Teen Horror Cast

E14 Part 1: Barbarian (2022)

February 06, 2024 The Teen Horror Cast Team Season 4 Episode 14
Teen Horror Cast
E14 Part 1: Barbarian (2022)
Show Notes Transcript

Part 1 of our 2 part review

HELLO and WELCOME to episode FOURTEEN of the Teen Horror Podcast, where we watch and discuss horror movies from a teen’s perspective. In this episode we cover the 2022 film Barbarian starring Georgina Campbell, Justin Long, and Bill Skarsgård. 

This movie features themes of sexual assault and rape, so if that’s not something you’re comfortable with, probably best to stop listening now, and we’ll see you in the next episode!

Sage:

Hello and welcome to episode 14 of the Teen Horror Podcast, where we watch and discuss horror movies from a teen's perspective. I'm your host Sage and today is a very special episode because we have our very first guest on the podcast.

Zach:

>> Hi everyone, my name is Zach. I'm Sage's boyfriend and a fellow film geek. My mom and stepdad run a film festival here in Washington, and my stepdad teaches film classes at the University of Washington in Cornish. I'm super into film and I want to go to film school one day.

Ethan:

>> Very cool. I am Sage's menacing father. Ethan, you remember me from every other podcast. I'm a little concerned about this new entrant on the podcast. I feel like maybe this is a little bit of a strategy to replace me. It feels like I'm being pushed out for, you know, advanced age. But, you know, every sunrise has a sunset. Like, that's how I like to think about it.

Sage:

Oh god, yeah. Okay, so this week we watched Barbarian and we were, Zach and I were talking about it after we watched it, um, so I thought it would be fun to- yeah, no, we also did, we totally

Ethan:

And we talked about it too.

Zach:

[ Laughter ]

Sage:

did, yeah. Mm-hmm, yeah, yeah. Yeah, it was fun. I loved it, yeah, because it was the first time I've

Ethan:

Yeah.

Zach:

>> Yeah, we watched it as a whole group with a lot of friends.

Ethan:

How many people can I ask?

Zach:

It was very fun. Great group movie.

Ethan:

How many people were in the group?

Zach:

>> It had to be like eight or so.

Ethan:

Oh, wow.

Zach:

>> Yeah, it was quite a few.

Ethan:

Not that group.

Zach:

It was a great group experience.

Ethan:

Yeah. Wait, were you guys in the theater?

Sage:

like screamed at a movie, which I think it's very, it's a very group activity. Screaming, laughing,

Zach:

Me too.

Sage:

crying, no, no, no, no. It was fun. Tiny little screen. Yeah, yeah, yeah, but yeah, it was great

Zach:

That's true. No, no, no. We were -- the TV was like 20 feet away too. It was like a bad viewing experience, but it was like --

Ethan:

Interesting.

Zach:

but it was still really enjoyable.

Ethan:

Yeah, well, welcome to the 80s back

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

when we only had small TVs.

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

Every TV was far away, even when you were close.

Zach:

We were like 20 feet away from the TV on like crammed on a little couch.

Ethan:

Yeah. Yeah.

Zach:

Well, it was a big couch, but there were eight people in it.

Sage:

though because I love watching movies with other people because I feel like your emotional responses

Ethan:

Yeah.

Sage:

are so heightened. Like in theaters you're laughing, you're, you know, you're gasping

Zach:

Definitely. Yeah. Yeah, I would -- I've never screamed during a movie,

Sage:

and everything. You don't really do that when you're alone. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it was.

Zach:

but I did scream during "Barbarian" when the first jumpcare happened. It was so well done. I love that first jumpcare.

Ethan:

Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Sage:

Yeah.

Ethan:

Yep. Yep.

Zach:

That's the best.

Ethan:

Great scene. I think that's really cool that you guys had that -- you have that sense of the difference between sort of just watching a movie on the couch. And you guys were watching a movie on the couch, but it was with a group.

Zach:

Yeah.

Sage:

Mm-hmm.

Ethan:

And it still sort of brought

Sage:

Yeah.

Ethan:

that cinema experience to you guys.

Zach:

It did, yeah. And then the second time we watched it, it was great. It was down here, and it was the great green and everything.

Sage:

Yeah, yeah.

Zach:

And I got to notice a lot more.

Ethan:

I actually do kind of worry about the fact that cinema

Sage:

Mm-hmm.

Ethan:

and film experience is changing quite a bit now.

Zach:

Me too. A lot.

Ethan:

We're just -- it seems like it's

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

in an inevitable decline towards the actual,

Zach:

Terrible.

Ethan:

like, in-theater experience.

Zach:

Exactly, yeah.

Sage:

Yeah.

Ethan:

And, I mean, it's, you know, gains and losses, right? Like, in a way, like, now film and cinema are much more accessible in some ways. But things drop off screaming all the time.

Zach:

Yeah.

Sage:

Mm-hmm.

Ethan:

And, you know, so it's -- it just -- you know, once we really --

Zach:

Definitely.

Ethan:

what happens if we do lose the cinema experience, it's just -- it's actually kind of exciting to me. And it makes me feel positive that you guys still have sort

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

of that group viewing experience,

Sage:

Yeah.

Ethan:

even if it's a small group, right?

Sage:

Let's jump into our backstory section where we talk about what we have been doing as people outside of the podcast. Zach and I have seen a lot of films together recently and we wanted to just kind of talk about them because we love film.

Zach:

Yeah, so we watched "Drive" and "Baby Driver" back to back, which was a great double feature.

Sage:

Mm-hmm. Yeah, right, because I hadn't seen Drive and you hadn't seen Baby Driver.

