Barbarian (2022) | Explanation, Discussion, Recommendations & Spoilers | Film Review
Barbarian (2022) is an American horror film, written and directed by Zach Cregger. The film stars Georgina Campbell, Justin Long, Matthew Patrick Davis, Bill Skarsgard and Richard Brake. Barbarian (2022) was distributed by 20th Century Studios and released in the United States on September 9, 2022 in theaters.
In the beginning of the film, we are introduced to Tess (Georgina Campbell), a young woman who is outside of a creepy house, trying to memorize the passcode to get in and failing, since apparently she can't read (allegedly). I mean, she looks at the number and says, "8831", but the number is actually 8331. I'm thinking her inability to pay attention to details will come into play later, but who knows?
She gets out of her vehicle and walks through the rain to the poorly lit house and keeps saying, "8831". Wrong. She tries to enter the number and it doesn't work (duh). Frustrated, she looks at the number on the phone and realizes she is a moron and enters the correct number, only to discover the keys are missing in the lockbox. She tries to call the number for the AirBnB host and only gets a recording. Muttering a medley of some of my favorite curse words, she gets back in her car and notices a light turn on in the living room. She gets out of the car and goes up to the door and rudely presses the doorbell. Um. What.
I don't know about you, but if someone was already in my AirBnB, I'd just figure it was double-booked by an asshole and try to figure out other accommodations so I don't get murdered or forced to play Parcheesi or some shit with a stranger for four hours. I don't know which one is worse, honestly, Parcheesi or my imminent death. I'll get back to you on that.
She peers through the sheer living room curtains like a rude ass and sees a man (Bill Skarsgard) turn on a lamp. He looks confused and heads to the door and answers it. What is wrong with these people? Who just answers the door for some rude ass late at night in some creepy neighborhood? I'd back away from the window and stand on the other side of the door, peering through the peephole until the rude ass possible murderer went away, you know, being safe and shit.
If they kept trying to get in, I'd say something like, "My dick hurts. I think I screwed it on too tight and the threads are stripped" or maybe, "Did you remember to shut the gate so the wild boars don't get in this time?" You know, something to make the person think twice about continuing to knock on the door, since there could be crazy people inside or wild boars outside.
So, this guy in the AirBnB is about seven feet tall and moonlights as a clown on the weekends (it's true, I've done my research), so Tess doesn't see a problem with questioning him about why the hell he's in her AirBnB. The guy tells her he booked the house a while ago on some site called HomeAway, so basically whoever owns the house either fucked up and double-booked them or the house is some kind of trap for the guests.
Or... it's something else, like it's not a murder trap, but a trap to force you to listen to their time share spiel or to harass you about a car warranty. Actually, that might be worse than a murder trap. Is the clown in on it? I don't know, but I'm going to find out.
She asks what she's supposed to do and I'm sure the clown is imagining them skipping together hand-in-hand through a circus, teaching each other how to juggle, honking each other's squeaky noses and laughing and oh yeah, murdering people on the weekends, so he asks her to come inside so they can try to figure out what happened. She looks like she thinks it's a bad idea, but goes inside anyway since she's already made a bunch of bad decisions, so why the hell not, you know?
As soon as she steps in the house, she asks if she can go drop a double-deuce in his toilet. He looks surprised and appalled that she wants to destroy his toilet, but methinks she wants to assert her dominance by leaving a foot-long unflushable turd in the toilet and know his life will be hell when he discovers she also left an upper-decker in his porcelain throne.
Before she goes to the bathroom, she asks him to bring up his reservation so she can make sure he's not lying and he looks offended, but agrees to find the information for her. She turns to go the bathroom and of course, doesn't actually destroy his toilet (well, not that I saw anyway, I guess anything is possible), but she does rifle through his toiletries, doesn't find anything she wants (I guess) and notices a toothbrush plugged in on the floor. Gross, dude. Also, demon clowns don't brush their teeth, we all know that. Nice try, you can't fool me.
She leaves the bathroom and goes to talk to the guy, who has pulled up his itinerary and proves to her he's not a killer clown who lives in Maine, no, nothing like that. He's just a regular dude who also got screwed out of his AirBnB and formerly pristine toilet. She finally believes that he's not lying and goes to leave the house. He asks her where she's going to go and she tells him she's going to sit in her car and try to find another place to stay. He tells her it's a bad idea and she agrees to stay, thinking it's safer than the creepy street outside.
He tells her his name is Keith. Sure, Keith, yeah, right. Keith tries to offer her some tea, wine or nuts but Tess tells him no, not wanting to get drugged and diddled by a clown or something. She tries to call a hotel, but finds out that they are booked up. Keith tells her there's some kind of convention in town for medical nerds and that they've rained hell on the hotels, leaving used band-aids, MRSA test kits and rusty scalpels everywhere, so no one can book a room anywhere. Okay, he didn't say that exactly, but it paints a hell of a picture, right? Much more interesting, in my opinion.
Keith, being a nice guy, offers to let Tess sleep in the bedroom while he sleeps on the couch. She takes him up on his offer after hesitating slightly and tells him he better change the sheets because she ain't being surrounded by the essence of clown-farts all night. I mean, I get it, but she kind of comes across as rude. I'd be like, "Can I have some sheets because I know who you are and clowns don't brush their teeth, they don't wash their ass and they definitely don't wash the farts out of their sheets." Then I'd smile in my charming way and fart loudly to assert my dominance.
He heads outside to get her stuff for her since he has a raincoat (formerly Georgie's, probably) and she doesn't. She tells him thank you and grabs her things to take them to the bedroom, still not fully trusting his kindness. While she's in the bedroom, she notices his wallet, rifles through it, looking for the rare two-dollar bill and some golden dollars. Finding none of those things, she takes his license out and takes a picture of it.
She brings his wallet back out to him in the living room, acting like she didn't just invade his privacy after he was so kind to her, but I understand her suspicion of Keith. You just never know anymore if people are actually nice or just pretending to be until they get what they are after. She brushes her teeth (something Keith doesn't participate in, unsurprisingly) and washes her face, then goes back out to the living room to wait for the only set of sheets to be washed and dried.
