goes off, another head gets split open, and even another gets a hand thru it! These are just a few of the kills. I haven’t even mentioned the big massacre at the hootenanny. Many of the effects are practical which I loved to see. How come independent filmmakers can pull this off but the big budget flicks avoid it? I’ll answer that for you. These guys care more about what they are shooting then the big Hollywood productions do.

I could keep going on, but is should be clear by now that I’m recommending The Barn. This movie is going on my to watch list for every October. This is the kind of flick that will put me in the mood for Halloween. Go get yourself a copy. You will love it and will be supporting an independent filmmaker that deserves your money!

© Copyright 2018 John Shatzer


  1. THIS was so much fun to make and I knew the script was awesome but it came out ten times GREATER than even I expected. Preacher aka Rik Billock,...er Richard Billock

    1. You did a great job. Really everyone did. I absolutely loved The Barn.