Zach:

It was really fun. And I didn't see "Baby Driver," so we were showing the other person a film that we really liked. It was really fun.

Sage:

Yeah.

Zach:

We watched "Drive" first and then "Baby Driver," which I think was the correct order to do it.

Sage:

Yeah, yeah, I love Drive. It was, it was so beautiful. Yeah.

Zach:

Yeah, I really liked "Baby Driver."

Ethan:

Yeah.

Zach:

Yeah, "Drive," I love "Drive." I've seen it like so many times.

Ethan:

And drive directed by Nicholas Windingraven.

Sage:

[laughs]

Zach:

That's what I reckon, yep.

Sage:

Mm-hmm.

Ethan:

>> Yeah. And Nicholas Windingraven also connects up with another film that we've all seen recently. Sage and I went to go see this in theater, which was a great experience.

Sage:

Mm-hmm.

Ethan:

It re-released, restored footage and -- or restored film, I guess.

Zach:

Yep.

Ethan:

And you later on, Zach, saw the same film.

Zach:

Yep.

Ethan:

I don't -- did you see it in theater?

Zach:

I did.

Ethan:

So the film was Old Boy.

Zach:

Yep.

Ethan:

And great interview at the end

Sage:

Mm-hmm.

Ethan:

with Nicholas Windingraven being a total fanboy.

Sage:

Yeah.

Ethan:

And great -- it's a disturbing and violent film.

Sage:

I loved it. It was amazing.

Ethan:

Yeah, yeah.

Zach:

Me, too.

Ethan:

>> Oh, no, no.

Zach:

Great.

Ethan:

No question.

Zach:

Incredible.

Ethan:

Classic, amazing film. But I also want to say, like, really some caution if you're a teen and you're not into --

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

you know, if violence and, you know, sexual topics and, yeah, all sorts of things like that are, you know, on the edge of what you're comfortable with. You know, just go in, eyes open, or maybe, like, hold off until later on. Because I don't know that I would call it a teen movie.

Sage:

Yeah.

Zach:

[ Laughs ]

Ethan:

Probably not.

Sage:

Yeah. Yeah.

Zach:

Definitely not.

Ethan:

All right. What else have you guys been seeing?

Zach:

We saw "Killers of the Flower Moon" together, and that was --

Sage:

Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah.

Ethan:

>> Oh, no spoilers, no spoilers.

Zach:

No spoilers. Okay, no spoilers.

Ethan:

Although I have -- actually, I have read the book, so.

Zach:

Okay, well, so it was --

Sage:

Yeah.

Ethan:

But of course, for the audience, we don't want to spoil in the backstory section of Lee's deck. Since you're new to this, and I probably need to stick

Sage:

[laughs]

Ethan:

around for the next many episodes, make sure you're really, you know, comfortable.

Sage:

Yeah. Yeah.

Ethan:

But, you know, we -- try not to spoil during backstory. We will spoil very much for -- 100% spoil.

Zach:

Yep."Barbarian," of course, yeah.

Sage:

Very much.

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

Yeah.

Zach:

Yeah, "Killers of the Flower Moon," three and a half hours.

Sage:

It was, it was a beautiful movie.

Zach:

I liked it.

Sage:

Okay.

Zach:

I didn't love it. It was really beautiful. It was really good. It just wasn't great for me personally.

Sage:

Right. I kind of really liked the, the page, the slow page. I know, I definitely, not all movies I like when they're slow, but I think for this one it worked, personally.

Ethan:

>> Yeah, it's interesting to me that movies with slow pacing are --

Zach:

Mm-hmm.

Ethan:

I don't feel like they're a thing of the past. But, boy, it's, you know, it's a clear choice.

Zach:

Yeah.

Sage:

Yeah.

Zach:

Yeah, I don't mind slow pacing either, and I liked it in the movie.

Ethan:

Yeah.

Zach:

It would have worked a lot better for me if I cared more about the characters.

Sage:

Okay.

Ethan:

>> Oh, interesting.

Zach:

I think -- Okay, I won't go into characters, but, yeah.

Sage:

Yeah. [laughs] Yeah.

Zach:

Anyways, moving on.

Sage:

We also, of course, watched Barbie twice,

Zach:

[ Laughs ] So, yeah.

Sage:

because I may just go see it in theaters twice.

Zach:

Yeah, yeah, and you made me dress up in both times, so.

Sage:

No, okay. It was fun. It was fun to go and be.

Zach:

Oh, it was so great. It was wonderful. I actually wasn't that --

Ethan:

>> It sounds fun.

Sage:

It's so fun!

Ethan:

I didn't get invited to go dress up.

Sage:

[laughs]

Zach:

Oh, yeah, no.

Ethan:

I would have dressed up.

Zach:

Yeah, you should have gone as Ken.

Sage:

Yeah. Yeah.

Zach:

It would have been great.

Ethan:

Yeah.

Zach:

I would say more entertaining than the movie itself was watching you cry nine times over the two --

Sage:

[laughs]

Ethan:

>> In the -- during the movie.

Zach:

over the course of the two movies.

Ethan:

Oh.

Zach:

Nine. Which has to be a record of some sort.

Sage:

Okay, so, it was like, it brought up a lot of emotions

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

>> Yeah, yeah.

Sage:

that I think you guys wouldn't understand.

Ethan:

Well, you know, this is actually, I think,

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

an important point, also for this movie, which --

Sage:

A barbarian, yeah.

Zach:

Mm-hmm.

Ethan:

yeah, which is your experience as a woman watching film

Sage:

[laughs]

Zach:

Definitely.

Ethan:

and watching those films, watching Barbie, watching Barbarian.

Zach:

"Barbie" -- "BarbieBarian"

Sage:

Can I?

