When an American family fulfil their dreams of moving back after inheriting a remote cabin in Norway, it’s not long before they encounter the legendary Nordic Barn Elf next door and learn the importance of respecting one’s neighbours – the hard way!
Starring Martin Starr (Freaks and Geeks, Spider-Man, Honey Boy) and Amrita Acharia (Game of Thrones), this year’s offering to the Christmas horror genre puts a deadly twist on Nordic traditions. This horror comedy is something of a slapstick snoozefest that really does not bring anything spicy to the dinner table. Rather, There’s Something in the Barn seems to go out of its way to include every single horror trope in the books and then dumb it down just for good measure.
Christmas horrors have always been a weird combination for me. There are some that I have thoroughly enjoyed, like Christmas Blood, the Indie thriller I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday, and Shudder’s offering, Christmas Bloody Christmas. Those all had something special about them; something that elevated them out of the oddity that is the Christmas horror and let them stand tall as strong genre films.
There’s Something in the Barn does not. It’s just Gremlins but poorly reskinned. It’s Christmas time and the family is dealing with various issues. The son discovers a creature and befriends it. He learns from locals that the creature can be good or evil depending on how it is treated. The son then makes his best efforts to take care of said creature but unfortunately, the rules are broken. Suddenly, many more of these terrifying little things appear to cause all sorts of chaos, murdering and maiming in ridiculous ways. Thankfully, the son’s bond with the original creature helps to save the day. There’s Something in the Barn should really just have been called Gremlins on Ice.
Does the film have its moments? No, not really. I cared very little for the cast or their relationships. The characters were all tropes and caricatures; over the top and written horribly. The editing, especially during the home invasion scenes, was choppy and all over the place. The score was not particularly memorable and I guess the comedy wasn’t really to my taste. I will admit that the elves were great though, at least where the makeup and costumes were concerned. They looked a lot like redcaps from British folklore and were definitely the best part of the film.
If you’re looking for a mindless, silly, slapstick horror to pass the time during your Christmas holidays, I’m sure you could find worse. There’s Something in the Barn will be available in UK Cinemas & Digital Download from the 1st of December. The artwork and trailer are below.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.