Okay, why does the AirBnB only have one set? Don't they know they could have a Trainspotting (1996) situation on their hands? Basically, if you haven't seen that film, Ewan Bremner shits the bed and gathers up the sheets to be washed, holding the massive pile of diarrhea in the middle of the sheets and enters a tug-of-war battle with his girlfriend's mom (who wants to wash the sheets herself), loses the war, and the shit literally flies everywhere. And that story, my friends, is why you have more than one set of sheets. Then you can just throw the diarrhea sheets away, never to be seen or smelled again.
Tess sees Keith sitting at a small table in the kitchen with the bottle of wine the host left with two wine glasses. He tells her he noticed she didn't drink the tea he made for her, so he waited to open the wine so she could see him open it. I mean, I understand being suspicious of the guy, but he should also be suspicious of her. It shouldn't go one way because he's a guy and she's a girl. She could have a Hattori Hanzo sword, could be an assassin, could be planning to drug and rape a clown, he doesn't know her either.
It's kind of sexist to just have a guy bending over backwards, trying not to be creepy, when the woman doesn't have to. I didn't see him going through her shit, taking pictures of her license and telling her to beat it and sleep in her car. He's been nothing but nice to Tess, offering to let a complete stranger stay at the house he also rented and sleep in the only bed while he takes the couch, not assuming she's a threat to him (he really should be more wary about strangers, let's be honest).
Keith pours himself some wine and drinks it, showing her he didn't drug the wine. They start talking about why they are visiting and find out that they have some interests in common, which relaxes Tess, so she drinks some of the wine and finds that she likes Keith. They talks about their jobs and Keith finds out that Tess is in town for a job interview because she is in a toxic relationship and wants to start over. They start talking about how women have to be careful in society and men can blunder through any situation and be fine, but women have to be watchful in every situation.
Some of this is true. If you are smaller and weaker, you are at risk for predators, that's just the way it is. However, anyone can be at risk, no matter what their gender is. Women can be targeted more because they are smaller and weaker, but anyone can become a victim if they are defenseless. If Tess had a gun and knew how to use it proficiently, she'd be a lot more dangerous than Keith and he could end up being a victim. I like that the film points out that there's an assumption on Tess's side that only women can be in danger and that danger only comes from men and that's just not true.
After the bedding is dry, Keith puts the duvet cover back on the duvet and tells Tess goodnight. His head basically scrapes the doorway, so you get an idea how tall this guy is and how intimidating he could be if he was say, an evil demon clown or something. Which he isn't. Nope. Not that guy.
Later, Tess is awoken by sounds of crying and whimpering and sees her door is open. Confused, she goes out to the living to see Keith sleeping on the couch, probably having a bad dream that he's in a creepy neighborhood and was forced to entertain a creepy woman who used his rented toilet to capture and dispose of her latest Arby's Giant Beef n' Cheddar mistake (times three-she can really pack them in).
Tess wakes Keith up, scaring the shit out of him and asks him if he opened her door. He emphatically tells her no, seemingly freaked out by her actions, despite his behavior earlier. Maybe he's more scared of Tess (and the general situation) than he has let on or maybe he just has nightmares he can't remember, who knows?
Tess, confused about why her door would be open when she shut and locked it with a super shitty thumb-lock (I mean, you can't ask for more security than a thumb-lock on a door, maybe a thread tied from the handle to the knob on a dresser is more secure, I don't know), goes back to bed and again locks the door.
She doesn't wake up until the morning and when she does, she discovers Keith has left for the day. As she wakes up late due to the previous night's shenanigans, she hurries to get out the door to her car so she can book it to the interview. Before she leaves, she sees a note from Keith on the coffee table in the living room. The note tells her that he left the key in the lockbox, he'll be back later and that he had fun with her the night before, so I guess Tess waking him up didn't freak him out as much as we thought or he's just a creepy clown liar with something up his polka-dot sleeve.
When she goes outside, she discovers why Keith didn't want her to sleep in her car. The neighborhood is apparently located in Shitsville, USA. The house is on Abandoned Derelict House Lane by way of Arson Drive. I mean, did she bother to look at Google Street View? I'm guessing no, judging by her reaction to what she sees when she looks around.
I don't really get her reactions to things, honestly. She's suspicious of Keith enough to take a picture of his license, confirm his itinerary, and lock the bedroom door, but she went into the house to stay with a complete stranger (who is very tall and seems pretty strong) after learning it was double-booked. She goes to Detroit for a job interview, but doesn't research where she's staying?
I mean, come on, you either care about your safety and check everything or why bother? It's just kind of dumb to think in a way where you're like, okay, well, I'll just cross that bridge when I come to it. You know, like staying on Arson Row in the middle of a dangerous neighborhood, finding out it's double-booked and then having to figure things out because all the hotels are booked? Plan ahead and have options before you find yourself in a crappy situation in Shitsville, USA. Or anywhere, really.
What's weird is despite how crappy the neighborhood is, her new Jeep is still outside, intact. Also, the house itself is super-nice looking and every other house nearby has been burned up or looks trashed. This tells me that something about the house keeps people away because they are scared and don't want to go near it or inside of it.
Tess goes to her interview and it goes well, so she goes back to the house. As she goes to the porch to retrieve the keys, a seemingly crazy hobo runs up to her and tells her to leave the house. She gets inside the house before the man can get to her and rapidly packs her bags, scared of the situation in general and the hobo-riffic tree wizard outside. She calls the police, but surprise, surprise, they don't have any available units, so Tess doesn't have anybody to help her.
Judging the situation as the perfect time to lay out a Stanley Steamer in the toilet after mainlining some Taco Bell burritos, Tess goes to the bathroom, only to discover there's a scrap of toilet paper left. I mean, that's not nearly enough to cover the damage Taco Bell did; you pretty much need a whole roll to fix that mess. She looks around and eventually decides to look in the basement for some rolls. (Um...who stores their tp in the basement? You want to take a 1,000 ft. poop walk down the hallway with your underwear and pants around your ankles, down some stairs and back? No. The answer is always no).
