The Barrens (Blu-ray + DVD)
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Top Customer Reviews
The performances by te cast are hit-or-miss, with the dependable Mia Kirshner being one of the bright spots. The film nearly gets sidetracked in the middle by focusing too heavily on the family dynamic, and yes, of course the family members occasionally do irrational things, but that's just the case with these types of movies. I mean, let's face it, if you've purchased or rented a movie about the Jersey Devil, you should be prepared to suspend disbelief a little.
If you're looking for an entertaining film that won't make you think too much, especially if it's just a cheap rental, then this makes for a decent return on your investment. It won't make you yell at the screen too much, but the suspense will keep you focused on the screen until the end, and that's what a thriller like this one is designed to do. "The Barrens" accomplishes that. 3.5 stars.
Richard Vineyard (Stephen Moyer) needs a little time off from his busy life and the trappings of modern civilization. He takes his family on a camping trip to the pine forests of New Jersey called the Barrens. His father used to take him there as a boy. Richard wants to honor his father's wishes by scattering his ashes throughout the area. Upon arriving at their campsite, they are bombarded with stories about a creature spawned from Satan named the Jersey Devil. Richard becomes convinced the monster is hunting his family and the other campers down as gutted bodies start turning up.
I have no complaints when it comes to the picture quality of the film. "The Barrens" looks great and the cinematography successfully captures the gloomy and massive expanse of the forest. The creature itself is shot close-up to give us a glimpse of what it looks like but never delivers full body shots until the climax of the film. Obviously a mix of practical and CGI effects were used to capture the actions of the Jersey Devil and it looks realistic no matter what angle it's shot in.
The movie's 5.1 surround sound mix guarantees viewers that all the sudden jerks of the musical score, loud screams, trees rustling, and gunshots are projected all over your home theater. You feel like you're actually in the forest with the Vineyard family.Read more ›
So, after all that rambling, I shall now focus on the case at hand; that being The Barrens. Set in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, but actually filmed in Canada, The Barrens follows the Vineyard family as they head out into the titular Barrens, so that Michael (the father and husband) can scatter the ashes of his deceased father in the area that they used to camp in.
Along the way we get to learn a little about the myth of the Jersey Devil, including a short, sharp and sweet prologue piece, and the usual trials and tribulations of a slightly dysfunctional family. The campsite that they head to is nothing like Michael remembers it to be, instead it is overrun and one of the kids succeeds in scaring the bejeezus out of Michael's son, Danny, with his tale of the Jersey Devil.Read more ›
So immediately I don't feel overly concerned about the fate of the leads. Add to that a clumsy script, cheap looking effects and a plot you've seen many times before, and there's not much to recommend this one.
I wonder if some of the the positive reviews for this are coming from fans of the currently popular television show "True Blood" which features the talented Stephen Moyer. He's a likeable actor and certainly brings something to the role, but it's not enough to make this a success.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
No real plot, per se, just the old "family menaced in the woods where they don't belong" trope. ("The Hills Have Eyes" transferred to the NJ Pine Barrens. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Sharon R. Andrews
The movie was received on time. The picture was clear and clean. The movie was great and I enjoyed it very much.Published 4 months ago by Kathleen Gaddy
The Jersey Devil is my favorite cryptid so I am tremendously disappointed with this movie and it's utterly craptastic depiction of the Jersey Devil as a flying meathead... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Derek
Quite frankly it was nearly awful. Shaky camera movement and horrible actors made it even more tedious.Published 10 months ago by Bartok Kinski