Ethan:

>> Yeah. I know there was like a Barbieheimer, like,

Zach:

Yeah, yeah.

Sage:

Oh my god.

Ethan:

match up waiting to happen there with Barbarian

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

that didn't happen.

Sage:

Yeah.

Ethan:

But your experience is really different, I think, from us as men, right?

Sage:

Yeah.

Ethan:

And I think that's very central

Sage:

[laughs]

Ethan:

to our discussion of the movie today.

Zach:

Yeah.

Sage:

Yeah, especially this one, I think.

Ethan:

Yeah.

Sage:

So yeah, Barbie was great. Loved it. I love Margot Robbie.

Ethan:

>> Yeah, for sure.

Sage:

[laughs]

Ethan:

Oh, I do, too. I mean, Birds of Prey, the film where she plays Harlequin.

Sage:

Mm-hmm. Yeah, Harley Quinn.

Ethan:

Yeah. It really comes into our own in that movie. I really enjoyed it. That's one of my favorite superhero movies. I definitely liked it better than Suicide Squad.

Sage:

Suicide Squad.

Ethan:

Way, way, way better.

Zach:

Of course, yeah.

Sage:

Yeah.

Ethan:

No, I mean, you know, Suicide Squad -- what was it, Suicide Squad Part II, I guess?

Sage:

Something like that, I think.

Zach:

That was the James Gunn one.

Ethan:

Yeah, the second -- the sort of -- yes, the James Gunn one,

Zach:

Yeah. Yep.

Ethan:

the reboot one, which was amazing, for sure, and funny.

Zach:

It was a pretty good idea.

Ethan:

But no, Birds of Prey, I would take it over -- I would take Birds of Prey any day of the week.

Zach:

I think -- wow.

Sage:

[laughs]

Ethan:

Love it. And I think that it's also a film made for women.

Sage:

Yeah, I've seen many comparisons of the Harley Quinn

Ethan:

For women.

Zach:

Yeah. Yeah.

Ethan:

Yep.

Sage:

Suicide Squad versus Birth of Prey and how, you know, the costume choices are different and how the way that is shot is different.

Ethan:

>> Sure.

Sage:

Yeah, and we also, just yesterday,

Ethan:

>> Yeah. Yeah.

Sage:

we saw the Holdovers. Oh, it's amazing.

Ethan:

>> I have nothing.>> Yeah. Well, Paul J. Motti, you can --

Zach:

It is really good.

Sage:

It's amazing. Yeah, yeah.

Ethan:

that's all you have to tell me. I'm there.

Zach:

It was great.

Sage:

It was, it was... Yeah. And I did cry. What about it?

Ethan:

>> Oh. Yeah.

Sage:

[laughs]

Ethan:

Yeah. Well, I will say that you come from a long, you know,

Zach:

Not as many times as you cried watching "Barbie."

Sage:

Barbie!

Ethan:

like a history of criers in your family.

Sage:

[laughs]

Ethan:

Your mom can be watching almost any show,

Sage:

And she just, yeah.

Ethan:

and I will turn over -- I could be an advertisement that's somewhat poignant,

Sage:

[laughs]

Zach:

I kind of wish I could.

Ethan:

and she will be tearing up. So, listen, I'm a crier.

Sage:

How did that do?[laughs]

Ethan:

I'm a crier. I will cry at movies all the time.

Zach:

I don't. I'm very much not a crier during a movie.

Ethan:

>> Yeah.

Zach:

I cannot remember the last time I cried.

Sage:

Crazy to me.

Zach:

It might have been "Inside Out" when I was seven.

Ethan:

>> Wow. What's with this?

Sage:

Crazy.

Zach:

Maybe that was the last time or something.

Sage:

[laughs]

Ethan:

What's with this? Well, this is really making me feel comfortable, Zach, that, you know, you're dating my daughter, and that you're emotionally incapable.

Sage:

Emotionless.

Ethan:

It's stunted somehow.

Zach:

No, it's not the emotional thing.

Sage:

[laughs]

Ethan:

Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

Zach:

It's just the crying thing.

Sage:

No, he talks about this a lot.

Ethan:

Yeah. Dig yourself out of this hole now, buddy.

Sage:

[laughs]

Zach:

Yeah, yeah.

Ethan:

Okay.

Zach:

I have emotions.

Ethan:

[ Laughter ]

Zach:

I swear I'm not a sociopath.

Sage:

Yeah.

Ethan:

>> Not a robot.

Zach:

But I swear, okay?

Ethan:

Okay. All right.

Sage:

[laughs]

Zach:

Um.

Ethan:

I can simulate human emotion just fine.

Zach:

I swear.

Sage:

Yeah.

Zach:

No, but, um.

Sage:

But yeah, so those have all been very fun, and we...

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

>> That's cool. Wow. That's quite a roster, actually.

Sage:

Yeah? We recommend all of them.

Ethan:

Yeah. Also, because it's been a while since our last episode,

Sage:

Yeah?

Ethan:

I guess.

Sage:

Um, a quick warning before we dive into our discussion. This movie does feature themes of sexual assault and rape, so if that's not something you're comfortable with, probably best to stop listening now, and we'll see you in the next episode. On to the summary. 2022's Barbarian, written and directed by Zach Kringer, opens with our protagonist, Tess, played by Jordina Campbell, driving through the darkened streets of the Brightmoor neighborhood in Detroit. A lone pool of light illuminates the inky sea she finds herself in, the porch lamp of her rental house this evening. By the time she lugs her suitcase up to the front door, she's already soaked from the heavy rain, and things go from bad to worse when she finds the key missing in the lockbox. Back in the house, after fleeing a homeless man that runs towards her, she becomes trapped in the basement when the door locks behind her. As she looks around for a way out, she finds a hidden passage to a terrifying room with an ominously stained mattress and video camera. Upon his return to the house, Tess manages to get Keith's attention from a basement window, and he unlocks the basement door, freeing her. While investigating the room himself, he disappears, and Tess, overcoming her panic, descends further into a labyrinth of underground tunnels to rescue him.