She goes down into the basement, finds the toilet paper, grabs one roll (WHAT? What the hell is one roll going to do? Nothing, that's what.) and heads back upstairs, only to find the door has swung shut and locked her in. Instead of employing a roundhouse kick to the door, so goes back downstairs and sits on the stairs. She realizes she left her phone upstairs and has the keys on her, so even if Keith comes back, he has no way to get inside to help her.
After looking around the basement, Tess finds a rope threaded through one of the concrete walls. Curious, she pulls on it and finds that it opens a secret door. The entrance is dark and Tess is too scared to go in, so she goes and sits back on the stairs, but leaves the door open. After a while, she decides that she will go and see what's past the darkened doorway and finds a room with a camera pointed at a dirty, blood-stained bare mattress on a bed frame. There's a dirty bucket with possible old poop stains all over it and Tess spots a bloody palm print on one of the walls. She walks quickly out of the secret room and back into the main part of the basement, panicking.
Keith arrives back from wherever he came from (the sewers, probably) and knocks on the door, startling Tess. She tells him to open the small basement window so he can get the keys from her to get inside and let her out. He does so and she tells him what happened, clearly frightened by the fucked up situation in the basement. He doesn't really seem perturbed by what's in the room, even though you can kind of tell that someone was probably held prisoner down there and horrible things happened to them. Hmm...maybe either it's because he's a demonic clown or maybe it's his house and he already knows about the creepy room.
Either way, Tess waits for him to come back and he doesn't. She goes to try to find Keith in the secret room and discovers yet another door at the end of the secret hallway. She goes through the door and sees that it's basically pitch black. Shining her phone flashlight around, she sees that the walls are stone and look pretty old. There are a set of stairs leading down into more pitch black goodness and it almost looks like it's a series of tunnels carved out. Tess calls out for Keith, scared out of her mind, but he doesn't answer.
The rest of the film follows what happens to Keith and Tess in the underground tunnels, why they were built and who or what lives down there.
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*Discussion contains an explanation of the film and spoilers
Eventually, Tess comes to another passage off of the main passage, which leads to the right. This passage has what looks like some big cages with bowls inside, like for big dogs, but methinks big dogs weren't stored in there. This is some kind of fucked-up-kidnap-rape & murder combo-scenario, I just know it. Keith finally appears and scares the poop out of Tess (I saw her shake a couple of turds out of her pants (not really)). He tells her something is down in the tunnels and it bit him.
Unfortunately, Keith is afraid to go the way Tess came from because he says it came from that direction. Tess tries to get him to go along with her to the entrance, but before she can convince him, something tall, completely naked, sort-of grey, with big ol' boobies and stringy hair comes out of nowhere behind Keith and makes mush out of his brains by smashing his head repeatedly against the wall, killing Keith in a most violent manner. It very graciously and courteously screams at Tess before the screen goes black.
I guess the clown wasn't in on it after all, he was just a regular dumbass who goes into underground, pitch-black tunnels unarmed and without a flashlight.
Next, we are whisked away from the underground tunnels o' doom and we see a man (Justin Long) driving down a highway, which looks a lot like the coast of California. He's driving along in a douche-mobile, singing and dancing to some terrible song, so I'm convinced that he's supposed to be a douchebag, even though I generally like Justin Long and any character he plays by default. We learn that the man's name is AJ and he's an actor who just filmed a pilot for a television series.
He gets a phone call and it's two people from the network or maybe his agents or something like that, calling to tell him that he's fired from the show because he sexually assaulted another actor while filming the pilot. AJ is irate, telling the people the accusation is bullshit. They basically tell him he has to deal with the consequences of his actions and let him go. He is shocked to hear what the woman said about him and parks his car on the side the road.
We next see AJ talking with a man who is sitting behind a desk. The man, who appears to be his financial advisor, tells AJ that AJ is poor and can't live off a non-existent income after being fired from the show, so he'll have to work at McDonald's or Bojangles or something to supplement his lifestyle (not that either of those establishments pays a decent salary, just sayin').
AJ has some rental properties up in Michigan, which brings in some money, but not enough, so the financial advisor kind of implies AJ will be broke in a couple months if he simply sells the Michigan properties, but that he'd last longer if he sold his house in California (or wherever this is supposed to be). AJ is basically like, wtf dude and the guy tells him that he doesn't want to be a financial advisor to a poor ass and quits, leaving AJ with no help.
Some time later, we see AJ at an airport, presumably in Michigan, walking to a rental car. He sees an article about him being accused of sexual misconduct and knows he is in a lot of trouble. I can't help but notice his Grillo's Pickles hat, which is a company that makes pretty damn good pickles if you want to know. Claussen and Wahlburger's also make pretty damn good pickles, so if you like pickles, those three brands are pretty awesome. Maybe AJ is a douchebag, but he knows good pickles.
AJ makes a phone call and talks to another guy named Robert about the article that came out about him. It seems like Robert is his lawyer, because when AJ tells Robert he wants to call the woman who accused him of rape, Robert tells him that's the worst idea ever and also tells him he wasn't supposed to leave the state because it looks really bad when you're accused of something and leave the state (no shit). AJ tells Robert that he didn't really have a choice because he's poor now and needs to sell his Michigan properties, so there's nothing he can do aside from Robert working on his case pro bono.
We next see AJ going to the property management office for his houses and talks to some nerd who has a major attitude problem. He asks her for the keys to one of his properties, which he had called earlier about. He collects the keys and drives to the house and parks right in front of Tess's Jeep, which is still parked out front, untouched. AJ walks to the driver's side, obviously wondering why it's parked in front of the house if no one is supposed to be currently renting it. Confused and frustrated, he walks over to the dark house and goes inside.
After entering the house, AJ walks around a bit and finds the basement door propped open with a chair and the basement light on. He keeps exclaiming, "What the fuck?" as he walks around. What the fuck indeed. Where's Tess? Either mutilated like Keith or held prisoner down in the tunnels o' doom by that grey monster thing with big ol' boobies is my guess. Also, how long has it been since she disappeared? I guess we'll find out soon.
