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Darren Lynn Bousman's output gets worse and worse.
Kolobos5118 December 2012
Darren Lynn Bousman directed some of the more watchable Saw sequels and the cult, horror sci-fi rock opera Repo! The Genetic Opera. Since then, his movies just get worse and worse. After his barely okay Mother's Day, I didn't have high hopes for this movie but it still managed to disappoint me.

True Blood actor Stephen Moyer stars as an upper middle class family man that drags his wife, teenage daughter, and pre-adolescent son out camping to the same place he used to go with his father. Once they arrive at a heavily populated camp site, he immediately begins acting crazier and crazier but this doesn't seem to concern his family, who agree to follow him even deeper into the woods. Along the way, he is haunted by visions of local legend the Jersey Devil, a man eating demon spawn that supposedly stalks the woods.

Not much of The Barrens makes sense and Stephen Moyer's performance is just terrible. He plays the whole film in the same note of crazed, squinting intensity. He rants, pops pills, shoves his kids, and throws jealous temper tantrums at his wife so frequently that he makes Jack Nicholson in The Shining seem balanced. It's completely unbelievable that his family wouldn't be more concerned by his insanity.

Mia Kirshner of The Black Dahlia and The L Word and the rest of his family are better, but they're not given enough personality to impress. Erik Knudson, of Scream 4, Saw 2, and Jericho is also great is a supporting role as a skate punk the daughter befriends and he steals every scene he's in but he doesn't have much screen time.

Aside from a cool looking creature, which may or may not only exist in the father's imagination, there's not much to The Barrens and it just limps along like a wounded hiker for the first hour. Things pick up in the last 30 minutes but it's too little too late and down ending seems forced and, like the rest of the movie, has some major logic issues. I just really can't recommend this movie to anyone.
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Starts boring, gets mediocre and ends terrible
derbo739 January 2015
It's not the worst horror movie I have seen and I wished it wasn't a horror movie at all. Basically the "Legend" of the Jersey Devil is just a badly integrated background plot, anything would have done the job here, even a story about a wild bear going rampant...

The opening scenes are like in every B-grade horror movie, a pair wandering through the woods, getting lost, finding strange things and then a sudden cut and the actual movie begins. Of course at the home of a (not so) happy family preparing for a camping trip. After finishing the movie I felt the opening scene completely useless, it does not even set the right mood for the movie that follows.

As the story develops (painfully slowly) we find that the patchwork family is pretty normal, although the amount of problems presented here is a bit too much in my opinion. There are some small references (or should I say stolen ideas) to characters and stereotypes from other great horror movies and authors of the past. You soon learn that the father is a bit stressed out and is pushing the family to some personal goal, not a camping trip.

This is actually the only thing that was kind of well done in this movie. The "secret" about the father and what drives him is well embedded and this part of the story told in a good pace. What couldn't believe is that a living father would ever endanger his family in such a way he does, long before he lost control about his decisions. That guy neglects every signal of impeding danger and he ignores every helping hand, even from his beloved ones. This is too much story crunching and totally unreal.

The middle part of the movie is still the best part, as the plot gets denser and things start to happen. When all hell breaks loose I didn't believe in a monster flick anymore and it felt good. It was way more proper to see this movie as a psychological (horror) thriller...and then the final scenes happened.

Everyone screams too much, stumbles over invisible branches on the floor all the time and a silly scene with a shotgun hobo and a wild cat are added to prolong the really idiotic last scene that spoils the entire movie. Or one could say it completes the circle as the final scene fits very well with the opening scene. Both belong into a C- movie while the middle part is, though over-constructed and a bit far stretched, quite good compared to the rest.

It felt like two movies, the monster version is something I wish I hadn't seen at all, while the middle part had some Hitchcockian elements.

Stephen Moyer and Mia Kirshner play their roles solid and in the last part of the movie really convincingly. The kids, well, Allie MacDonald seems to stay a TV series actress for good reason, I hoped for more but it seems beyond here capability. DeCunha plays Danny Boy like on drugs, don't know what to expect here in the future.