Zach:

Yeah.

Sage:

Yeah, it is. Okay. So, the first thing I want to say is that I have watched this movie three times,

Zach:

Yeah.

Sage:

and every single time I cried at the end, and every single time I cried a little harder. I don't know why. It just reaches something so deep inside of me. I have so much empathy for the mother at the end of the movie, because she's just obviously so caring towards Tess. She cares so much. It's like that's her only purpose. And then Tess views her.

Ethan:

Right? I was so surprised when we watched the movie because the order of events was you saw the movie, you and Zach, right? You two saw the movie with the big group. Then you and I saw the movie here at home and then you guys.

Sage:

In the big group. No, so I think, no, I watched it with him, and then I watched it with you.

Ethan:

Okay. I was just so surprised when I turned to you and you were crying. Not because you're crying movies. My experience with the film was a little different up until that point. Oh, whoa, hold on. You are really sad that the mother -- I'm there, I'm like, Tess, you know, God, you did it. Go girl, get out of there. You survived the night. You're the final girl, last woman standing.

Sage:

Yeah.

Ethan:

You know, this kind of feeling of relief and sort of a typical horror film ending. Right? And I realized at that moment, hold on, Sage reads this movie totally differently. I missed something big. And just seeing you cry in that moment made me realize, I was like, you know, this is sort of the point of the film. The point of the film being that women have this really unique experience in society that is different from men and that it's very easy for men. At least that's -- this is one of the messages of the film for me. And it all came down to that moment where I turned and you were crying. I was like -- it's like one of those magic eye pictures where you kind of cross your eyes and suddenly all of a sudden it's a 3D. I had this experience where I watched a fun horror film and then I realized I just watched a social commentary film. And I tend to think I'm pretty tuned into this kind of thing, but the depth -- and I read a lot of the, I guess I would say the subtext of the film as we were watching it, but that experience that you genuinely just viscerally had, it really surprised me. I don't know. Zach, how about you? What was your --

Sage:

Yeah, I think, I don't know, a few people were sad, but I don't know if anybody else was crying. I think part of it is that I'm just like, I'm a big crier.

Ethan:

Yes. Right. But Sage saw that she was a complete victim in a way, right? Like, okay, so you lay out there's a scary person at the -- there's a scary monster in this movie, right? Which is the mother. Until you realize it's not the mother, it's Frank. And the mother is the victim. She is the perpetrator. She is the perpetrator. Okay. Say that. Yeah. Okay. Kind of. You know? Kind of. So, okay. If I had to make a proposal for why we should have empathy for her, but also address Zach's valid critique of, okay, she's terrifying, monstrous, deformed, and damages things, right? She's a product of her environment, right? And her environment is the labyrinth below the house, right? So that's -- first of all, she's genetically damaged, deformed, monstrous. And she's also been fed only one thing, which is your only identity is you've been distilled down to your mother, right? You have no other identity. And that's -- it's also -- not only are you the mother, but you are like the most distorted, deformed, and damaging violent version of that. Because you're the mother as sort of seen through this horrific environment. That's my take on that. Like, there's a lot of objectification of women in this film. Like, the -- and what I mean by objectification is the distilling of a whole human being down to, you know, two-dimensional, like an object, right? Like, they're no longer a person. They're just not. She's the terrifying monster, the mother, right? Test gets objectified by the cops. She's just a homeless person, right? She's just, you know, just an addict or something, or whatever, probably criminal herself. You can tell, they just immediately classify her. They're like, "Yeah, that's who she is."[ Pause ] Right?[ Pause ] Yeah.[ Pause ] The only other example of objectification I wanted to bring up was Frank and his videotapes, which are just -- I think that's one of the creepiest scenes I've seen in a movie, is that slow pan across all the titles as AJ is reading all the titles of the videotapes. Because for a while, they have names, and then the names sort of, like, stop, and it's just like, "The Hitchhiker," "The One with No Teeth," "The One with the Irish Accent." And you can tell they're becoming less and less people. They're super, you know, objectified into humans, right? Anyhow, so I just wanted to make that note. I feel like there is definitely a theme of how women get objectified in this film. But let's talk about Keith.[ Pause ]

Sage:

We need to talk about Keith. Okay. Well, I think your perception of him changes a lot from the first to second viewing. Right? Like, Zach, I know that you had a, like we were talking about that a lot. Yeah.

Ethan:

Interesting.

Sage:

Um, because you know, the first viewing you're like, "Oh my god, this guy's gonna kill her."

Ethan:

[ Pause ]

Zach:

I wouldn't even say second viewing he came off as creepy to me.

Sage:

Right? And then second viewing you're like, "He's creepy, but he's trying his best to be nice." Which like, it's not making him less creepy, but he doesn't seem to have like malicious intent. And by malicious intent, I mean literally killing her.

Zach:

He just seemed like not able to read them socially.

Ethan:

[ Pause ]

Zach:

He was like very over explaining himself and like going some places that he may be. But I wouldn't say he was necessarily like creepy. It was more like just unaware.

Sage:

Yeah, I think in Tess's eyes, like I definitely would be cautious if I was

Zach:

Definitely. Yeah.

Sage:

Tess. Like, she's in this Airbnb with like a guy that she doesn't know. I would be like,

Zach:

100%.