AJ goes to the bathroom after removing the chair from the basement door and kicking the door closed. He goes into the bathroom and finds even more stuff (Keith's unused clown toiletries), then heads into the bedroom and finds Tess's stuff. He calls a woman named Bonnie from the property management company to ask her if anyone is staying there and she tells him no, that the last guest stayed there two weeks before and they should be gone. He wonders aloud if he has squatters because he can't figure out why all of their shit would still be there and a car would be parked out front.
AJ asks if any maids have visited lately in an attempt to explain why a bunch of crap would still be at his house and Bonnie tells him that maids only visit right before the next tenant is due to arrive. Um. What. So, if the last guest left let's say, a diarrhea pile in the middle of the mattress, or let's say, a load of dead fish in the bathtub and the kitchen sink, it just sits in there until the next guest books the house?
What the fuck kind of dumb ass logic is that? How about the maid comes before and after the guests? Just in case, you know? Lazy ass management company. They suck, you know? They provide only one set of sheets, they keep toilet paper in the basement, they didn't check the whole house for a possible set of creepy underground tunnels with an unknown creature roaming about...what good are they? They suck! Fire them AJ, fire them now. Incompetent bastards, I tell you.
If I was in charge of the management company, first of all, I wouldn't even agree to service that house because it's in the middle of a demilitarized zone and something is obviously wrong with it if everything else around it is burned up and/or dilapidated and it remains pristine. Second, even if I was insane and agreed to service it, I'd be like, you need to get like four sets of sheets, a pull-out couch bed, at least six mega-packs of toilet paper, with storage in the bathroom, curtains that actually provide privacy, an arsenal of weapons and a private army to take care of whatever is in those tunnels and you know, more than nuts, wine and tea in the kitchen. People need more snacks than nuts. Get it together.
AJ becomes more and more frustrated with Bonnie because she doesn't seem that concerned that someone was recently in his house. Eventually, she hangs up on AJ, furthering my urging to AJ to fire Bonnie and the shit management company. I mean, it wouldn't surprise me if they knew something was messed up about the house. They're the ones that are located in Michigan and provide the cleaning and caretaking for the house, so they probably have some idea why no one has bothered the house.
I mean, Tess was there for one night and something opened her bedroom door and killed Keith (and maybe Tess), so I doubt maids could keep visiting and have nothing happen to them if they are actually cleaning the house regularly. I mean, unless whatever lives down in the tunnels o' doom can't go out in the sunlight, which is a distinct possibility.
Next, AJ calls his mom and talks to her for a bit, telling her the actress he allegedly sexually assaulted is trying to ruin his life. His mom tells him she and AJ's dad would like to visit, since Detroit is only four hours away from wherever they are and AJ seems to perk up a bit at the mention of his dad wanting to visit him. He asks if his dad really said he wanted to visit and his mom balks, telling AJ, "Oh, you know how he is", and AJ looks visibly disappointed.
It's interesting to note the dynamics in this scene because AJ seems very uninterested in seeing his mom, who obviously cares about him, but cares deeply about how his father views him. He keeps dismissing what happened with the actress, denying anything happened to everyone he has spoken with, so we don't know if he is actually a terrible person or just a guy who is being unfairly targeted.
He tells his mom he has to take an important work call and hangs up on her as she is saying, "I love you." Um. Rude. Wtf AJ? Also, it's not a work call, it's his friend who apparently lives in Detroit, so doubly rude AJ. It kind of demonstrates that maybe AJ isn't the nice guy he's trying to portray and maybe doesn't deserve sympathy after all.
We next see AJ and a man at the bar, who I guess is supposed to be the guy who called him. They start talking about what happened with the actress AJ was involved with and it turns out he did sexually assault her. He tells his friend that when they started to have sex, she said no, but then he kept asking her and she finally said yes and they had sex.
I mean, the first time someone says, "No", should be the end of the sexual encounter, not, oh, here's an opportunity for me to work on them to get them to say yes. Wtf. Ugh, so AJ is actually a creepy-disgusto human being, got it. He obviously doesn't regret what he did and takes no responsibility for it. He has so far, shown no empathy towards the actress, only empathy for what he's going through, which is gross.
We see AJ arrive at the house again, extremely drunk. I mean, did he drive? He had to, right? Wtf. He's just a terrible person all around, I guess. Anyway, he makes a phone call and we soon know he's calling the actress and gets her voicemail. He leaves a message telling her he's sorry for what happened.
Only, it's not a real apology, it's him trying to gaslight her into thinking it wasn't really a sexual assault, just a misunderstanding. Leaving this message is very good for the actress and her lawyer, but terrible for AJ. She now has evidence of an admission of guilt, which is probably why his lawyer told him it was a bad idea to call her and only bad things would happen if he did. Well, good, he sucks anyway.
We then see AJ waking up in bed the next morning, then heading to the toilet to barf up his mistakes. I don't know why and I guess it's supposed to show vulnerability, but why do people in films hug the toilet when they are barfing, like really touching everything they can and putting their face thisclose to where people have been laying out their Big Mac Value Meal mistakes? He knows damn well they haven't cleaned the house and he's rubbing his face and hands all over the fast ass express. Ugh. Ugh, it's so gross.
Anyway, after that supreme nastiness, he gets up from the bathroom floor (he didn't seem to brush his teeth or take a shower by the way-so gross) and starts rifling through Tess's luggage, trying to find out any information he can about who is staying at his house. He finds her laptop and tries to get in, probably entering the word "password", but gives up quickly and CHUCKS HER LAPTOP ACROSS THE ROOM WITHOUT LOOKING. I mean, wtf?! It's pretty funny actually, but I'd be pissed if it was my shit he was chucking 90 miles-an-hour across the room without looking where it was going.