So, the Devil story was silly and the movie will disappoint horror and thriller fans alike. Camera was quite good in some parts, the rest was constructed to uncaring that I wouldn't actually recommend this movie to anyone.
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Devils and Deers and Bears - Oh my!
hitchcockthelegend15 July 2014
Alright, lets cut to the chase here, The Barrens, a spin on The Jersey Devil legend, is no uber great movie. Chastised and frowned upon by much of the horror community, you have to wonder just what was expected of a production like this - a pic that's early notices suggested it was never going to shake the earth of the horror crowd?

The Barrens is competent film making in the context of the budget afforded it. When you look at some of the films that have been churned out on the various sci-fi and horror channels out their in cable land, then this definitely has more going for it.

True! There's the usual implausibilities and director and writer Darren Lynn Bousman has pacing problems, but there's good thought gone into the screenplay here, Bousman looking to add a little more to his film than merely being a "monster in the woods" shocker. There's also decent performances from the cast, which only comes to fruition when things finally go belly up in the last third.

Not one to recommend with any sort of confidence, especially to the tough horror loving crowd, but if you are after a "decent" "B" type horror to view while you are pottering about doing stuff in your lounge (or basements), then it proves itself to be more viable than some Syfy channel trash that is churned out at regular intervals. 5.5/10
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Completely disappointing
hudsonda426 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Talk about a movie in which nothing happens. It's the typical setup for most monster movies. Family, goes into woods alone, blah blah blah.

Half the movie is just getting them onto location with little character building. None of the actors are likable. The acting wasn't bad though.

One thing that really bothered me was that (spoiler) the movie was about the jersey devil, and it only appeared for 10 seconds at the very end of the movie. It's like a Jason movie where Jason only has a cameo appearance. (end spoiler)

Overall: Very boring. No scares. Annoying characters. A lot of empty space in the movie, the movie should have been a short.
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Utterly disappointing creature feature
kannibalcorpsegrinder28 February 2014
Hoping to reconnect together, an estranged family on a camping trip in the Pine Barrens learn the local legend involving the Jersey Devil is real when the voracious creature appears and forces the family to deal with it to escape the woods.

This here is one of the more frustrating and problematic creature features around as there was a chance to do something special here. The setting here is a dark, creepy forest ripe with really terrifying layouts that are perfect for unleashing a voracious creature, it's quite a decent-looking creature with quite a chilling back-story to begin with, and there's some fun to be had when it gets the family lost in the back-part of the woods along the later half, but instead this one tends to involve a slew of increasingly bizarre and outright unnecessary subplots that make this one seem to go on forever. Adding in the usual family drama is more than enough and never really adds much new material to be influenced by this tactic, which feels like a continuation of the clichés anyway, yet the fact that there's so much extra happening going on here that the beginning to this one is so hard to get into it seems to go on forever dealing with the family issues, teen angst, the dead dog and the quest for closure about his father just makes for a tough time overall. All these subplots simply cause the actual attacks to get pushed back so much that the fun attacks in that second half come so late their inclusion is almost an afterthought and a case for being too little, too late to save this one from the potential it could've had about chasing down the revelers in the forest and them getting caught in the middle the way this starts off as, but even without this plot the beast itself and the action in the final half when he's mad and delirious do make this one somewhat interesting and save it somewhat.

Rated R: Graphic Language, Graphic Violence and children-in-jeopardy.
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It is literally Barren.....
FlashCallahan30 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
There is legend that the Jersey Devil lives in the titular woods. It came about after a woman had 13 children, but she offered up the 13th child to the Devil so she and her other children didn't have to leave their house.

The Vineyard family are going to camp there so the father can release his father's ashes. But while there, they hear that someone has gone missing, and the father thinks it's the work of the Jersey Devil.

They move camp site to get away from the rest of the campers only to find that they're in more trouble than they were before. Is the legend of the Jersey Devil real, or is it just another story.....

I wanted to give this movie a chance, because the director knows how to deliver a slick horror movie, and the cast wasn't half bad.

