The Barn Part II (2022) Review
Finally, after a wait so long people were wondering if it would ever happen, The Barn Part II, Justin M. Seaman’s (10/31, Cryptids) sequel to 2016’s The Barn has finally arrived after a run of festival screenings and some limited theatrical showings. The question is, as with any long-delayed sequel, can it recapture what made the original so popular?
It certainly gets off on the right foot as Troop Leader Plums (Drew Marvick, Another WolfCop, Slashlorette Party) and his scouts sitting around the campfire fill the viewer in on the basic plot of the original as well as a few things we’ll need to know for the sequel, before finding out the hard way the stories were all true.
A year after that Michelle (Lexi Dripps, The Barn, Supah Ninjas), the sole survivor of the first film is now in college and part of a sorority, Gamma Tau Psi. Said sorority needs a place to hold their fall fundraiser as, thanks to an incident involving lap dances at last year’s haunted house, they’ve been banned from holding it on campus. And with the town’s mayor (Lloyd Kaufman, I Scream on the Beach!, The Toxic Avenger Part II) about to lift the ban on Halloween the time seems perfect for an off-campus haunt.
While lifting the Halloween ban is music to the ears of Dr. Rock (Ari Lehman, Friday the 13th, The Lurker) it does not sit well with the local church lady Sarah Barnhart (Linnea Quigley, Heartland of Darkness, Night of the Demons) setting up an on-air clash between the two. Meanwhile, Michelle and Heather (Sable Griedel) whose brother disappeared on that fateful night have found a barn to hold the fundraiser in.
Once again writing and directing, Seaman sets The Barn Part II up nicely, finding a plausible way around the original structure’s destruction in the first film. He also fills in not just the events of the first film, but he has Doug Bradley (Hellraiser, Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom) give us some backstory for the creatures as well.
Speaking of the creatures, not only do we get the three from the first film, The Boogeyman (Justin M. Seaman), Hallowed Jack (Caden Holmes), and the Candy Corn Scarecrow (Jedediah Giacchino, 10/31, The Barn), they brought a pair of friends, Swine (Tanya R. Seaman, The Barn) and Screecher (Caden Holmes again) with them. And did I mention the zombies?
Where The Barn had a small cast and body count the sequel is a veritable bloodbath with a huge cast and plenty of victims. There are more celebrities and genre regulars in The Barn Part II than there were characters in the original. Apart from those mentioned John Bloom and Diana Prince aka Joe Bob Briggs and Darcy the Mail Girl, Julie Anne Prescott (H.P. Lovecraft’s Witch House, Backwoods Bubba), Kaylee Williams (Don’t Fuck in the Woods 2, Black Creek) and several others show their faces and other body parts, this is an 80s style horror movie after all, throughout the film.
The effects this time around do include a bit of CGI but it’s mostly kept to things like the flames behind Hallowed Jack’s eyes and some disintegrations. Joe Castro (Lake Michigan Monster, Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat) provides the creature costumes and the gore is both practical and plentiful. Hearts are ripped out, heads and faces cut off, a nipple is bitten off in hommage to Nightmare City, nailguns, spiked baseball bats and of course a chainsaw all come into play too. The Barn Part II lays the gore in such abundance it’s as though somebody went back in time and gave Fulci a Hollywood budget.
I do have to say that I was less than thrilled with the form the creatures take for the final showdown, it’s more silly than scary. But there’s way too much going on for that to ruin it, and that’s true of the whole film. The Barn Part II not only matches the original it exceeds it and can join Wolf Hollow and Teddy Told Me To as excellent retro horror that’s come my way in the past few days. It’s got beasts, blood, and boobs in abundance, Joe Bob would say check it out even if he wasn’t in it.
The Barn Part II is available as a regular and collector’s edition Blu-ray from Scream Team Releasing. You can check their website or the film’s Facebook page for more information. If you want more tricks and treats, FilmTagger can suggest some films that should suit your needs.