Luckily, it lands on the dresser, but wtf? It really shows he could give a shit about other people's property or their safety. I mean, I'd assume something sinister happened to the guests at the house if all their things are there and they are nice, expensive things. She had a copy of Jane Eyre in her luggage, which shows she a reader and probably intelligent. All of her clothes were folded up very nicely and were in good shape, so that would tell you the guests don't seem to be squatters, they seem like they were there and just disappeared. AJ is so oblivious to what is going on, it's insane.
He makes a mug of what I assume is tea and sits at the dining room table, seeing a set of keys sitting on the table. He leans back in the chair and looks at the basement door, seemingly deciding to check out the basement since he's looked everywhere else in the house. He opens the door to the basement and turns on the light, but it doesn't work (of course, why would it work?). He goes and gets a flashlight, but not before threatening whoever is in the basement with the fact that he has a gun and will indeed open fire on their ass unless they come out (he doesn't have a gun and I doubt he would even know how to use one if he did).
Instead, he goes to the kitchen and fishes one, count 'em one, small ass knife out of a container of knives. Um. Okay, I guess he's primed and ready to die. Why not just get some nail clippers or tweezers while you're at it? Equally as ineffective. I mean, at least bring more than one knife, because we all know you're going to lose it at some point and be even more defenseless.
AJ tries to give himself a pep talk, telling himself that he's a man and no one will squat in his house and get away with it. I'd just be like, okay, I'll call the cops and if they don't come (because it's a shitty neighborhood in DETROIT, so I doubt they'd show up anyway), I'd have to take care of it myself, but not the way AJ did it. Or the way Tess did it. Or the way that clown did it.
Instead, I'd arm myself with a shotgun, a few Glocks with extra 9mm clips, a headlamp (probably an extra one, too), a torch (like a fire torch), a few flashlights, some lanterns to leave around the passages, glow-in-the-dark paint to leave a path to get back, ear protection, eye protection, probably some grenades just in case, a taser, pepper gel, snacks, a couple of loyal, protective cute and brave dogs with armor, some armor for me, probably a sword or two, big-ass knives strapped to my body, food, water and like four other people. Oh, and a sweatshirt in case it gets cold.
AJ just brings a tiny knife and a crappy flashlight. With no extra batteries. Smart.
In the basement, AJ looks around with the flashlight and spots the rope threaded through the wall and pulls on it, opening the secret passage to the secret room and the tunnels o' doom. He finds the secret torture room and instead of having a normal reaction, like Tess did, AJ is excited and goes upstairs to research if he can count the room as additional square footage when he goes to sell the house. It's really funny, but demonstrates how dumb and unaware he is of what's happening. He again, only cares about himself, so he can only see what is important to him, not what could be happening or what has possibly happened to someone else.
We see that he has also brought a tape measure with him and he starts measuring the secret passage and secret room, marveling at how much space he can claim when he goes to sell the house. He discovers the second secret door and instead of being alarmed, he just keeps measuring. It's actually pretty comical how dumb and self-involved this guy is.
He keeps going, even seeing the dog cages and saying, "What the fuck?", but he keeps laughing in delight about how much space there is and how much money he will supposedly make on the sale of the house. He goes down the tunnels until he notices a room past the dog cages that's emitting a purple light. AJ stupidly says, "Hello?", like he forgot he thought someone was squatting in his house and is a danger to him.
He walks to the room and looks in, seeing some kind of fabric all over the floor, like rugs or curtains and a video tape playing on a television that has been placed on the floor in the corner of the room. The video tape is about a woman nursing her baby and the narrator of the video tape talks about how nursing is pleasant for both the mother and the child. AJ curls his lips in disgust and says, "What the fuck?" Indeed.
Why would someone need to know how to nurse down in the tunnels o' doom? Is it some educational thing or some sexual perversion thing? Why is it on tape? Who watches tapes anymore? How long has that grey monster thing been down there? How is there electricity down there? Where do the tunnels lead and who dug them? Are there more grey monster things? Is the grey monster thing nursing? It has big ol' grey boobies, so...maybe. Where's its baby then? I have so many questions.
As AJ peers into the room, the tape measure starts shaking in his hand like someone has a hold of it. It seems like whatever has it was either in the house all along and crept down after AJ or it came from the dog cage passageway and it can see in the dark. Eventually, whatever it is tugs the tape measure out of AJ's hand, scaring the crap out of him. He shines the flashlight down the passageway towards the basement, but doesn't see anything. Terrified, he gets out his tiny knife, drops it, but picks it up quickly (that's a surprise).
Not being able to see much and terrified, AJ turns and runs down the passageway into the unknown. He stumbles while trying to run and look behind him and the flashlight starts acting wonky. We hear growls behind him as he tries to get the flashlight to work properly. The flashlight flickers and we see the grey monster thing is what has been chasing him. He screams and runs further down the passage and falls into a literal trap, with a trapdoor and all. The grey monster thing closes it and we see Tess is also trapped in the cage, alive and super dirty. AJ is panicked and Tess leans forward to cover his mouth with her hand and tells him to be quiet.
Next, we see the outside of the house on a sunny day. The houses next to it are in great condition and all the yards are mowed, so it seems as if we have gone back in time and are about to find about who owned the house before the neighborhood went to shit. As the camera focuses on the house, a tall older man exits the house. His head also almost scrapes the doorway, so maybe Keith got killed because the grey monster thing was reminded of this man, whoever he is. I mean, it just trapped Tess and AJ, so why didn't it trap Keith? I guess we'll find out.
The man walks to the end of his sidewalk and we see more of the neighborhood with nice houses, children playing outside, people taking care of their lawns and that the neighborhood mostly consists of white families. The man gets into his ginormous car and we hear the radio start to play. The radio is broadcasting some news about how the Reagan administration has inherited the worst economy in 50 years, so we are to assume this takes place in the 1980's.
We next see that the man is walking around a grocery store and asks the clerk for some plastic sheets, diapers and baby stuff, telling the clerk that his wife is having a home birth. I'd be like, sure, buddy. You're not creepy at all, let me get that stuff out of the back. Stall him and call the police, there's something really off about this guy, Ms. Clerk Lady. Oblivious to his obvious inherent creepiness, she hands him a video tape with a baby on it and we now know where the tape in the room where the tunnels are came from.