What I got was just another generic horror movie, where the main protagonist is assumed as being bonkers, but all his fears and rants are real, because hey, there goes that awful CG beast.

Moyer is okay as the troubled lead, but toward the end, I was more concerned about wiping his eyes than the danger to him or his family. Supporting characters are just your typical fodder for the beast, and the little boy does the worst scared impression when he sees the decomposing dog.

It's like a really watered down version of The Shining, minus the tension, the scares, and the plausibility.

There is nothing to redeem this film, it looks cheap, and the cast look very disinterested.

If I ever want to see anything about the Jersey Devil, I'll stick to that X-Files episode.

On the plus side, its the best film ever made about rabies induced hallucinations.
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An unusually well done piece of film making...
transientdreams30 September 2012
Feeling I had seen most everything in the trailer, I was hesitant to actually watch the movie at all. But something 'nagged' at me to do so. I was genuinely surprised to be greeted with a VERY decent and almost original production of truly genuine quality. I won't comment on relatively bad movies, or even above-mediocre ones, or ALMOST good ones that had great potential. What 'hit' me at the end of it was a sense of TRUE collaboration between all involved in the creative process. A sense that everyone listened to everyone else about ideas, directional shots, dialog, and cinematic variances. There was a feeling of a rare 'chemistry' that is very rarely found in movies. Even leaving the best and clearest shot of the beast for last was a new take on an old principal.

The acting was well above par. Delivery of lines and timing was genuinely excellent. The editing and cinematic direction was almost poetry in motion for someone non-skilled in those arts, but simply, rather as a viewer who has seen thousands of films. The ONLY problem I had was with a playing radio and a long-dead dog.

All films have their flaws. But I learned from a wise friend long ago, to never go looking for them. Look for the subtle innovation, the how and why it makes you feel what you do, and simply enjoy what it was that made it "stand out" from everything else.

Good crafting and well delivered on most every level.

Thanks for a great yarn!
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Great addition to the beast genre!
Thrill_KillZ2 October 2012
This is my genre, and I watch them all. So very rarely does a film like this pop up and manage to actually terrify the Hel1 out me. The IMDb rating makes me wonder what user's expect when they go into a horror film & maybe they need to stick to a different type of film all together. I thought Stephen Moyer acted brilliantly in this film playing the dad in this with co-star Cynthia Gibbs adding just enough to make things smooth. Here Moyer plays the husband taking his family out into the Jersey Barrens to camp as a form of family bonding. It's more of a selfish act due to the fact his daughter of 17 is cutting loose as is normal at that age & the trip is more of a force fed excursion to scatter his father's ashes.

As they first arrive they find themselves surrounded at the campsite by many other campers, many teenagers partying and other couples to the dismay of Dad who wanted a peaceful family time out in the wilderness alone. So dad, also angry about the boy his daughter met, pulls up camp to go much deeper into the forest where they will be alone. Obviously isolation is never a "good" thing for all parties involved in a horror story and as the mysterious wound on dad's arm gets worse his illness grows stronger. Hallucination, paranoia, panic, frustration, fear and violent tendencies abound as the rest of the story unfolds. It's when the viewer finds out what has been causing dad's sickness as well as to the connection to his arm wound that things really become interesting. It is after that where this film really excels above the rest. Where an average horror would slow this film just keeps ratcheting up the level of fear, you think you know, but you are still taught & unnerved & doubting . If you like horror you will undoubtedly like this, it's a don't miss gem.
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My take on what is wrong with this.
Nemesis4227 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Bad direction, in all departments. The script and the characters do not match, so that is bad casting. Or is it bad script only, and the actors were stuck with dud scenarios? Or were the actors not let in on the vision of the script? It is not easy to tell where this went wrong.

The 'family' behave as if they are all strangers, when they are supposed to be a family. Bad casting, script or direction. Probably not the actors fault. One thing is for sure, the main protagonist does not make sense and is entirely unconvincing. This could be the main problem perhaps. So many characters do dumb and illogical things in this it is unimpressive. You want characters to do the odd clever move in order to appreciate the concept of humanity.

