Barbarian ★★★½

[Mild spoilers].

Nothing "elevated" about this one — just a feisty horror-comedy that knows how to have itself a good time. On the horror side of the equation there's something very nasty, not to mention unfeasibly resilient, in the basement of an AirBnB in the heart of white-flight, suburban-blight Detroit, and on the comedic side there's a douchetastic absentee landlord crawling around said basement with a tape measure hoping to inflate the square footage of the place prior to flogging it to fund his defence against a much-merited Me-Tooing.

Entertaining performances across the board but I especially dug Richard Brake's reptilian turn as a thoroughly unwholesome denizen of suburbia. Georgina Campbell is good, too: I liked her in All My Friends Hate Me and I like her just as much in this. She makes one or two decisions I personally would not have opted for, but by horror movie standards she's a paragon of reason. Bill Skarsgård and Justin Long are both well-cast. The editing is whip-smart and the whole production has a certain pizzazz — just don't ask me to explain that title. Why the fuck is it called Barbarian? Is it just that it contains the letters AIRBNB? If so, they could simply have called it "B-Brain", which would have the advantage of concision.

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