Sometimes lightning strikes when the passion for nostalgic look back on 80s horror, even when a minuscule budget finances the entire movie, assisted by an Indiegogo campaign, and that fans, is what director Justin Seaman accomplished with his film The Barn. Justin, like many indie filmmakers wore many hats for his incredible authentic movie, such as writer, editor, producer and acting, but his experience extends to his segment short film The Deathday Party in Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories (2016). The 1980s for horror fans, known perhaps as the golden age of slashers, but equaling monsters regained a strong foothold, dominating in every arena of the cinematic market, and this flick combines qualities of the occultism, slasher, and basic scary storytelling. Another aspect of the flick, must resonate with the dedication to match everything back to the decade, time period pieces often tough for independent movies, but the crew and cast pull it altogether, with regard to props, set designing, score, again the picture quality damage stock and best of all practical effects. In addition, points for originality, in an era where many allude to try one’s hand at grindhouse, exploitation or just another remake, Justin stays the course, and thereby honors the horror fans, and those which enjoy an occasional scary movie enjoyment too.
The opener volley sets the tone on Halloween 1959, in the town of Wheary Falls, a small wholesome town and Seaman lunges, in one mighty swing rips open the jugular sending the movie on a thrill ride, pure shocking and thrust the audience a whirlwind experience all in the first 5-minutes. A quick time transition to the year of 1989, characters Sam and Josh (Mitchell Musolino and Will Stout, respectively) two good friends who enjoy a healthy appetite for scaring both the little kiddies and adults; although Sam’s possess a deep love for Halloween and his rules concerning it. Ideally these two Mitchell and Will have the characters interacting well together, their chemistry all makes the good movie, and very believable. However, not all townsfolk very pleased with the childish and fiendish attitudes, such Ms. Barnhart (Linnea Quigley) who really portrays a prudish old bitty, extremely well thanks to both costume and special effects makeup, her natural abilities. As audience learns of the evil from the barn and it’s the caretakers of Hallowed Jack, Candycorn Scarecrow, and the Boogeyman (aka the Miner, portrayed by Justin, himself), all defenders of the secrets of Halloween. One cannot overlook the original Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th (1980) as an outrageous television horror host, Dr. Rock (Ari Lehman); his small role accelerates the story positively nicely. Every character appears in the form of the typical stereotypical horror clichés yet never condensing rather refreshing approach is a campy layering. Without giving too much away (i.e. spoilers) this reviewer shall sweep over the film in broad strokes, simply a lot of mayhem occurs with the demons named Scarecrow with questionable guts, an interesting on jack-o-lanterns and of course a zombie miner each with deviously creep qualities. Many horror fans treat every day, as Halloween and in this flick, our center heroes do too, and outline rules converting a pagan day into a weird religion which the demons also hereby. Some doors definitely need never become opened, or dare knocked on them, but when one invites the terror and turmoil they earn it all, remember the tricks always come first, and it’s a choice if one gets the treat.
Urban legends and folklore exist for generations, while curses sometimes become lost, especially with townspeople who look to excise nightmares, and personal losses, and hence The Barn lost to time, and age in great set design and construction. As for cinematography, there’s a fluid movement with creative angles, for both kill scenes and in general, as the important suspense and tension begins to ratchet upward halfway through the second act. A series of outrageous killings, more camp violence, and the incorrect dialogue pausing echoing the past numerous errors in the slasher genre. One cannot determine which contain intentional moments and other natural or even due to acting issues. The large cast, foreshadows the equally large body count, and effortlessly paces itself to pull off everything for good solid production. Simply the movie contains, gore, heavy blood loss, T&A, and plenty of quality laughs.
This entire film makes for a fun enjoyable passage on entertainment, creative usage of the dialogue and wordplay of the 80s, highly energetic comedic moments, and never overstays the welcome, giving 100% even to a small-scale budget. Lastly, the movie delivers a great score and music tracks, running the gambit of metal to rockabilly especially track from a band called, The Legendary Hucklebucks, overall definitely a movie any horror fan needs to hunt down to visit The Barn!
This review originally posted at Rogue Cinema in January 2017 with a view count of 1396.
IMDb Rating: 5.9/10
Baron’s Rating: 6/10