Saturday 16 December 2023

REVIEW: There's Something in the Barn (2023 Film) - Starring Martin Starr, Amrita Acharia, and Kiran Shah

Review by Jon Donnis
"There's Something in the Barn," directed by Magnus Martens and written by Aleksander Kirkwood Brown, brings together a delightful concoction of horror and comedy in a Norwegian setting. Starring Martin Starr, Amrita Acharia, and Kiran Shah, the film follows the Nordheim family as they relocate to a remote cabin in Norway, only to encounter murderous elves in their barn. The movie successfully weaves a tale that blends elements of Gremlins, Krampus, National Lampoon's, and Home Alone, resulting in a unique and entertaining horror comedy.

The plot unfolds as the Nordheim family settles into their new home, with Lucas (Townes Bunner) discovering the existence of elves in their barn. As the story progresses, the family ignores the local legend of the "Barn Elf Rules," leading to gruesome consequences. The film introduces a mix of characters, including Bill (Martin Starr), the oblivious father; Carol (Amrita Acharia), the stepmother trying to maintain a positive facade; and the rebellious teenage daughter Nora (Zoe Winther-Hansen). The main elf, portrayed by Kiran Shah, adds a captivating and sinister element to the narrative, creating a perfect blend of horror and humor.

One of the film's strengths lies in its ability to infuse culture clash gags, adding an extra layer of comedy to the narrative. The Norwegian authenticity contributes to the overall atmosphere, making it a festive treat for audiences. The combination of gore, humour, and a holiday setting makes it a nostalgic throwback to the creature feature films of the 1980s.

On the positive side, the film earns praise for its successful fusion of horror and comedy, creating a bloody yet enjoyable Christmas horror experience. The second half of the film is particularly commendable for its non-stop craziness, delivering on the promise of an entertaining ride.

However, the film does stumble in its incorporation of left-wing politics and woke topics, particularly in the discussion of gun control. This element feels forced and detracts from the overall enjoyment of the movie. Additionally, some viewers may find the first half of the film a bit slow, but the momentum picks up, delivering a satisfying climax.

In summary, "There's Something in the Barn" has the potential to become a cult classic comedy horror. Its unique blend of genres, coupled with a mix of humour and horror, offers a refreshing take on the Christmas horror genre. Despite a few missteps in handling political themes, the film stands out as a solid 8 out of 10, making it a perfect addition to the Christmas horror film repertoire. Only time will tell if it attains cult status, but its entertaining mix of elements certainly makes it a standout in the genre.

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