It's kind of annoying that people connected with crappy films do bullshit reviews of those crappy films which misdirect us in the public whom desire to spend our time watching something of quality.

The score is good and the twist near the end is good. That is about it though. A pity. Could have been great with better casting and a more talented director.
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Wasted opportunity, there's no Jersey Devil here
Leofwine_draca17 April 2015
Darren Lynn Bousman took a step down from the SAW sequels and the MOTHER'S DAY remake to deliver this cheap-looking, shot on the quick piece of horror trash. It's a largely uninteresting film, shot in the woods and following a family on a camping holiday from hell. What's most apparent is the almost singular lack of atmosphere building which I had expected given the Jersey Pine Barrens setting.

Ostensibly this is a film about the Jersey Devil, with various no-name cast members getting munched on by the mythical beast, but it turns out to be a family drama for the most part instead. That's not good, given that the female characters are annoying and the male characters dull. Stephen Moyer seems to have some cult following after his role in the vampire TV series TRUE BLOOD but I found his jaded role here to be tiring and depressing for the most part. A shame Shawn Ashmore (THE DAY) couldn't have been around for more than the opening cameo.

There's a big twist in the story here which is about the only thing the film has going for it; something entirely unconnected to the Jersey Devil or the setting. I liked it, but even this twist isn't handled very well and it all ends in a disappointingly low key way. A disappointment all round, in fact.
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My Review Of "The Barrens"
ASouthernHorrorFan1 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
*There are no spoilers here-however there may be teases to certain scenes prevalence to the movie's over all effect on the viewer. No statement leads to any obvious details of this movie*

"The Barrens" is a psychological thriller/horror film directed by Darren Lynn Bousman and stars Stephen Moyer, Mia Kershner, Erik Knudsen, Allie MacDonald and Shawn Ashmore. The film focuses on a family man trying to strengthen the bonds with with his wife and children by returning to the great outdoors to the place he spent his childhood vacations- The Barrens, home to the Jersey Devil. The film deals with some very troublesome issues that many families face these days- disconnection from one another. In the world of high speed lifestyles and digital personalities there is nothing more alien than those we share blood and shelter with. Sometimes we are aliens even to ourselves in this new global stressed world. So why not get back to nature, back to basics, and back to the birthplace of evil and legend?! A very dark emotional set up that just spirals deeper into the void of despair.

"The Barrens" is a double fake out film. It is common in a lot of horror films where the audience is set up to believe then question one outcome of the plot only to have those very answers we seek to be simple distraction as we are lead back into a different synopsis. Sometimes it works in cinema and sometimes it just pisses the movie goer off never to see another film that vaguely resembles the premise. This time it works. There are no major trick story moments where your forced to decide whether what you see is real or not. You clearly know that something is deeply broken in the main character played by Stephen Moyer. What is left up in the air is the question of just how deep those breaks go. Also the film keeps a dark and sinister air about it from start to finish. There is no moment of rest where humor or comfortability takes over the story. It is steady as you go right up until the final tragic moment.

The ending is pretty killer in the fact that the whole time you are pointing blame in one direction for the nightmare unfolding, you soon become aware of the truth of the story. Is the Jersey Devil lurking in the thick pines of The Barrens or is it a more natural relatable killer at work? The film is really genius in the subtle way it plays with this "ever guessing" style of story telling because it doesn't force you to think one way or the other. The movie just carries you along for the ride into a chilling thriller. There are no really big scares or shock moments in this film but then again the movie didn't need them. I wouldn't go so far as to call it full on horror but it is a great suspenseful thriller.
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Not a bad little Horror/Thriller movie.
Michael-Hallows-Eve30 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This film was actually not too bad. It started off a bit slow but after the first 15 minutes the story picks up. I had heard the legend of the Jersey Devil, and this interpretation was not too bad, so I was going in to this movie with some hope of how it would go, and I must say it wasn't that bad really. Although some parts of it were let down because of the acting, but it wasn't bad enough to put me off. As I said the story was an interpretation of the legend so it set up the movie, but right up to the last 10 minutes it leads you to believe something else is happening and you start to think that maybe Moyer's character has some mental problems, but it all makes sense at the end with a nice little twist. So I give this movie a 7.5 out of 10.
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"The Barrens" Review
info-1334230 September 2012 Review of "The Brrens" Darren Bousman's "The Barrens" is coming to DVD/Blu Ry on October 9th. With the combination of Bousman, Stephen Moyer, and the story of the "Jersey Devil," I was totally game for this one. The question was, would it live up to my high expectations?