Ethan:

[ Pause ]

Zach:

Yeah.

Sage:

"Oh, this guy is, like what is he doing? Like, I'm freaked out." And I think

Zach:

100%. Yeah. 100%.

Sage:

they show that little bit where she like goes and finds his wallet. She's like,

Zach:

Yeah. Yeah.

Sage:

"I'm gonna go to the bathroom." And then she like finds his wallet and takes a picture of his ID. Which I think is good. Like, that's

Ethan:

Yeah, no kidding.

Sage:

the smart thing to do. Um, so yeah, I think she's right to be

Ethan:

[ Pause ]

Sage:

suspicious. And I think he definitely is, um, like very much unaware and like not thinking about how she might like see everything that he's doing. Because he's like offering her wine and you know, like all this stuff. And he's like, you know, it's nice, but it's also like if I, if a man that I had just met and I'm like staying with offered me wine, I would be like, "Whoa." Like, "Hold on."

Ethan:

Oh, yeah, for sure. No, I mean, there's a reason that you can read all those things right away as this guy's a killer.

Zach:

Mm-hmm.

Sage:

[no audio]

Zach:

Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Ethan:

Like, you know, there's a reason, like, everything he does is plausibly based on sincere -- no, no, Sage has a look on her face right now for the audience at home.

Zach:

Yeah.

Sage:

Sorry, I just remembered that. Yeah, so

Ethan:

A look of realization.

Sage:

I just wanted to say Zach Creger, the director, I was watching an interview

Ethan:

[ Pause ]

Sage:

with him and he said that he started writing like the first kind of section of the movie with Keith and Tess because he'd read this book and there was a section of the book about red flags in men that women commonly ignore. And he wanted to write a scene with every single one of them. And he did. And like you can tell, like I think that's

Ethan:

Nice.

Sage:

so funny because it's like, I was like, "Okay, this is kind of creepy." And then you realize like, "Oh, he's supposed to be like, he's supposed to be

Ethan:

[ Pause ]

Sage:

like kind of like this compilation of red flags from this book that

Ethan:

Right.

Sage:

the director read." And I think it's really interesting to see it because

Ethan:

[ Pause ]

Sage:

those red flags, even if there isn't like a malicious undercurrent, they still read the same to a cautious woman. Like

Ethan:

Yeah. Yeah, for sure. What -- let's try to name some of them.

Sage:

[no audio] Insisting that she comes inside. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's like, yeah.

Ethan:

First of all, he's a guy in a house that he's supposed to be in. Big red flag.

Sage:

He like insists that she comes inside. He touches her

Ethan:

[ Pause ]

Sage:

stuff and like without, you know, yeah

Ethan:

Yeah.[ Pause ]

Sage:

like her suitcase, I think maybe her coat. Yeah, he offers her wine. He insists tea and then, and he says

Ethan:

First he offers her tea.[ Pause ]

Sage:

no and then he makes it. Yeah. And then

Ethan:

Right. And that's it there. He's not listening -- by the way, not listening. Just in general, yep.

Sage:

yeah, yeah, he doesn't really listen to her. He

Ethan:

[ Pause ]

Sage:

insists that he take his bed while he sleeps on the couch. Because he's like,"I won't have any woman sleeping on the couch." And then, yeah

Ethan:

Yeah, not the way I was raised. Yeah.

Sage:

right, yeah. And then he, yeah, yeah.

Ethan:

Calls her young lady at one point.[ Pause ]

Sage:

Which I think is funny. I think, I don't know, it's just a funny way to dress. So she went there like,"They made it!" Yeah, like, "Ooh, okay." Yeah.

Ethan:

I mean, it's just, you know, kissing cousins with the parades and the lady, right?

Sage:

[no audio] Yeah, my lady.

Ethan:

I mean, it's done. You just look around for his fedora.

Sage:

Yeah, and then the other thing that, I don't know

Ethan:

[ Pause ]

Sage:

if this is so much of like it would be a red flag in real life, but he knows immediately what she's talking about when she talks about her job interview.

Ethan:

Oh, for sure.

Sage:

Yeah, exactly, exactly. Exactly, yeah. That's what you think. You're like, "Oh, he's

Ethan:

Yes. Yes. Yeah.[ Pause ]

Sage:

been watching her. He knows that she's gonna come here and so he like, prepared."

Ethan:

Yeah, it's funny. It's actually the thing that convinces her to kind of let down her guard finally is the thing that causes us -- our guard is way up. Yeah.

Sage:

[no audio]

Zach:

Mm-hmm.

Sage:

Exactly. But for us, yeah, we're like, "Ooh, yeah, like,

Zach:

But it's the thing that's like confirmed. Yeah.

Sage:

this is creepy and weird." Because she's like, "Nobody's ever seen that movie." And he was like, "I love that movie!" But I

Ethan:

[ Pause ]

Zach:

[Laughter]

Sage:

guess like upon watching it, you're like, "I guess he really just loved that movie." Like,

Zach:

[Inaudible] Yeah.

Ethan:

Yeah, he legitimately actually is part of this artist collective, etc., etc.

Zach:

He's that guy.

Sage:

yeah.

Ethan:

Yeah, I mean, I have a lot of thoughts on this. I don't want to give you a chance to jump in.

Zach:

Yeah.

Sage:

[no audio]

Zach:

Mm.

Ethan:

You have 15 seconds.

Zach:

[Laughter]

Sage:

[laughter]

Zach:

About what? About Keith?

Ethan:

Yeah, no, what do you think about it? Yeah.

Zach:

I love, love, love the setup for the movie.

Sage:

[no audio]

Ethan:

[ Pause ]

Zach:

I think it's the best part. I think the first half of the movie is great. I love the first half. I think Keith and Tess and their whole dynamic was the most interesting part to me.

