20 January 2013 | mdnobles19
The Barrens took a promising premise and did nothing remotely interesting with it. The film had some suspense, grisly but off screen deaths and a likable cast. The result though came up very generic, slow moving, underdeveloped and dull. There were absolutely no scares, terror or entertainment value to this picture, making it one of the weakest horror films of 2012.
The film stars Stephen Moyer from the True Blood series and Mia Kirshner from The Black Dahlia. They play Richard and Cynthia Vineyard who go on a camping trip with their kids, but soon their trip takes a sinister turn when mysterious vanishings and death follows them. Richard is convinced that it is The Jersey Devil that has been after him since he was a little boy and paranoia soon takes over when no one believes him. I thought the performances were lackluster and has a botch script that brought the flawed film down even further. The characters were underdeveloped and didn't make me give a damn about their story and what happens to them. It's a shame because they are likable actors in an unlikable film.
Director, Darren Lynn Bousman is becoming a hit and miss filmmaker, although it's not as bad as 11-11-11, The Barrens is by far his weakest effort. I did not like his filming style in this movie; it came off as uninspired and amateurish compared to his many superior efforts such as Mother's Day, Saw III, and Repo! The Genetic Opera. He is capable of so much more than this flat, made for SyFy channel movie. The writing and filming was just lazy to me. Hopefully it's a hit next time because he definitely has it in him.
Overall, the poster is more interesting to look at than watching the actual film. The premise and leads alone may keep you intrigued for the most part and has a twist or two towards the end, but The Barrens is as tedious as they come. Disappointing addition to the horror genre.