The tale of Richard Vineyard (Moyer) taking his dysfunctional family camping begins badly as it is immediately clear that he's just a bit "off." Richard is clearly agitated, as he moves his family from the main campground to "real camping." This is horror people…you know this is where the story takes a really nasty turn.

There are a many layers to "The Barrens." There's not only the haunt of the Jersey Devil, but also Richard's battle within his own mind with his sanity. Moyer does an absolutely fantastic job of portraying the many faces of insanity. This leads to another terrifying piece of the story. The absolute reign of terror he inflicts in his family. Mia Kirshner also gives a standout performance as his wife Cynthia, whose character goes through quite the journey in this film.

The movie, for me, was more of a psychological thriller. The personality changes, uncontrollable violent mood swings, and complete unpredictability of Richard is the real horror in this film. For hardcore horror fans, yes, there is blood and gore. I will say, however, the actual visual of the Jersey Devil wasn't that impressive. The image of a small child, face down, floating down a river was by far more chilling . This is where "The Barrens" hits the mark as a psychological horror flick.

Is the "Jersey Devil" real, or just one of Richard's hallucinations? How does the family fare in the end? I suggest you watch to find out for yourself
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Just Plan Awful!!!!
jaxbubba16 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
What a load of garbage, even by horror movie standards!!! I have never seen a more clichéd, unimaginative, unoriginal, warmed-over, piece of trite celluloid in some time, and this film has it all!! By the numbers, we have the distressed father (Stephen Moyer) - check, the frustrated teen (Allie MacDonald)- check, the unliked step-mom (Kia Kirshner) - check, a family in turmoil - check check, a haunted forest - check, an eerie ghost tale regarding Mother Leeds and her 13 children in which she offered up the 13th child to the Devil - check, a horse-headed winged demon creature - check, a Jersey "Barrens" Witch tale - check, and a case of rabies thrown in for shits and giggles - check check check… A better name for this abomination may have been "The Bromidic"…. Look it up!

Stephen Moyer (True Blood) stars as Richard Vineyard. A father dealing with the death of his father; however, eager to share his childhood memories /experiences of camping in the New Jersey Pine Barrens with his old son, six (6) year old Danny (Peter DaCunha). However, once the family arrives at their assigned camp site, Richard is quickly disenchanted with all the 21st Century technology being used by his fellow campers (i.e. – televisions, ipads, iphones, keg beer, etc.). Even with a warning for the Barrens Forest Ranger that a couple of campers were attacked recently by a bear, Richard decides to move his family further into the confides of the Jersey Barrens.

This film is just awful, and not in a good way!! The script is poorly written, and acting abysmal. But I have to admit that the closing climatic sequence is truly a thing to behold in atrocity!!! I cannot believe this film was ever "green lighted" for production!!!

I cannot recommend this film for viewing, not even to my worst enemy… the 94 mins running time was painful to endure!!! Showing this film to inmates in the prison system would be considered "cruel and unusual" punishment! So stay away from this dog of a film, nothing good will come from your viewing this appalling and extremely disheartening film. PLEASE SEE MORE OF MY MOVIE REVIEWS ON FB @ "THE FARIS REEL"
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So much potential...none of it reached
megsmatthee6 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This movie really had the potential to be gripping but it fails on so many levels.

The scene where the father tells his version of the legend is possibly the best scene of the movie, had that level of intensity been kept up all movie it would maybe have been scary.

The Jersey Devil itself was also disappointing, it was so over the top that its not even scary.

