Review – BARRICADE (2012)

I’m a sucker for any kind of horror movie taking place in a cabin in the woods. Add snow and I’m guaranteed to give it a watch no matter how asinine the film looks. The trailer for Barricade certainly made it look good. But that just goes to show that looks can be deceiving.

Terrance Shade (Eric McCormack) is a hard-working psychiatrist who doesn’t spend enough time with his kids, Cynthia (Connor Dwelly) and Jake (Ran Grantham). But after the death of his wife, Leah (Jody Thompson), he decides to take them to a cabin in the woods, a place his wife used to visit frequently, during the Christmas season for some bonding. Things seem alright at first, but the three soon find themselves terrorized by something outside. They barricade the house and decide to just wait it out and survive. Will they be safe? Or, have they perhaps trapped something inside with them? Could it have something to do with the strange ailment they’re coming down with and the death of his wife? Or, could it simply be much ado about nothing? Or…

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Okay, okay: it’s clear the movie doesn’t really know where it stands in regards to the questions it poses. Barricade starts off well enough with a solid dose of mystery and tension, drawing you in and sending your brain seeking answers. The atmosphere is certainly dread-laden with the locale providing high production values and a rich sense of isolation. As Barricade goes on, you get the feeling that sheer insanity is about to break loose…

The characters are certainly more likeable than your usual horror film fare with McCormack shining brightly as Terrance. Not only is he enjoyable to watch and likeable as a struggling single-father, but be brings a subtle lunacy to the role that snowballs as the film goes on. Any moment you expect him to go right off his rocker…

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And then, right at the zenith, the engine runs dry: the moment Julia questions whether or not they’ve trapped something inside with them is the exact moment things start going downhill – fast and not in a good way. (And we’re only halfway through the movie!) Not only does it feel like writer Michaelbrent Colligs had no clue what to do next, but that he also had no idea what Barricade is actually trying to be. Is it a supernatural thriller? A supernatural revenge story? A psychological horror? A Lovecraftian horror? It has no clue, and neither will you once the confusing and more-questions-raised-than-answered ending falls into place, leaving the viewer dissatisfied and a feeling of having been cheated. There was so much that could have been done had there been more focus. Sadly, untapped potential is the name of the game. And the game is pretty lame.

Final Thoughts:

A promising first-half greatly letdown by a mediocre and confused second-half places Barricade firmly in the Meh category. Untapped potential leads to a film that greatly disappoints. Barricade isn’t horrible, but it’s definitely not a must-see, and it won’t satiate your appetite for good horror. But then, what else should you expect from WWE Films?

About Evan Romero

Evan Romero has been a horror fan since watching “Leprechaun” at the age of five. Aside from watching and writing about horror flicks, he delights in torturing friends with Z-grade movies. He’s also an unabashed Andy Milligan fan, God help him.

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