Ugh, this is just gross. It seems like this guy has someone prisoner and is raping them or has raped them and is making them have a baby. I hope that's as bad as it gets, but how could the grey monster thing be alive if this was only happening in the 1980's? It had to have kept going past this point in time. Let's keep watching and find out.
The man exits the store and we see him get to his car, where he puts the stuff he got from the grocery store in his massive car trunk. Does he stuff women in there or what? Why is it so big? Just in case you aren't convinced he's a creep, we now have proof...he spots a woman exiting a store as he is getting into his car and watches her for a bit BEFORE FOLLOWING HER HOME. OMG. Great. He parks around the corner from her house, goes to the trunk, puts on some utility uniform and walks casually over to her house and knocks on the door.
She, like a total dumbass, answers the door and he tells her that there are outages in the neighborhood and he needs to come in and make sure "everything is up to par". "Your dick won't be up to par when I blow it off with my shotgun you rapist bastard." That's what I'd say through the door anyway.
And that, folks, is why I'm not appropriate for human interaction. Still, I don't answer the door for people I'm not expecting and don't know and I'd check his story regardless if he still tried to get in or left. Plus, his name tag on that utility outfit said "Carlos" on it. A white gangly scarecrow fuck named "Carlos"? Okay, sure buddy. Nice try.
He goes to the bathroom without checking shit and turns on the sink so he can provide some cover for the noise he's about to make. He unlocks the window to the bathroom so he can presumably break into the house later and abduct the woman without making any noise. As he leaves the house, he says goodbye and we see the woman question him about if everything was okay, to which he tells her yes, everything is fine. We notice that she has a flowered yellow dress, which comes into play later.
The creepy scarecrow fuck heads home in his rape wagon and as he goes to walk up his sidewalk to the porch, his neighbor, who learn is named Doug, comes across his yard and tells the man, who we learn is named Frank (Richard Brake), that he is moving away because the neighborhood is going to shit and he and his wife want to sell before things get so bad they can't sell. He's acting all friendly towards Frank, like Frank isn't a creepy fuck and isn't super unfriendly.
Excuse me for a second. Hold up. What the hell is wrong with people being unobservant dumbasses? Frank is just blatantly wearing a utility jumpsuit that says, "Carlos" on it and Doug doesn't say anything? I'd be like, "Hey, Carlos" and call him "Carlos" until the end of time. The days of being called Frank are over, it's "Carlos" now.
You can't present a prime opportunity of endless jokes to me and think I'm not going to take it. I'm sure I wouldn't actually talk to that guy since he's so creepy, but be damn sure I'd still call him "Carlos" until the end of time. I'd infect the neighborhood. Everyone I actually talked to in the neighborhood would also start calling him "Carlos" until basically everyone did it. It's the joke gift that keeps on giving.
Anyway, Doug, our resident unassuming moron, stands there stupidly, asking Frank if he's going to move away as well, to which "Carlos" replies that he's staying and rudely walks away. Frank goes into his house and heads to the basement, where we hear screaming, which is presumably coming from the torture room. I'm guessing Frank dug these tunnels himself or kept slaves and made them do it, it's hard to say.
He's had at the very least, 40-50 years to dig them if he's still down there presently. It's also safe to say that this isn't his first abduct, rape and torture of a woman and he's been doing this for a while. It makes me wonder how many women he has down there and if he kills them after or keeps them in those cages until they die. I also don't know for sure, but if he's making them have babies, are the babies raised in those dog cages? Ugh, I don't want to think about it too much, it's so sick.
Back in present time, we see Tess kindly bandaging a wound on AJ's arm. Tess asks AJ if anyone knows that he's at the house while AJ ignores her and continues his rudeness extravaganza by not acknowledging Tess's kindness and saying, "Thank you", you know, like a non-rude ass would. AJ just tells Tess that he needs to get out of there, but doesn't say "we", like he could give a shit about why Tess is in there and if she gets out of there safely as well.
Tess tries to tell him that he needs to be calm around the grey monster thing, who she refers to as "she", but he basically ignores her and continues to panic. The grey woman monster thing lowers down a rather large baby bottle through the open grate at the top of the cage and Tess tells AJ he has to drink the milk to satisfy the grey woman, who apparently thinks Tess and AJ are its babies.
I guess its mind is warped from living in the tunnels o' doom and watching that baby nursing video over and over. It's kind of sad because you know that whatever this thing is, it's human and the state she's in is because of that Frank/Carlos guy. She didn't kill Tess, so she's, in a fucked up way, trying to protect AJ and Tess and take care of them.
Tess tells AJ to drink the offered bottle and AJ basically is like, "Wtf?" and just watches as Tess drinks from the bottle. I mean, it's weird and gross, but it's probably just regular milk since it doesn't look anything like breastmilk. It doesn't look curdled or old either, so I guess it's either formula or regular dairy milk. Hope no one is lactose intolerant because I don't see any toilet paper anywhere.
AJ refuses to drink from the bottle, so logically, the grey woman takes jumps down to get AJ out of his "crib" (definitely not a trap). She first goes over to Tess and hugs her, stroking her face gently while calling her, "Baby". She then grabs AJ and takes him into the room with the television so she can "nurse" him. Get ready to see a big ol' grey, veiny titty up close, people. I guess you can't really prepare yourself for something like that, but you can try your best.
Before the disturbing nursing begins, she boops (she actually says, "Boop!" too) AJ on the nose and it's alternately hilarious and horrifying. Meanwhile, back in the cage that the grey monster woman conveniently left open, Tess grabs the flashlight and hops up and out of the cage, making strides to make up for all the stupid decisions she made earlier in the film.
AJ, on the other hand, is basically about to be forced to mime drinking from a grey boob and something about watching him being held down by his neck and watching his feet twitch around is hilarious. The grey woman is so oafy and has no idea she's choking him out while trying to "feed" him. Kind of like Lennie in "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck. She's going to accidentally end up killing him if she's not careful.