Ethan:

[ Pause ]

Zach:

And sort of like there's building more trust even though there's even more red flags surfacing. It had me on the edge of my seat. I thought I knew where I was going. And then it throws you off. And I think it goes downhill towards the second half. I can elaborate on that later. But it didn't feel planned. It didn't feel intentional to me. It didn't feel -- and just the transition mostly.

Ethan:

Which part?

Zach:

And this was actually something you mentioned or that I saw.

Ethan:

[ Pause ]

Zach:

He wrote the first half of the film and didn't know what the second half was.

Sage:

Mm-hmm. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Zach:

And then he wrote the second half of the film. Which is cool because there's absolutely no way to know what's coming.

Ethan:

Oh, interesting.

Sage:

Right, because...

Ethan:

[ Pause ]

Zach:

Nobody would predict what happened in the second half of that movie.

Sage:

[no audio]

Zach:

But also it means that it doesn't really connect. It doesn't -- so like for me a lot of the things from the first half and the emotions from it didn't translate to the second. And it just became like a different movie almost.

Ethan:

Oh, interesting. Yeah. Sure. Yeah.

Zach:

[no audio]

Sage:

Right, it definitely, yeah, it's a very sharp cut and it's because

Ethan:

[ Pause ]

Sage:

like, the director and writer, he originally started writing that whole like, thing with Keith and Tess as like, just like a little exercise for himself. And then he was like, "I should make this new movie."

Zach:

Yeah.[no audio]

Sage:

And so then, originally, he was going to have Keith be like, the villain. And so he got Keith down there into the tunnel, then he got Tess down there and he was like, "Okay, this is too predictable."

Zach:

Yep.[no audio]

Sage:

So he threw in the mother, and then he threw in the second half of the movie.

Ethan:

Yeah.

Sage:

I think even for him writing it, it wasn't super planned the second half from the beginning.

Ethan:

[ Pause ]

Zach:

Yeah.

Sage:

[no audio]

Zach:

Which I think is cool but also raises a lot of problems for continuity and just like what I mentioned before.

Ethan:

Interesting. There is an emotional continuity issue, I think, for sure. I think you either get over it.

Zach:

[no audio]

Ethan:

Like, you can either cross that gap as a viewer or not, and I think that probably depends on -- your emotional connection to the film is very different upon watching.

Zach:

Yeah.[no audio]

Ethan:

I mean, my emotional connection to the film changed after seeing you cry, for sure. Like, I was like, "Whoa, wait, I missed a part." You know what I mean?

Zach:

Mm-hmm.

Ethan:

So I wonder whether or not that provides a different continuity for you across those different parts or not.

Zach:

[no audio]

Ethan:

[ Pause ] Yeah.[ Pause ] So I want to just -- before we depart the first part of the movie, I think there's still a lot there we can talk about.

Zach:

Yeah.[no audio]

Ethan:

But I would like to mention, one of the things I really like about this film is that it didn't have cell phones that failed.

Zach:

[laughter]

Ethan:

I mean, I think they forgot their phones once or twice on the table. Yeah.

Zach:

[no audio]

Ethan:

But leaving your phone on a table, totally legitimate. It happens all the time, right? Like, "Where did I put my phone? Oh, it's on the table," right?

Zach:

Yeah.[no audio]

Ethan:

So that was -- and they're actually using their phone to cross-check stuff and get information. Yeah. Yeah, like, they had their phones, used them well, and it didn't detract from the scariness of the film.

Zach:

Mm-hmm.[no audio]

Ethan:

Because, you know, for so long, horror films really did not have a good answer for, "How do we deal with you're always connected?"

Zach:

Yeah. Yeah. That's true.

Ethan:

And it didn't matter in this case that they were always connected because they were trapped or deep underground, which I guess is a way of isolating them.

Zach:

[no audio]

Ethan:

But they still had their devices and they were still useful. They were able to do things with them and be successful.

Zach:

Yep. Yeah. I would like to talk more about the scene where Tess first goes into the tunnels and was like lighting it with the mirror and the room. The room with the bed was like a really scary scene to me and then kind of Keith going down there and then her following down.

Ethan:

Yeah.

Zach:

Because that sequence is probably my favorite part of the movie.

Ethan:

Yeah.

Zach:

Because seeing that room is just so ominous. It's so -- your mind like rushes with thoughts but none of them -- it's like, well, none of it makes sense. It's just like, yeah, it's so weird.

Ethan:

There's no good answer.

Zach:

There's no good answer.

Ethan:

Yeah. It's got to be something terrible.

Zach:

And it's -- yeah, and so the way the camera pans into the room, I'm like expecting somebody to be there or something. I know. And it's just like because the tension just stays there.

Ethan:

Yeah.

Zach:

And then it gets worse when Keith goes down there, yells back, and then doesn't yell back. And then also, why would he go down? And he's like, oh, here's a creepy room. Oh, it keeps going. I should walk down it.[

Ethan:

Okay, well, let's talk about that for a second. No, this is your show. Yes. Yeah.

Zach:

Audio is muted ]

Ethan:

Yeah, that's 100% my love of Alien is the fact that everybody in that movie tries to -- they make one mistake, which is not listening to the woman with the cat. And other than that -- wait, have you seen Alien? Okay. They perform their jobs competently. And, yeah, making smart moves in a horror film and still having a piece of care is the best.

Zach:

That didn't pull me out of it the first time. But upon rewatch, I was like, huh? Because I know -- you know where it's going.

Ethan:

So I have a thought about that specifically, but I'm sorry, you want to finish your thought about smart people?

