Not to be confused with the 2016’s THE BARN which was an enjoyable Halloween creature feature, 2018’s THE BARN is a strange hybrid of zombie and serial killer films. One that apparently takes place in an alternate universe where 9/11 was followed exactly a year later with an outbreak of a mysterious disease. One that turned its victims into zombies. It didn’t turn enough to destroy, or it seems even mildly disrupt society. But there are camps for those that show symptoms of the disease.
A serial killer has been preying on women in Sugar Grove, Virginia. Strangling them then raping the corpse. And sticking an apple core into their nether regions. The police are stumped and nobody is happy when a local TV station sends reporter Melissa Crawford (Piper Lincoln, daughter of Lar Park-Lincoln) to investigate.
It soon becomes clear that the serial killer isn’t the only thing wrong in Sugar Grove. And that whatever is going on in Gil Perry’s (Ken Samuels) barn is involved.
Publicity for THE BARN made a big deal about “the town’s dark secret hidden inside Gil Perry’s barn”. But within ten minutes it’s obvious and within twenty it’s revealed. It then plays no real part in the film until the film’s climax. And that seems to evolve out of nowhere as up until then there’s no evidence pointing to this. Or explanation for it. Unless that’s what all the anti-government conspiracy stuff Gil spouts in the last few minutes is supposed to do.
As a director, Matt Beurois manages some nicely atmospheric night scenes. But the script he co-wrote with Auregan, (who also plays one of the zombies) is often more concerned with run of the mill drama. Things like the relationship between Gil and his mute brother Earl (Yannik Mazzilli) to keep the audience’s interest. Both writers are French, maybe it was written in French and something was lost in translation.
THE BARN wants to do something different with two tired genres. Unfortunately it never properly connects them and ends up a disjointed mess.
THE BARN is available from Gravitas Ventures.