Tess sneaks by the room and sees AJ getting "fed" by the grey monster lady and shudders. She almost gets out of the tunnels without the grey monster lady seeing her, but she accidentally kicks AJ's tape measure, which was discarded on the ground next to the room when he ran down the passageway. The sound alerts the grey woman and she chases after Tess as Tess makes her escape.
Tess gets to the basement, runs up the basement stairs and tries to kick the basement door open, but she's no Jean Claude Van Damme, so she runs back down the steps and breaks the small window instead and starts to climb out. The grey monster lady almost gets her, but a helpful neighborhood hobo grabs Tess's arms and drags her out to safety. The grey monster lady stretches her arms out, sad to lose her other "baby", but retreats back inside as it seems she can't be out in daylight.
Tess tells the helpful hobo from Detroit that someone else is inside, trapped and the hobo tells her he won't let her go back inside. We see at the same time AJ getting up off the floor in the television room as the grey monster woman has left him to go chase Tess. The helpful hobo from Detroit tells Tess she is safe and got out, so now she should get going and go basically anywhere else because once night falls, the grey woman will come out and start looking for her. He tells Tess that he stays over by the water tower and tries to get her to go along, since he's always been safe there, but she is worried about AJ and refuses.
Meanwhile, AJ is wandering the tunnels o' doom, unsupervised, shining a flashlight from a phone to and fro and comes across a passage that has some kind of bell and electrical cords attached to the wall. He hears the grey woman in the distance, panics and hurries further down the dark passage, unsure of what's ahead.
He follows the bell and electrical cords and finally arrives at the end of the passage, where he discovers a wooden door. AJ sees the woman in the distance, but she just watches him, seemingly refusing to come closer because she's afraid of what's beyond the door. Great. A kind-of monster is afraid of something? What the hell is behind the door?
At the same time, Tess starts walking because she's keyless in Detroit and the house is unsafe and isn't going back in the house to find her car keys. Tess finally comes upon what looks like a gas station or convenience store or something and bangs on the window, looking dirty and bedraggled. She pounds on the window and yells at the clerk inside to ask if she can use the phone. I think her delivery could use some work, since she looks like a crazy hobo, but that's just me.
We then see AJ open the door at the end of the passageway, and it looks like he's entered someone's bedroom. There's country music playing, lights on and a television on as well. There's a lot of trash on the ground and he looks around to find a flowered yellow dress, so I guess we know what happened to the woman we saw Frank/Carlos stalk in the 1980's. Thinking he's alone, AJ is startled when he hears a cough behind him and turns to see an old man in a disgusto bed. I guess we found Frank/Carlos guys.
We next see Tess outside of the gas station/convenience store, waiting. The police show up and she waves them down, hurrying over to them to explain what happened to her. Repelled by her smell and general demeanor, the cops act like assholes and tell her she needs to get her smelly hobo hands off of their car and present some identification or they will hit her will whatever amount of volts a taser emits or some shit. They didn't say that exactly, but the implication was clear. Tess protests, telling them she's been held prisoner, someone else is in danger and she needs help, but they act like they could care less. It's in a word, infuriating.
Back in the tunnels o' doom and subsequent room o' doom, AJ tries to talk to the old fuck in the bed. The man gestures, like he wants AJ to get him something. Oh I know, AJ, get him a shotgun blast to the gut and afterwards, pour some alcohol in there along with a lit match. That old dude is Frank/Carlos and he deserves nothing less, trust me.
Unfortunately, instead of giving Frank/Carlos a gut full of buckshot with a side of Molotov cocktail, AJ gets him some water, which Frank drinks. He tells Frank that he's going to get out and get the cops there to get Frank out and Frank starts looking really squirrely and panicked at the thought of the cops "getting him out". I'll bet. Doesn't want to go to jail and used as a prison wife, more like it.
Frank gestures some more, but this time AJ can't figure out what he wants him to do. Frank points to some side table, which is a few feet from the bed and AJ just brings the whole thing over to him because he's not good at gangly-fuck scarecrow charades.
Outside of the house, we see the cops have brought Tess back. She shows them the broken window and tells them to break down the door to get to AJ. They just tell her she's insane, basically, and scurry off to another call, which apparently is way more important than dealing with a grey she-beast who murders folks and has one hostage down in the tunnels o' doom.
AJ looks around the room some more and discovers a whole bookshelf full of homemade tapes with names and descriptions on them, which seems to point to all the women Frank abducted, raped and tortured. AJ, for some reason, plays one that's already in the VCR and we hear what sounds like a rape occurring.
He turns to Frank, asking what the hell is wrong with him and sees Frank has pulled out a revolver from the side table AJ brought over from earlier. It seems like he wants to shoot AJ, but he ends up shooting himself in the head. It sucks he won't face justice on Earth, but Frank still has burning in Hell for all eternity to look forward to. Hey, I'm an optimistic person, always looking on the bright side, you know.
We see Tess break into the house and grab her keys, then head outside to her Jeep. It seems like she thinks about leaving like the helpful hobo from Detroit told her to do, but she hesitates and in that moment of hesitation, the grey monster woman bursts out of the front door like a maniac, running at full speed towards Tess's car.
Apparently unaware of the dangers of cars, the woman sprints right towards the business end of Tess's car and Tess not only runs the grey woman down, she rams her into the front of the house. The grey woman seemingly dies, but I'm not fooled. She'll pop up later when you least expect it, because that's how these things go.
It's pretty sad, because the grey woman is just a much of a victim as Tess, but it's not like Tess is able to make her understand that she can't just murder people and keep others as babies in her tunnels o' doom, so Tess has to protect herself and help AJ too.
After the old crusty scarecrow that is Frank kills himself, AJ grabs his gun and leaves the room o' doom and enters the tunnels o' doom, unaware Tess basically bulldozed the grey monster woman into the house. How did he not hear that shit, again? Tess, at the same time, gets out of her now wrecked car and goes into the house. Great. Tess is going to get shot by the supreme moron that is AJ. Great, great, great. Hopefully it just grazes her or he misses or something.
