The Most Surprising Horror Movie of 2022 is Now Streaming on HBO Max

2022 has been a banner year for horror movies but there’s been one film that has taken audiences by surprise nearly every ten minutes, the 20th Century Studios-produced Barbarian. Written and directed by Zach Cregger, one of the founding members of comedy troupe Whitest Kids U’ Know, the film stars Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsg?rd, and Justin Long, and the shocking new movie is now streaming on HBO Max. Despite being a release by The Walt Disney Company, the film is now available on Hulu like recent hits Prey and Hellrasier. Due to a previously set deal between 20th Century and HBO the film is an HBO Max streaming exclusive, so it’s unclear when it will be on Hulu.

Produced on a reported budget of $4.5 million, Barbarian has so far made over $42 million at the global box office. As of this writing the film has a 92% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes with a “Certified Fresh” distention to its name. The critical consensus for the movie reads: “Smart, darkly humorous, and above all scary, Barbarian offers a chilling and consistently unpredictable thrill ride for horror fans.” Let’s dig into the movie itself below, spoilers follow!

What’s the big twist in Barbarian?

That’s a loaded question because there are actually a lot of twists in Barbarian. First we should note the central premise, as the film follow’s Georgina Campbell as Tess, a woman who rents an Air BNB in Detroit ahead of a promising job interview. When she arrives at the location however there’s already someone staying there, Bill Skarsg?rd’s Keith. As their peculiar cohabitation continues, weird things begin to happen with Tess realizing that there’s a hidden room adjacent to the creepy basement in the series. The secrets of the house don’t end there though as the creepy basement leads to a creepy cave with creepy cages and a peculiar inhabitant.

Around the forty minute mark the film switches to reveal Justin Long’s AJ Gilbride, an actor that’s found himself in hot water and is on the verge of being “Me Too’d” in the press. To escape the heat he returns to Detroit and lies low in one of his rental properties, the same house that Tess and Keith were staying in. Through the same level of boredom and confusion as before, AJ realizes that his house has a creepy underground tunnel as well which is home to “The Mother,” a wild woman that has taken Tess prisoner and wants her to be her baby. Through flashbacks and new details the film reveals that The Mother is the product of decades of abuse and incest by a serial killer operating in the 1980s, played by Richard Brake, who also is still alive in the tunnels beneath the house.

Will there be a sequel to Barbarian?

The way barbarian ends doesn’t really leave much room for a follow-up. Not only does The Mother herself die from being shot in the head by Tess, but Richard Brake’s character takes his own life as well; plus Keith and AJ also die along the way. So the potential for more in this story is only one way, going backwards with a prequel of some sort. As for hte possibility of that, the director isn’t interested.


Barbarian 2, not for me. Not gonna happen from me. Never say never, I could have an amazing idea tomorrow and be off to the races, but I doubt it.” Cregger shared with “I don’t think I’m necessarily interested in a prequel right now. I think it would have to tell the story of Frank [Richard Brake], and I’m personally not interested in making a movie about a man who abducts women…There’s a sequel I joke about that I would love to watch, which would be The Mother surviving her gunshot and having to integrate into society. She could attend community college and get her learner’s permit and get a Tinder profile. That would be fun. I’d watch that movie. I don’t know if I’d make it, but I’d love to see it.”