Road Rash Reviews

There’s Something in the Barn Review****-

Cert 15 | 100 mins | 2023

4 star strangely wholesome Christmas horror film.

There’s Something in the Barn is a 2023 American/Norwegian comedy/horror film directed by Magnus Martens (SAS: Red Notice) and with a screenplay by Aleksander Kirkwood Brown (Clue: Maltesergåten).

It will be in UK cinemas and available on Digital Download from 1st December 2023, courtesy of Vertigo Releasing.

“It’s like, in Norway, we learn early that if you mess with nature, nature will come back right at you and punch you in the faces. So good luck.”

Bill (Martin Starr – Lousy Carter, Samaritan) has recently inherited a lovely home in the Norwegian countryside, from his Uncle who died in mysterious circumstances. He is moving his family, second wife Carol (Amrita Acharia– Black Dog, Welcome to Curiosity) and his children Lucas (Townes Bunner) and Nora (Zoe Winther-Hansen – The 12th Man) from their sunny home in America to a small town in snowy Norway.

Nora is extremely unhappy, but Carol is excited to get started on their new venture, the Nordheim Forest Glade holiday getaway, to be set up in a barn conversion. Lucas is making the best of things, but has noticed that there is something in the barn. When they head into town, Lucas meets Tor Åge (Calle Hellevang-Larson – Snabbgrabbar), who runs the local museum. He tells him the local legend about Barn Elves and gives him three important rules to follow to keep them happy.

  1. No changes to the farm
  2. No bright Lights
  3. No loud noises

When they go back to the house, Luca ventures into the barn with a cookie and makes friends with the Barn Elf. Sure enough, it is very grateful and helps the family out, clearing snow and chopping wood. Things begin to go downhill however when they decide to decorate their home for Christmas and throw a party in the barn. As the relationship deteriorates, the blood begins to flow.

“If you make him angry he will do whatever it takes to get rid of you. I’ve read tales actually, about the Barn Elf breaking the necks on the cows, just like…and then shoving their carcasses into milk containers.”

There’s Something in the Barn is a very entertaining film. The black comedy is funny and captures the cultural divide between Americans and pretty much anyone else very neatly. It’s very much a film of two halves. The first half pokes fun at both American and Norwegian culture (the interactions with the local police woman are nothing short of hilarious) and the second half is when the gory fun starts. The elves are full of murderous mischief and armed with farm tools.

The special effects are pretty good and there’s no shortage of gore to be had, but what really sets this film apart is that despite all that, it still manages to be a Christmas film, with the spirit of Christmas and family very much at its heart. The acting performances are sincere, their comedic timing is impeccable and the lights and decorations make the whole thing feel very festive.

It won’t set the world on fire, but it’s well worth a watch.

“Maybe it’s a child who ran away from home, headed to a Nordic Death Metal festival.”

There’s Something In The Barn will be in UK Cinemas & available on Digital Download from 1st December

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DirectorMagnus Martens
GenreComedy, horror
StarringMartin Starr, Amrita Acharia, Townes Bunner, zoe Winther-Hansen
Category: Cinema, Digital, film, Review