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Barricade (DVD)

Cover art:

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Barricade (DVD)Starring Eric McCormack, Conner Dwelly, Ryan Grantham, Jody Thompson,

Directed by Andrew Currie

Distributed by Gaiam Americas


There’s somethin’ happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man in a cabin over there
Tellin’ his kids, we got to beware

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound?
Another crash on the soundtrack’s going down.

There’s a chance they’re all at risk
Haunted by that which may not exist
Eric McCormack losin’ his mind
Fakin’ jump scares the warning sign.

What a field day for the flu
(Hmm, hmm, hmm)
Lots of stuff to confuse you
(Hmm, hmm, hmm)
Banging sounds and yelling a lot
(Hmm, hmm, hmm)
Mostly lame, scary it is not
(Hmm, hmm, hmm)

I think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound?
Another crash on the soundtrack’s going down.

My rewritten lyrics to Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” should have been the theme song for Barricade, easily one of my least favorite horror movie experiences of the past year. A tedious and muddled mess boasting an ending so lame it made me reconsider how hard I was on The Devil Inside.

Eric McCormack stars as a single dad heading off to a snowy cabin (more like a house) in the woods with his two young kids. Mrs. McCormack died a year earlier and since then he’s grown somewhat distant from his children. She had always wanted them to have a white Christmas at this cabin, and he hopes that doing so will help bring them closer together as a family. Plans will be ruined when a blizzard will force them to hole up in the cabin, and then they all start coming down with flu-like symptoms. That’s when strange things begin happening: strange sights and sounds, haunting flashbacks, and things that (loudly) go bump in both the day and night in and out of the house. Convinced something outside is trying to get at them, they barricade themselves inside, only to quickly realize that they may have just barricaded themselves inside with whatever it is.

Mainly it’s about Eric McCormack freaking out, flashing back, rushing about the cabin trying to save his kids from whatever it is he thinks is after them, and doing a lousy job of it, I might add, but then that’s kind of the point. It’s all confusion for the sake of confusion to the point that even the screenwriter and director appeared to get tripped up by some of the “what’s real, what’s in their head” action.

Barricade isn’t so much a movie as it is a series of often poorly lit scenes almost always culminating in a fake jump scare operating under the mistaken belief that it’s a mind-bending chiller in the tradition of “The Twilight Zone” and The Shining. Not much by way of plot or character development, but, by god, there are flat jump scares, one after another, seemingly half of which culminate in the reveal of nothing out of the ordinary or someone relatively calm wondering why the other person is so freaked out. No matter how many times the Foley artist contributed a loud crash or the music would aggressively crescendo, I cannot recall a single moment that even so much as made me flinch. About all it succeeded in doing was provide enough noise to keep me awake.

The sad thing is that the director of Barricade is Andrew Currie; his first film since helming the quirky 2006 zombie comedy Fido. Currie succeeds in giving the movie a atmospherically dreary look (at least when the cinematography isn’t so murky you can barely deduce what’s on the screen) and the actors do try as they might, but the movie amounts to a whole lot of nothing and feels much longer than its 75-minute running time. Sometimes a movie just doesn’t work at all; this is one of those movies.

And then there’s ending… Even though WWE Films produced Barricade, no World Wrestling Entertainment superstars make an appearance. If The Undertaker had shown up at the end to give Eric McCormack a Tombstone Piledriver, that would have been a more satisfying climax.

Special Features
• BLUEPRINT TO FEAR: THE CABIN – Take a tour inside the film’s mysterious haunted house.
• WHITEOUT – Learn the special effects behind the blizzards.
• BREAKING TYPE: ERIK MCCORMACK – Watch his metamorphosis from humor to horror.
• MANNING PARK – See how terror transformed this scenic ski resort.

Film:

1 out of 5

Special Features:

2 1/2 out of 5

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