Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – The Barrens (2012)

logoDirector: Darren Lynn Bousman

Writer: Darren Lynn Bousman (Screenplay)

Starring: Stephen Moyer, Mia Kirshner, Allie MacDonald, Peter DaCunha, David Keely, Erik Knudsen


Plot: The Vineyard family Richard (Moyer), Cynthia (Kirshner), Sadie (MacDonald) and Danny (DaCunha) go into the woods for a camping trip. The trip is to help Richard get over the loss of his father by scattering his ashes in the lake he spent his childhood. Richard’s ideal trip would be no technology and an increased bonding time, but things don’t go his way when the family arrival with everyone using technology just in the woods. Richard moves his family further into the woods but the deeper they get the more isolated the family becomes. With Richard starting to go into madness and it is left for us to decide whether he is going crazy or whether he is being followed by the Jersey Devil.


Verdict: Lovely Build Terrible Conclusion


Story: I am going to be harsh to this because I feel the whole film builds up really well to show one man’s decent into madness, but then it gets ruined with the conclusion. The positive side of this film is that it builds up like a poor man’s Shinning and that would have worked because the cause of the madness would have happened due to a relatively innocent incident. Using a real life urban legend the Jersey Devil gives the idea of creditability behind the horror and unexpected. In conclusion this film is watchable but the end ruins it all. (5/10)


Actor Review


Stephen Moyer: Richard the father of the family who believes he once saw the Jersey Devil as a child, he takes his family to the same woods to get some family time but he soon starts getting paranoid about what he has seen. Does a good job in the role showing that he can play a man who is losing his mind. (7/10)


Mia Kirshner: Cynthia the awkward step mother to Sadie who tries to win her over by being the good guy in the disagreements, she sees her husband start to lose his mind but struggles to do anything about it. Poor performance as she never looks convincing as the concerned parent. (4/10)


Allie MacDonald: Sadie the teenage daughter who hates the idea of camping and has no choice but to go. She plays the typical teenage daughter offering nothing new to a role we have seen too many times. (5/10)


Peter DaCunha: Danny the son of the family who enjoys the idea of camping but soon becomes what looks like the target of the evil. Simple performance that never does much. (5/10)


Director Review: Darren Lynn Bousman – Creates some good suspense but then ruins it all with the ending. (6/10)


Horror: Good build up for one horror never really giving the actual ending enough of a shock value. (7/10)

Settings: The setting works well to create the isolation needed for this type of horror. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Most of the effects happen off camera or is an aftermath of something happening. Which all work well but the final encounter is poor standard. (6/10)

Suggestion: This is one for the horror fans to try I think most will enjoy all but the end of this film. (Horror Fans Try)


Best Part: The decent into what looks like madness.

Worst Part: The ending.

Scariest Scene: Dream sequences.

Believability: Using a real legend it is all up to whether you believe it. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Could do.

Post Credits Scene: Yes


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

Tagline: The terrifying legend of the Jersey Devil is alive


Overall: Great Built Up Horror, Terrible Finishing Horror

Rating 50

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