The Barn (2021) Review

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The Barn, not to be confused with The Barn or The Barn, is a bizarre eighteen-minute short from director Damon Nash White and his co-writer Justice Tirapelli-Jamail. And when I say bizarre I mean it. The film contains no dialogue at all, but there is plenty of raw chicken.

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The Barn’s plot, such as it is, involves a man (Justice Tirapelli-Jamail) whose search for his missing sister (Rocío de la Grana, Malibu Rescue). It’s all very cryptic, although we are given a couple of clues that this wasn’t the most wholesome of sibling relationships. But whether that was mutual, or the product of his mental state is a matter of interpretation.

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In place of dialogue, The Barn relies on a very compelling score from Cory Sinclair, who performs under the moniker Hescher. It serves as a framework to hold the film’s diverse images together and provides some sense of direction for the viewer. It’s good enough that Music From The Barn: A Horror Film is being released along with extended and additional material on Houston boutique label Industrial Beach Records.

“I first thought of the idea for The Barn in 2016 after daydreaming while cutting up chicken for dinner, followed by dreams that mirrored the opening of the film,” shares writer, director, producer and cinematographer, Damon Nash White. “I woke up and just had to put it down on paper.”

And the film’s images are bizarre enough that it wouldn’t take much for someone to get lost in them. Between creatures with heads that look like something out of one of David Cronenberg’s nightmares, feminine hygiene products and all manner of uncooked poultry it’s not something that’s easy to make sense out of.

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And with a film like The Barn that’s probably the point, sense is whatever make of it. It’s all subjective, a Rorschach Test formed of ground chicken rather than ink. If it plays a festival near you it’s a test you might want to take.

Our Score