The Barn (2016)

Judging by the recent plenitude of (horror) movies – and even entire TV-series – that are either taking place during OR unmistakably paying tribute to the 1980s, I think it’s safe to say that a whole new generation of filmmakers suffer from “homesickness” (by lack of a better term) towards the decade in which it was so much easier and more fun to produce and watch horror movies! There’s noticeably an immense longing for the good old times when stereotypical characters and clich├ęd plot lines weren’t world-widely criticized on the Internet before the movie got properly released (what Internet?), when dumb teenage protagonists were still getting into physical trouble rather than belittling each other via social media, and when horror victims were still being massacred by killers & monsters with hideous make- up effects rather than by digitalized computer creations. “The Barn” obviously also belongs in this trend and, although not as popular or hyped as “Stranger Things” or “The Final Girls”, it’s definitely worth checking out for fans of old-school splatter as well as amateurish yet enthusiast low-budget film making. It’s almost Halloween in the year 1989, and the 19-year-old but still very immature buddies Sam and Josh are petrifying the neighborhood children and annoying their teacher (cameo of none other than Linnea Quigley). The next day, on their way to a Halloween concert with a few more friends, they stop at a godforsaken barn where according to an ancient local legend three sinister Halloween monsters lie buried. Against the will of firm legend-believer Sam, the group knocks at the door and thus awakens the Boogeyman miner, Hallowed Jack-o-Lantern and Candycorn Scarecrow. The monsters promptly go on a killing spree in the nearby town Helen’s Valley, with as gory highlight the extermination of nearly the entire village during the annual Halloween dance. Writer/director Justin Seaman has a lot of heart for the genre and many bright ideas, and therefore you also gladly forgive the lack of style and the many directorial defaults. There are too many overlong dialogues, redundant sequences and questionable performances, but it doesn’t matter all that much because this is a full-blooded Halloween feature and highly recommended for the fans. Too many gore-highlights to choose from, including decapitations, eye- gouging, pickax in the head, etc