Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Countdown to Halloween Day 9 -- I Prefer the Southern Accent: a Review of "The Barrens"

The Barrens stars Stephen Moyer (a.k.a. Bill from True Blood) as Richard Vineyard, a man whose trip with his family to scatter his father's ashes in the Pine Barrens where they used to go camping turns into a nightmare.  As the weekend progresses, he sickens, which leads to violent mood swings and hallucinations.  Soon, he is convinced that he and his family are being hunted by The Jersey Devil; as they stumble across mutilated animals and fellow campers go missing, the question arises:  is it the Jersey Devil, or is it him?

In terms of horror, this one was a bit of a slow boil; that's not necessarily a bad thing, as long as the slow build manages to draw you in.  And while I appreciated the way the evidence of violence gradually ramped up, I have to say that the concurrent ramping up of Vineyard's unbalanced state was more off-putting to me than anything else; not even Moyer's natural British accent could make his tirades enjoyable to listen to. Between his fevered behavior and his teenage daughters teenager behavior, I found myself having a hard time caring about what was going to happen to them.

On the plus side, the staging of the origin of the Jersey Devil was well done, and the design of the creature itself was better than I had expected; unfortunately, those both counted for a very small percentage of the film.

In the end, while this isn't one I would feel compelled to warn anyone away from, neither could I recommend it; it's just sort of there.

No comments:

Post a Comment