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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sometimes nothing sounds better than a nice vacation to a cabin in the woods. But always remember to make a plan. I plan in case something terrible happens. A plan in case you get DUN DUN DUN .A FEVER!
In Fido director Andrew Currie and WWE Studios' Barricade, Terrence Shade (Eric McCormack) has decided to get out of the city and take his two kids to a remote cabin. This cabin is in fact not even a cabin. It is a huge house in the middle of the woods. Yet, every single person in the films calls it a cabin.
A year before this lovely family vacation began Terrence and young Cynthia (Conner Dwelly) and Jake (Ryan Grantham) lost their wife/mother. All she wanted was to have a white Christmas at the "cabin". But, Terrence kept making excuses to get out of it. A workaholic, Terrence is pretty much one of the most annoying characters I have ever seen. At one point he tells his wife that being a mother is her strong suit while "mine is paying the bills," implying that he really wants nothing to do with his two children.
It doesn't take long for trouble to arrive after the family reaches the cabin. Strange and unexplainable occurrences have all three on edge. Terrence glimpses a spooky girl outside a kitchen window, which was the ONLY time I jumped during the film. Cynthia says something is in the attic. Jake spots something in the trees that surround the cabin. We catch brief glimpses of someone/something but it's hard to make out exactly who/what it is. Things quickly go from bad to worse. A sudden blizzard traps them in the house. Everyone comes down with a nasty fever. And all three are convinced that something is after them. So they try to barricade themselves in the house. Cynthia (somewhat inexplicably) wonders if maybe that's exactly what it wants.
Barricade is a frustratingly run-of-the-mill horror movie. It's certainly not the worst thing I have ever seen. The performances are solid enough. The isolated setting, while familiar, is effective and the cabin sufficiently creepy. At 75 minutes sans credits, it sure doesn't overstay its welcome. And despite an over-reliance on boo scares (people popping out of nowhere, things leaping from off the screen), it could have been much cheesier.
It just doesn't add up to much or do anything particularly interesting. Frequent flashbacks to happier days are filler. The matter of whether or not the freakiness is all in Terrence's head is telegraphed early on and there are no surprises. No real suspense is ever generated. The end result feels completely inconsequential. You watch it, and you're not bored, but you're not fully engaged either. When it was all said and done, all I felt was confusion. My exact words were "what the hell happened?"
Barricade is not something that I would suggest you run out and purchase. But, if you happen to find a copy of it lying on the street, and then you get really bored, and then you get all of your laundry done and eat dinner and can't quite fall asleep, watch Barricade.