Zach:

And it's like, why would you do that? Yeah.[ Audio is muted ]

Ethan:

Okay. Thank you. Boss, please invite me back.

Zach:

Um.[ Audio is muted ][ Laughter ]

Ethan:

So my thought about that is there is actually a reason that he goes down.

Zach:

[ Audio is muted ]

Ethan:

Because it's that -- okay, if you look at -- now we're sort of getting into subtext or meta text of what does that mean in the film? What is this place in the film? And I think it's the subterranean labyrinth as the endgame of the worst type of male-dominated culture, right? Which is women are only there to birth babies in this horrific place, which is like a really topical theme, by the way, for our world today.

Zach:

Um.

Ethan:

That, you know, women's rights are under threat as much as they have been in the past 30, 40 years. Rights are getting rolled back all the time. And here you have this world, this environment, where women exist only to their children. They are reduced to single identity, which is that of being a mother.

Zach:

Yep.

Ethan:

And that fundamentally deforms them and takes away their humanity, right?

Zach:

Yeah, totally. That's a great point.

Ethan:

And men in that environment, though, they're right at home, literally.

Zach:

[ Audio is muted ]

Ethan:

Frank has his home there, right? AJ, this is his home, right? He's also a bad guy. Yes, they're both homeowners. Yes, AJ and Frank, they both own this home. And I think that's important because they are what I call a type two guy. We'll talk about my categorization of all men later on.

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

But AJ, very comfortable. He walks in and he's like 100% at home. You can tell he walks right past the malevolent room with the video camera.

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

He doesn't care.

Zach:

Yeah.[ Audio is muted ]

Ethan:

This is, we're going to get to this in a moment. But going back to then, Keith, I think Keith also doesn't feel the malevolent as much. He, I mean, he does once he's down there, obviously.

Zach:

Yeah. Yeah.

Ethan:

And he's not, he's what I call a type one guy.

Zach:

[ Audio is muted ]

Ethan:

But it will come back. So maybe I should mention my type one, type two categories at this point. So I think there are three types of guys in the world. There's maybe four if we count Frank as sort of like the worst malevolent type. But type one guy is the guy who is a little bit like, he's Keith, basically. He is inadvertently insensitive to women's experience in the world. He just doesn't think about how women experience life in the world. He doesn't mean to be bad. He doesn't mean to make women uncomfortable. He doesn't mean to be a walking set of red flags.

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

But that's type one guy.

Zach:

[ Audio is muted ]

Ethan:

Type two guy is another category, fundamentally different species. He also makes women feel uncomfortable. Also doesn't care about women's feelings. But doesn't care, may even be aware of that to an extent. And just doesn't care.

Zach:

Yep.

Ethan:

It's all about him, selfish, maybe sociopathic in an extreme case, like Frank.

Zach:

[ Audio is muted ]

Ethan:

And then type three guys, Zach, that's you and me. I hope. But type three guys are working on it.

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

They're reformed type one guys. All guys are born in type one. Because you just don't know what it's like to be a woman in this world.

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

Over time, you realize like, oh wait, women have it different. And like, I think that the transformation from type one guy to type three guy, hopefully is faster today for the most part.

Zach:

[ Audio is muted ]

Ethan:

Just because there's more education, women are more vocal, maybe have more of a voice. There's more content and information. There's films. Like there's media that really tries to communicate what it's like to be a woman. And a woman's experience. More than when I was a kid growing up. So yeah, type one, type two, type three. So Frank and AJ, they are solid type twos. One is a full on sociopath. And the other is like, getting there. Or, yeah, or constantly trying to rationalize it.

Zach:

It's there, but it's in denial about it. Yeah. Yeah.

Ethan:

He thinks he wants to be a good guy.

Zach:

[ Audio is muted ]

Ethan:

Yeah, go ahead. Sorry, I don't want to talk over you.[BLANK_AUDIO]

Zach:

Yeah. I have a lot of thoughts about that part.[ Audio is muted ] Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly, yeah. I'll save my thoughts on the part. I think I get what you're saying, and I think it is -- I think it's a great scene to let us know about AJ, but I don't really like it as a scene. I don't think it could have been in there. I think the movie would work better without it because it confirms everything we know -- we think we know about AJ before we get to the ending, which I think we would know that he raped this girl when he pushed his test off the top of the building. We would just know that. Like, "Oh, yeah, this guy's a terrible person. He raped that girl." But the bar scene confirms it, like, very early. And so from the very beginning, it definitely seems to have done this, but it's still kind of like your thoughts can still go somewhere. But the bar scene is like, "I don't know. He's totally too far gone." Yeah. Yeah. And exactly. He has no art. He's terrible.

Ethan:

[BLANK_AUDIO]

Zach:

He starts terrible, in the middle he's terrible, and he's terrible.

Ethan:

Yeah, I think that you're right. It does totally remove the ambiguity.

Zach:

He's terrible. And I think...

Ethan:

It's very, I would say the phrase, on the nose, right?

Zach:

Yeah. Yeah.

Ethan:

It's just too on the nose.

Zach:

His actor is really good.

Ethan:

[BLANK_AUDIO]

Zach:

He saved the character.

Ethan:

Justin Long? Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Zach:

Yeah. His actor saved the character a lot for me.

Ethan:

[BLANK_AUDIO]

Zach:

I think it would be a lot more hard on AJ if it had been played by someone worse because even with this black character, he's able to, like, make us, like, go along with him. Yeah. Which would be terrible.[laughs][laughs] There were a lot of Zachs involved in the making of this production.

Ethan:

I like that dramatization, that recreation of the phone call. I'm not doing that. Yeah, no kidding, huh?[BLANK_AUDIO]

Zach:

[inaudible] Yep, Zach. Yep.