Many of the failures can be forgiven due to it not being a big budget movie but the ending really killed the entire movie for me.

Really? They all just get eaten? She says sorry to the man who tried to kill her and her son? COME ON!

A little mystery at the end would have been great.
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youngnick2243 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Where to begin? The amount of stupid things that happened in this movie is ridiculous. The plot was as advanced as an etiquette class taught by johnny Knoxville. The jersey devil nonsense was fine but I just thought it was a terrible plot. First, why would a guy get but by a dog that was foaming at the mouth, a clear sign of rabies and then just not say anything or seek medical attention? Thats idiotic. Second, after they drive into the woods and see a shredded deer crawl out of the tree line why would they all just climb back in the car as if nothing happened. A person with borderline common sense would at least tell the park ranger about it. Then there is just like a million signs that say don't go into these woods or you will die. People keep mentioning strange stuff but the idiot father decides going deeper into the woods is a bright idea and no one really objects. The whole plot was just crap. I get that its a movie and all but at least make it seem halfway plausible. If I decide to go camping and see a deer stumble from the trees with its entrails leaking out I'm not sticking around for smores. Do people realize that a horror film can make sense? It doesn't have to consist of some idiots just running smack into a monster around every turn.This movie failed.
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Welcome to The Pine Barrens
tdragnaii29 September 2012
Broken Families?????Whats the Key to the fix???Can it be fixed once broken??? These are the question that Darren dares ask us. How do you go on without your mother. Or your family dog, that your son love's more than even you.

That's the story that Darren begins to unfold before us. We are introduced to a broken family that we know nothing about. All we know is that the family dog is missing. And this adorable little boy will stop at nothing to find him. It seems as if there are already secrets kept from us from the start.

Daddy is never a friendly face. From the first look at him. You see discomfort, sadness, and settling. But why??? We just don't know. Darren then introduces, Step-mom trying to get step-daughter ready for their Daddy's trip. It doesn't go well. Either way. Daddy gets the whole family together for an annual trip to the Pine Barrens.

Home to the Jersey Devil. I enjoy the whole Folklore aspect of this movie. Because those stories are hard to tell. Without breaking the make believe code. And what Darren story tells us is that, we can sense evil anywhere. We can always say. The evil is out there....

"Its the Hardest to say... The Evil is right here in our hearts..."

As we enter the Pine Barrens, We learn something. The dears are easy prey for something. Something real is doing this! But What?? Blood, guts, and gore effect are terrific.

My favorite part in this movie is the Tale of the Leads Devil.

Its so gripping. Like as a child, being told about the Loch Ness monster for the first time. You don't know what to expect. Is it real? Or just a story? Old history tells dark twisted tales of Old Monsters that still live today. Same setting once again for our family. But, has daddy seen or know something from his past???? More questions.

That's why i loved this movie. U have to think...

American Folklore is a subject that NEEDS to be reviewed and studied. For the sake of great movies. Please, if your going to remake,reboot, or just do the same thing over and over. Be original. Great Job Darren. I hope everyone goes to see The Barrens. I loved how it was filmed during the day. Never Trust the Trees....Your True Fan Tom Dragna II
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Rather Disappointing
gavin694214 October 2012
A man takes his family on a camping trip and becomes convinced they are being stalked by the legendary monster of the New Jersey Pine Barrens: the Jersey Devil.

The film opens with a cameo by Shawn Ashmore ("Frozen"). Mysteriously, IMDb is not aware that he appears in this movie, despite his being in the opening credits. (I am sure this will be corrected and this review will look stupid because of it now.) I love how one person on the message board summed this up as "British people should not camp". That is probably very, very true. In fact, everyone's problems would have been solved had this been strictly adhered to.

