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My favorite time of the year is the haunting season and every September I begin to get antsy while looking at the calendar and counting down the days to October 1st. Like most of you I've been sweating the end of summer heat and begging for something to take me away to the cherished burning leaf smell of October. Thank the dark lords for Justin Seaman's The Barn. Set on Halloween in 1989, The Barn is a love letter to everything that there is to love and fear on Halloween night. The movie opens with a flashback sequence to Halloween 1959 and the community of Wheary Falls is in full on Halloween celebratory mode. The kids gather at the local church for a word from the pastor and are then off to the local harvest hootenanny. Of course, two kids can t follow the All Hallows Eve rules which include staying away from a certain barn. Flash forward thirty years and we re thrown full force into the world of Sam and Josh, two seventeen year old s who live for Halloween and all the joys it brings. Sam (Mitchell Musolino) is the embodiment of everyone who builds haunts in their parent s garages and basks in the offerings of the holiday. Josh (Will Stout) is his lifelong best friend who since the loss of his father earlier in the year hasn t really been the same. After one of their pranks on Ms. Barnhart played by scream queen Linnea Quigley goes too far the boys are faced with the realization that this is the last year of unabashed Halloween fun that they will ever get to have. When their favorite metal band announces on the local rock show hosted by Dr. Rock that they are performing a special Halloween night concert, Sam and Josh decide that they have no choice but to go to the concert and cement themselves as local Halloween legends.They gather up some friends and hit the road bound for the concert. After taking a shortcut they end up in Wheary Falls and smack dab in front of the titular Barn that holds legendary evils. Being a horror movie set on Halloween you know the demons will be unleashed on this group of teenagers as well as the unsuspecting townsfolk. The aftermath of which will never be forgotten by those that live to tell the tale. There are countless horror films set on Halloween, very few actually capture and imbue the spirit the way The Barn does. Justin Seaman brilliantly captures every minute detail from the brilliant script and set design to the amazing soundtrack of the film that really transports you into proceedings. The cast are all brilliant and play the parts to the tilt. Lexi Dripps portrayal of Michelle is one of the best girl next door type performances that I've seen in the genre in quite a while and ranks up there with Phoebe Cates in Gremlins. The demons that terrorize our protagonists are a perfect mesh of 80's kitsch and old school monster magazine masks. I can easily see these villains becoming popular Halloween costumes for years to come. The cast and crew of The Barn put everything they had into creating a film that will bring the Halloween spirit into your heart at any time of the year and honestly that s all that we as horror fans can ask for. The Barn comes with my highest recommendation. --Tom Holland's Terror Time
The Barn is a love letter to monster movies and the campy decade where they reigned supreme, that s as fun as it is bloody! The idea of everything old being new again is hardly a recent development. That being said, the last year in particular has seen throwbacks to the 80's and retro pastiches becoming a rabid obsession of audiences. Material like Stranger Things and The Final Girls have recently connected with people to unbelievable degrees due to their nostalgic love for the era. It s not difficult to see why this portion of the past is experiencing such a resurgence. The 80's are a time where the monster reigned supreme and horror films carried a surprising amount of power over the rest of cinema. So in spite of such a retro love letter hardly being unfamiliar territory, The Barn pulls this off so effortlessly and authentically. It is definitely the strongest example of achieving this throwback horror since Rodriguez and Tarantino's Grindhouse. In fact, The Barn is some of the most fun that I've had at a horror film in a long time. The story that The Barn frames itself around involves a cursed barn that has largely been forgotten about for thirty years. The dangerous legend associated with this relic sees three monsters, The Boogeyman, Hollow Jack, and the Candy Corn Scarecrow, being components of a Halloween curse that surrounds all of this. Cut to 1989, where Sam and Josh, two precocious teens that are a little too gung ho for the holiday, come face-to-face with this deadly curse and the horrors that come along with it. The Barn spends a good deal of time on its characters, with both Sam and Josh being well defined, albeit simple, protagonists. Everyone comes across as a caricature, but in the comforting, intentional way that is fundamental to the 80's. They re given a large posse of friends to play with, which allows for the film to have a rather expendable death count, which is the right direction for this sort of film. You need to see those silly, over the top death sequences. As their friends begin dying around them, The Barn continues to bank on Sam and Josh s friendship. There is actually believable, compelling chemistry between the two leads that gives this film a healthy, necessary energy to drive it forward. One of the aspects that makes all of this work so well is Sam s deep love for Halloween. He pushes across an infectious obsession with the holiday that frequently had me thinking about Matthew Lillard in Scream. He s frequently bringing up these rules for Halloween