The Barrens (2012)

Review by CJ

The Barrens

Darren Lynn Bousman

Stephen Moyer, Mia Kirshner, Allie MacDonald, Peter DaCunha, David Keeley, J. LaRose

Other notable appearances:
Shawn Ashmore, Erik Knudsen

Running time:
94 of the longest minutes you are likely to experience

Watch this if you liked:
The Blair Witch Project


Richard Vineyard (Moyer) takes his family to a camping site he used to visit with his father as a boy. The family are there to scatter Richard’s father’s ashes but once in the woods Richard starts to behave oddly. People start dying and Richard claims they are being stalked by the Jersey Devil. The real question is does the Jersey Devil really exist or is there a devil of a more human nature in the woods?

My goodness, The Barrens was bad. Not even in the “so bad I love it” way that Sharknado et al are bad. This film was so bad that I think actually camping might be more entertaining. Much like The Blair Witch Project, most of The Barrens consisted of four characters wandering through the woods alternating between yelling at each other and apologising. The only difference was that they weren’t recording themselves.

I will give Stephen Moyer credit where it is due though. He performs his character bouncing between loving father and enraged psychopath in this film like he’s flicking a light switch. One particular scene in which he demonstrates this is one of the only interesting things to watch in The Barrens.

There is a scene at the end of the credits that adds some closure if you’re particularly interested. If you’ve already managed to watch The Barrens to its conclusion, you may as well stick around to see the ending that feels tacked on after the first ending.

The Barrens has the framework of what could have been a decent concept (twice removed) but falls short on everything that could have made it a good horror movie. There is no suspense, there are no scares and the characters give you no reason to care what happens to them. It doesn’t even count as a good b-grade monster movie because there are no laughs and no real cheesiness.

I wouldn’t recommend anyone watch The Barrens unless they really love watching actors being filmed hiking/running/screaming through the woods. Even then, watch The Evil Dead instead. The Barrens missed all of the marks that could have made it a good horror movie and even failed to mix the formula for a great b-grade monster film.

1 Stars

“Seriously, Dad. Who goes camping?”


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