I am a fan of Darren Lynn Bousman's work, both with "Saw" and after. He has a great style. And, heck, the style here is also pretty darn good. But the film just sort of drags and there is not nearly the level of action this kind of film requires.
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ct_brandon1 October 2012
First off, this is NOT just a horror film but more of a Hitchcock type suspense film. It's based on the Jersey Devil Legend and involves a troubled man who takes his family on a remote camping trip into the jersey pine barrens in which he begins to believe they're being hunted by The Jersey Devil. Now his own sanity is being questioned not by just himself but by his family as well. Is it the real Jersey Devil or the delusions of a psychopath? The climax is not a certain one as it isn't with most horror type films but this wasn't just a horror film as the director uses suspense more as a tool rather than a plug. As a fan of True Blood, I think this is Stephen Moyer's best performance outside of Bill Compton, and Mia Kirshner who I love in just about anything, always delivers. I saw this in a theater and I did "jump" on a few parts as did others. The director, Darren Lynn Bousman, (SAW II-IV Franchise) who Godfathered "Repo: The Genetic Opera" and my much-anticipated must-see "The Devil's Carnival", brought to life a story that will leave you questioning...does the Jersey Devil exist? Watch it and see...(btw, I'm never going camping again)
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i dig watching descents into madness.
redbean-24 October 2012
BAIT: a scruffy-lookin' stephen moyers with crazy eyes going into some woody area called "the barrens". and itsa film by darren lynn bousman. OK, i'm sold.

REEL: first five minutes is your typical lost-in-the-woods couple getting the smackdown from The Monster. but then from the opening credits that start rolling immediately after to the blackout at the very end, The Barrens beats the typical horror movie structure to a pulp. most horror flicks about folklore send the hero on a research project to discover the origins of the monster for a clue on how to destroy the menace. well, stephen moyers doesn't need to discover any origins about the jersey devil cuz he enters into the plot already knowing how the beastie came to be. The Barrens isn't just trying to scare you with scenes of monster carnage -- it's really a carefully paced magic trick designed to distract the audience from the characters' Ultimate Doom. if you don't pay attention to details, the final minutes'll pull a fast one on ya. i wasn't paying much attention to details because the ride to the surprise ending was fast and furious. the entire cast is amazing, though i gotta give extra kudos to moyers' performance as the paranoid dad. his increasing crazy keeps you guessing: is it his imagination getting out of hand or is it really the jersey devil?

CATCH: The Barrens does a great job of piling up the bodies and tension in a creative way. and really, even though this film's got lots going for it (visuals, cast, plot, well played family drama), what i liked best is darren's ability to keep on piling on, all the way to the bloody end. cuz, after all, piles of bodies, and the promise of more to come, is what makes a horror film so bloody horrifying. it's all about the lasting impressions eh, long after you've left the dark theater.
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Not very good
richard-bold223 October 2012
Before I watch a film, I tend to check IMDb. Sadly,the negatives always prove right. Especially with 'The Barrens'.

This film had a positive review, but I struggle to see why.

OK, I like a good low-budget film (e.g. Carriers), but this was too much. The director did try to create tension - a teenage daughter, protecting a young child, a possibly errant wife, etc., but it all amounted to nothing.

I found myself second-guessing the dialogue, and the story. After an hour of suffering, I gave up.

A nice try, but try harder.
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Surprising and Pleasing
enchantedevergirl10 October 2012
I was curious when I first put the Blu-ray of The Barrens. I originally heard of this film because Darren Lynn Bousman was the director of it and he had worked on several movies I adore. Looking on the cover and reading the credits, I had recognized some of the actors for other works such as Stephen Moyer in True Blood to Athena Karkanis that was in the television series Lost Girl.

After all my curiousness, I pressed play.

Now, I was excited because I love a good horror flick and after watching Darren Lynn Bousman's "Mother's Day" I knew it would be taken up a notch. The film begins with the family leaving for a camping getaway, which is something we all do, no big deal. Something seems up with the father, Richard Vineyard (Moyer) and you can't quite put your finger on it.

Getting more and more away from it all, the film plays on our own insecurities about seclusion, unfamiliar territory, and the fear of whether legend may be true. As the film began to play out, you and the Vineyard family begin to question Richard's sanity or whether the Jersey Devil really does exist. Moyer and the rest of the cast went above and beyond and I believed everything I was seeing. The psychological terror and panic was believable in every instance.