Ethan:

Wow. And now we got Zach here.

Zach:

And then Zach Creger. I'm Zach.

Ethan:

This is it. Zach's having their moment.

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

[BLANK_AUDIO]

Zach:

Yeah, this is the moment for me.

Ethan:

[LAUGHTER]

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

All right. Wow. So that was a lot of, we got a lot of Keith time there.

Zach:

Let's go. Yeah.

Ethan:

So that's my premise of why Keith goes down, though, is that men feel comfortable in the space. They don't feel this is a dangerous space for them.

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

They feel like this is, for some reason, this is, they rationalize that it's like, oh, yeah, this is reasonable place.

Zach:

Yeah. I get that metaphorically,

Ethan:

Yeah. Oh, no. So that's, but that I think you're right that there is like realistically, you're like, what is he doing?

Zach:

but also if I see a creepy-ass tunnel, I'm running. Like, I'm not going in there.[inaudible] No.

Ethan:

But, okay, the one other factor there, which is interesting.

Zach:

Yeah, that would make me go down, like, never go down there.

Ethan:

So he walks down there, you can kind of imagine like maybe here's the noise down there, or, oh, no kidding. I know. I know. Yeah. I really loved that revelation of like, first of all, her finding the tunnel is great.

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

And then that second tunnel, because you just think like, this is so bad.

Zach:

Perfect. Yeah, yep.

Ethan:

And then you think this is so much worse.

Zach:

And then the part where Keith comes out

Ethan:

[BLANK_AUDIO]

Zach:

and he's telling her to go deeper into the tunnel because something back there bit him, that was the scariest--

Ethan:

Yeah.[BLANK_AUDIO]

Zach:

This was the best moment for me because at that point, it's like confirmed, like, "Oh, Keith is getting her trapped even farther in here. He's gonna hurt her." And then out of nowhere, like, this lady pops out and is like, "What the heck?"

Ethan:

Yeah. Oh, actually, he was right. Yeah.

Zach:

And that's the point when I screamed

Ethan:

[BLANK_AUDIO]

Zach:

because it was just-- You could never see that coming, ever.

Ethan:

Yeah.[BLANK_AUDIO]

Zach:

So that was the best part of the movie. I loved that scene. It was great. One of the scariest scenes, just period, for, like, in any movie for me. It was terrifying.

Ethan:

Yeah.[BLANK_AUDIO]

Zach:

Mm-hmm.

Ethan:

Yeah.

Zach:

Love that scene, too. Yeah. Yeah, this man cave. Yep, and she backs away. That was great. Look at this. Yeah.

Ethan:

Which again, by the way, AJ is like completely not clued in. He's like, oh, great. He left. I'm going in.

Zach:

Yeah, I like that.

Ethan:

[BLANK_AUDIO]

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

Right. Just as an aside, I want to mention that there's a long history of films like this,

Zach:

Mm-hmm.

Ethan:

which are sort of like the people that live in the house, under the house, under the stairs, in the attic, whatever.

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

There's always like, there's a whole genre.

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

There's some other great films.

Zach:

Hmm.

Ethan:

There's actually a Spanish film, which I would recommend, which I'm pretty sure was probably remade. I think it was remade as an American film. But the Spanish film was called REC. R-E-C. Rec. Or did you and I watch that?[BLANK_AUDIO]

Zach:

[laughs]

Ethan:

Wow.[BLANK_AUDIO]

Zach:

Oh, my God.

Ethan:

Wait. Did I really say that?

Zach:

That's wonderful.

Ethan:

[BLANK_AUDIO]

Zach:

[laughs][gasps]

Ethan:

Somebody's dialing. One of our listeners is dialing Child Protective Services right now.

Zach:

[laughs]

Ethan:

[BLANK_AUDIO]

Zach:

That's great. That's wonderful.

Ethan:

Wow. That makes me sound like a manipulative and terrible person.

Zach:

No, I love that. That's great.

Ethan:

[BLANK_AUDIO]

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

Yeah. I can kind of see myself doing that too.

Zach:

Yeah.

Ethan:

Like, yeah.

Zach:

Yeah, that's great.

Ethan:

Because I wanted to, I think I wanted you to have that experience of like, because it looks like just a documentary at first, right?

Zach:

[laughs] Mm.

Ethan:

Because she is like, I'm here. I'm on scene. There's a fire or something, you know, there's something happening.[BLANK_AUDIO] Oh my gosh. I can't believe I did that.

Zach:

Oh, God.

Ethan:

That had me pretty early in our career of a teen horror cast, right?

Zach:

[laughs]

Ethan:

Might have been before. I don't think it was before. Was it? Wow. Oh man. Wow.

Zach:

Oh, wow. Yeah, now that you know that it's not a dog.

Ethan:

Oh, I don't know how I, I don't know. I think I would do that now. I'm going to be honest.

Zach:

I love Bill Skarsgard. He was great.

Ethan:

But, yeah. Okay. So now that my character has been assassinated, should we talk any more about Keith? Anything else we want to talk about him? I mean, great. Yeah. Bill Skarsgard, man. God, he is so good in this role.

Zach:

He was great. Loved him.

Ethan:

Yeah. Pitch perfect.

Zach:

Yeah, all the acting in this movie was really, really great.

Ethan:

[BLANK_AUDIO]

Zach:

It was, yeah. Yeah.

Ethan:

So it turns out that adding in an extra opinion actually does lengthen the podcast. We are just past the halfway mark for our two part episode on barbarian. So we'll wrap it up here for this episode. And when you're ready, you can dive into part two, which has posted along with this segment. We'll catch you there.[BLANK_AUDIO]