Nope, immediately nope. AJ shoots the hell out of Tess in her side, apologizes and picks her up, helping her out of the house. As they walk down the porch steps outside, we see that the grey monster woman is gone (Just. Like. I. Said.). Great. So, now no one knows where she could be.
That's why you have to cut off the head of the supernatural being that's after you and burn the body parts, scattering the ashes in like five different bodies of water so they can't reorganize and come back to life. I have to be honest though, I just want Tess and AJ to get away. I don't want the grey monster lady to die, but she probably won't stop killing or abducting people either, so I don't know. Eh, I want a happy ending somehow, I don't know what that would be though. Let's move on.
Tess and AJ walk to the water tower, where the helpful hobo of Detroit told Tess he lives. They find him and he tells them to be quiet, removing a section of the fence so they can enter his camp without the grey monster lady hearing them. The hobo tells them she has never entered his camp, so it's safe. He tells them a little about the history of the woman and the house, relating that the grey woman is Frank's daughter and has been living there for 40 years.
He tells them that Frank would have babies with her and that Frank would abduct women, rape them, force them to have babies, then rape those women and so on. He doesn't say what happened to any male children, so maybe they are still alive in the tunnels somewhere or Frank killed them. What. The. Fuck. I mean, why didn't anyone burn that place to the ground if they knew that shit was going on?
Like I understand if the cops were unreliable pieces of crap who wouldn't stop what was going on, but why not just burn it to the ground during the day? I doubt the fire department would come and put the fire out, based on what the other houses in the neighborhood look like. It's not like the grey woman can come out during the day, either. So, at the very least, the upper part of the house would be destroyed so no one would rent the damn place out. It's kind of like the hobo was like, live and let live, but damn, people are getting raped and murdered for how many years and you do nothing? Not cool, man.
The hobo alludes to the fact that the grey woman looks the way she does because she's been inbred to all oblivion. I mean, I understand deformities due to inbreeding, but why is her skin grey? I mean...from living underground or what? Not seeing the sun, like ever? How can she withstand any light, like the television light and see down there? I would think she'd be more like the monsters in the movie, The Descent (2005), like they can see in the dark but are blinded by any light. Plot hole maybe? I don't know. I feel like there's more to know.
The helpful hobo from Detroit who doesn't do shit about rapists and murderers down the street from his hobo camp, tells Tess the grey woman did a number on her torso and AJ actually admits that he hurt Tess. Tess explains that it was an accident and AJ is distraught, saying he hurt her. He wonders aloud if he is a bad person or a good person that makes mistakes and actually seems remorseful for what he did to the actress. I guess seeing that rape tape in the room o' doom made him question if he was just as bad as Frank/Carlos.
Unfortunately for the hobo, the grey woman decides it's the perfect time to try out her arm ripping routine she's always wanted to perform in front of a live studio audience. She rips that guys arm off like he's made out of Play-Doh, freaking out Tess and AJ and (probably) killing the helpful hobo from Detroit. Seeing as how she beats the hobo with his own arm, I'm assuming he's dead at this point.
Tess and AJ run away to the water tower and climb up. AJ scrambles to the top, leaving Tess behind and after his whole speech about wondering if he is a bad person or good person who makes mistakes, I'm leaning towards he's just a bad person in general. He makes it really clear when he gets to the top and accidentally drops the gun off the edge and tells Tess the grey woman won't ever stop coming for them. Then he says something about how he can get away. Then he GRABS TESS BY THE HAIR AND CHUCKS HER OFF THE EDGE.
What. The. Fuck. AJ.
The grey woman, thinking her baby is in danger, jumps off the edge of the water tower to break Tess's fall and AJ leans over the edge to see what happened. He goes down the stairs and approaches Tess, who is laying on top of the grey woman, who successfully broke Tess's fall and protected her. AJ, seeing that Tess is still alive, tells Tess that he's sorry, that the grey woman was going to kill both of them, so he "panicked". Then this motherfucker has the audacity to say "he didn't even let go", that she "slipped". Then he says there was "nothing he could do" and that "she slipped". This is comedy gold, definitely my kind of humor.
But AJ doesn't get away with this shit, oh no. The grey monster lady wakes up and grabs AJ, gouging his eyes out and a bunch of nasty shit oozes out, so don't watch that part, because trust me, it's really gross.
The grey woman leans over to Tess, who is still on the ground, stunned by the events that have just occurred and baby talks to her. She is very concerned about Tess's injuries and goes to try to help her up and Tess, no joke, puts a gun up to grey monster woman's face. The grey woman doesn't react, not understanding that Tess is about to hurt her terribly. It actually made me really sad to watch, to know the woman didn't understand what was about to happen. Tess shoots her offscreen and the film ends.
I really loved this film. It never really went in a direction that I thought it was going to, which is rare for me since I've seen thousands of movies and read thousands of books. I really thought by the end AJ would really be sorry and remorseful for raping the actress, but he really was just a terrible person. The only good people in the film were Tess, Keith and the grey woman.
I really liked that the film made the dangers in society come from both men and women, that there was commentary on how police can treat others based on their appearance, demeanor and where they live, and that it showed that you can't really trust someone based on their appearance alone.
Keith was intimidating because of his size, but he ended up being nice. The grey woman was scary-looking, but she was ultimately very protective and tried to keep her "babies" away from Frank and safe in general. I mean, she risked her life to save Tess several times. AJ seemed like a decent guy at first, but then you gradually learn he's just a piece of shit, through and through. Tess tried very hard to help AJ, went back into the house even though she was in danger to help him, and seemed remorseful when the grey woman was hurt.
This all demonstrated to me that you should judge people by their actions, not their appearance alone, which is something I wholeheartedly agree with. I mean, of course you should be wary if you see someone outside of your house, let's say, waving around a gun and dressed up like the Pope. You certainly don't have to talk to them to know something is up, because people just don't normally wave around guns and dress like the Pope, but in everyday life, observe how people act and how they treat people, which will tell you a lot more about them than what they look like.
Have you seen this film? Are you interested in seeing it? What did you think if you have seen it? Did you like it? What didn't you like, if anything? Please share your thoughts below!