As it ended, I had to say that I was very pleased with this film and I would hope that others would take the chance and watch it. I highly recommend that other horror enthusiasts would watch this even if you may think it's a "cliche camping psychological thriller/horror thing". You never know, you may be surprised and pleased in what you see.
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Moody, atmospheric and effective horror thriller
jaguiar3139 October 2012
The Barrens is a moody and atmospheric horror thriller set in New Jersey's famous Pine Barrens and dealing with it's legendary occupant. Stephen Moyer (whose heavy Australian accent is odd here since he is playing someone who has lived here since childhood) plays an emotionally troubled man taking his wife (Mia Kirshner with delightfully distracting cleavage) and family (Allie MacDonald and Peter DaCunha) on a family camping trip to the Pine Barrens. But, not only is Moyer's Richard a bit stressed, he also has been bitten by a dog that might have rabies. Add to that having possibly seen the Jersey Devil as a child and we have a great mix for a really interesting family outing. Despite it's convoluted set-up, Barrens is actually an entertaining horror. Obviously Moyer starts to see things and then people start to go missing and we are left to wonder is Richard hallucinating or is the Jersey Devil real and poor delusional dad taking blame for it's actions. And I must say Darren Lynn Bousman keeps you guessing and keeps the film filled with an atmosphere of dread as we slowly learn what's going on... or do we? That's what makes this deliberately paced thriller work so well, just when we think we have the facts, we get handed more reasons to doubt. The cast all perform well, Kirshner is a little too deadpan at times but, not enough to hurt the film. I personally liked her hot girl-next-door MILF because she wasn't playing the role that way, it came across naturally. There is some nice gore and make up effects to go along with Bousman's visual style which is one thing he always delivers whether his films work or not. They always look good. All in all probably the best film I've seen on the subject of Jersey's most elusive resident so far and while Bousman does give us a definitive answer by the last shot... you'll have to investigate The Barrens to find out what it is.
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Great Bousman Feature!
gcgurl00114 October 2012
Bousman never fails to thrill! This movie has all the factors of a good scary movie: suspense, twists, guts, and fear. This is one of the greatest Bousman films I have seen. It is not for the weak of stomach and it does have a very quick changing storyline. Never quite know what is real until the end and it keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole way through! The actors do an amazing job in capturing the essence of these character's real life trauma. There is a great family element to this film as well that not many directors/writers would take the time to put into a film like this. The characters truly made the movie great.
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Refreshingly Unique- Slight Spoilers
kerim_pantsboglin6 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The Barrens is a wonderfully fresh and unique storyline. The writing, the directing, the acting and the overall outcome was pretty impressive for the small budget film. Darren Bousman has proved time and again that he is not restricted to a single style of film making. He has steered away from all previous approaches to the horror/thriller genre.

Darren Bousman has made very well done movies in my opinion and The Barrens might be his best yet. The lack of real movies with real plot lines in the horror genre today is terrible. But Darren Bousman has proved that respectable movies from the genre are not yet dead AND he did so with a limited budget. If people could be a little more open to the terms (straight to DVD- or - Limited Theatrical Release) this movie would truly make a far bigger impact and really turn some heads.

Aside from the directing, the performances put forth by the main cast (Stephen Moyer, Mia Kirshner, Allie MacDonald and Peter DaCunha) are all more than satisfying, Stephen Moyers decent to madness brings chills and raises the hair on the back of your neck. Mia Kirshner's distress as she sees her son lying face down in the middle of a pond can or will bring tears to your eyes. Allie MacDonald's echoing cries through the Pine Barrens may very well continue to echo through your head days after you watch the film. Young Peter DaCunha's setting tone of the movie is very impressive for a boy his age, not to mention his capability to understand and react to the scene with the same effectiveness as his older, more experienced co-stars.

The Barrens is definitely worth the watch. If you find your self capable of sitting through any of the mainstream trash of todays horror genre then you will be absolutely stunned with the outcome of this film.
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