My favorite time of the year is the haunting season and every September I begin to get antsy while looking at the calendar and counting down the days to October 1st. Like most of you I’ve been sweating the end of summer heat and begging for something to take me away to the cherished burning leaf smell of October. Thank the dark lords for Justin Seaman’s The Barn.
Set on Halloween in 1989, The Barn is a love letter to everything that there is to love and fear on Halloween night. The movie opens with a flashback sequence to Halloween 1959 and the community of Wheary Falls is in full on Halloween celebratory mode. The kids gather at the local church for a word from the pastor and are then off to the local harvest hootenanny. Of course, two kids can’t follow the All Hallows Eve rules which include staying away from a certain barn. Flash forward thirty years and we’re thrown full force into the world of Sam and Josh, two seventeen year old’s who live for Halloween and all the joys it brings. Sam (Mitchell Musolino) is the embodiment of everyone who builds haunts in their parent’s garages and basks in the offerings of the holiday. Josh (Will Stout) is his lifelong best friend who since the loss of his father earlier in the year hasn’t really been the same. After one of their pranks on Ms. Barnhart played by scream queen Linnea Quigley goes too far the boys are faced with the realization that this is the last year of unabashed Halloween fun that they will ever get to have. When their favorite metal band announces on the local rock show hosted by Dr. Rock (Ari Lehman in a fantastic cameo) that they are performing a special Halloween night concert, Sam and Josh decide that they have no choice but to go to the concert and cement themselves as local Halloween legends.
They gather up some friends and hit the road bound for the concert. After taking a shortcut they end up in Wheary Falls and smack dab in front of the titular Barn that holds legendary evils. Being a horror movie set on Halloween you know the demons will be unleashed on this group of teenagers as well as the unsuspecting townsfolk. The aftermath of which will never be forgotten by those that live to tell the tale. There are countless horror films set on Halloween, very few actually capture and imbue the spirit the way The Barn does. Justin Seaman brilliantly captures every minute detail from the brilliant script and set design to the amazing soundtrack of the film that really transports you into proceedings. The cast are all brilliant and play the parts to the tilt. Lexi Dripps portrayal of Michelle is one of the best girl next door type performances that I’ve seen in the genre in quite a while and ranks up there with Phoebe Cates in Gremlins. The demons that terrorize our protagonists are a perfect mesh of 80’s kitsch and old school monster magazine masks. I can easily see these villains becoming popular Halloween costumes for years to come. The cast and crew of The Barn put everything they had into creating a film that will bring the Halloween spirit into your heart at any time of the year and honestly that’s all that we as horror fans can ask for. The Barn is now playing on the festival circuit. It comes with my highest recommendation.
Like The Barn on Facebook for news on the upcoming screenings
Follow Brad on Twitter @picking_brains