that he s created and each one of them is a real delight. Sam treats Halloween like a religion and this approach ends up being really beautiful. Add to that the fact that Sam and Josh are about to graduate high school with this being their last opportunity to trick or treat and paint the town blood red. A nice touch that director, Justin M. Seaman, utilizes with the film s supporting cast, like Sam s Dad or Ms. Barnhart, is that these people are giving performances right out of the Tim and Eric School of Acting. These characters pause at the wrong moments in sentences and make bizarre enunciation choices as if they re completely out of their element. Again, all of this is done to play into the campiness and hammy nature of horror performances circa the 80's but the film nails this aspect especially well. This is something that s really hard to do effectively without it going too far in either direction. These performances are wonderfully wrong in the right sort of way, if that makes sense. You re absolutely laughing with the film rather than at it. It s in on this treat. --Bloody-Disgusting
If you were one of the multitudes of horror aficionados that cut their teeth on the abundance of VHS chillers back in the mid-80's, then you've got to be overjoyed with the plethora of throwback flicks that have been unleashed over the course of the last few years. To remember such plastic-cased classics is a thing of beauty, and to revisit them is even more special, but the notion of a tribute to those films that entertained us is a whole other beast, entirely. Allow me to introduce the latest barbarian into the fray: The Barn from director Justin M. Seaman, and suffice it to say, it s beginning to feel a lot like 1989. The opener of this one takes us back to Halloween 1959, and the setting is Wheary Falls, a small town with a large backing from the local church, and the annual hootenanny is underway, and all that s asked of the party goers from the pastor is that they BY ALL MEANS, stay clear of the abandoned barn on the other side of town. Now you honestly didn't think that everyone was going to take the holy man s words to heart, did you? Here s where things get interesting (without giving any spoilers away)- what happens at the front door to the barn to a young kid is masterful, and this is not by any means me cementing myself as a sadistic bastard, but to pull off what Seaman does within the first 4 minutes is not only ballsy and unapologetic, but it sets a tone for the rest of the film. Flash-forward to good old 1989, and the town s biggest Halloween celebrators, Sam and Josh are doing what they enjoy every Autumn: scaring the cheez-whiz out of the locals and making every Debbie downer in town angry. Their friendship has stood the test of Josh s father s passing, and together they compliment each other s twisted sense of humor. When a seemingly harmless prank goes terribly wrong, the two have it broken down to them that their days of jerking around MUST come to an abrupt end. As the impending thoughts of a stagnant existence overwhelm the two, their hopes are somewhat realigned with the news that their favorite heavy metal band will be playing a one-night only show on you guessed it, Halloween. So with a group of pals in tow, the gathering decides that a shortcut to the show is the best route (which it never is), and damned to all hell, wouldn't you know where the shortcut drops our collection of misguided adolescents? yep, right at the doors of the barn itself. Seems the legends of the barn s inhabitants, The Boogeyman, Hallowed Jack and The Candycorn Scarecrow aren't just tall tales after all these creepy suckers are violent, unrepentant, and just not in the Halloween mood. Supported by a couple of entertaining cameos from Linnea Quigley and Ari Lehman, the cast does an admirable job in pulling off performances that are effectually cheesy and fitting for a movie such as this. Oh, and fans of gore? I sincerely hope you brought the biggest damn plastic pumpkin you could find to this film s doorstep, cause it s going to get filled to the brim with enough blood and guts to keep you fed for weeks after screw the candy, viscera s where it s at! There s even a few decent-sized laughs sprayed around in this one to keep things a little bit light from time to time. Overall, I can without a doubt recommend The Barn to everyone looking for a fun, retro trip back to the days of grainy, low-budgeted horror yanked directly off the racks of your local video rental shop this one will sit firmly entrenched in my top 5 of the best horror films for 2016. Available NOW on both DVD and VHS from the barn merch. com hell, there s all sorts of goodies available for your last minute X-Mas shopping, so get on over and pick up a little something for the demented ones in your life! --Dread Central
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1) Token black guy dies first
2) People who have sex die
3) token nude scene with body double
4) Linnea Quigley
5) Metal music
6) Virgin for final girl
7) ridiculous amount of blood
8) Everyone has a jean's jacket
9) great opening scene with a little girl getting a pickaxe to the head
The problem with the production was the acting wasn't there. Mitchell Musolino couldn't carry the lead and the rest of the cast was flat. The writer didn't know what to do with Michelle (Lexi Dripps) and created a subpar character. She should have been key at the end and had lines that would place her there. The creation of characters was poorly done. I couldn't connect.
Guide: F-word, sex, nudity.
This movie was a most welcome edition to my Horror Collection, I've been an avid Horror Fan for over 30 yrs. and if you like great 1980s Horror than you will really dig this film.