The Bottom Line
- Good makeup effects
- Good cast
- Not scary
- Sloppy script
- Drawn-out plot
- Starring Stephen Moyer, Mia Kirshner, Allie MacDonald, Peter DaCunha, Erik Knudsen, Shawn Ashmore
- Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman
- Rated R
- DVD Release Date: October 9, 2012
Guide Review - 'The Barrens' DVD Review
Darren Lynn Bousman seems to be a master at creating "almost-good" movies, ones that are technically proficient but lack the soul, the scares and the emotional or narrative heft required to make them truly enjoyable. The Barrens falls squarely in line with his Saw films, Repo! The Genetic Opera, 11-11-11 and Mother's Day as yet another near miss for the director. It feels unambitious compared to his previous films, amounting to one long, drawn out is-it-or-isn't-it-in-his-mind trip that isn't as shocking as it thinks it is, given there are only two ways it can end. It lacks scares -- Stephen Moyer isn't particularly menacing as Richard -- and the script leaves issues up in the air such as the sudden increase in attacks and why Richard would return if he believed the Devil exists.
The movie is aided by well-done gore and makeup effects and by the compelling real-life legend itself, which lends a supernatural air to what is for 90% of the running time a pedestrian wannabe Shining thriller.
Special features include commentary and a deleted scene.