Barbarian director Zach Cregger reveals what influenced the surprising horror film. Barbarian was written and directed by Cregger for his solo directorial debut. The film stars Georgina Campbell (Black Mirror), Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers) and Bill Skarsgård (It), and features a supporting cast that includes Richard Brake (The Munsters) and Matthew Patrick Davis. Barbarian was released on September 9 and has since become a sleeper hit, earning over $43 million. The film also received critical acclaim for Cregger’s screenplay and direction.
Barbarian follows Tess Marshall (Campbell) after discovering that the AirBnB she had booked is already occupied by a young man named Keith (Skarsgård) while he was in Detroit for a job interview. After an uncomfortably tense reunion, the couple discover that the rental house holds a dark mystery hidden in the basement where they find a monstrous being called The Mother (Davis). Then Barbarian strikes a startling tone and begins following AJ (Long), a troubled actor who owns the house. From then on, Barbarian turns into a disturbing and unique horror film.
Now Cregger is sharing what inspired his hit horror movie. In a recent interview with Reuters, the barbaric writer/director names the films and directors who were his biggest influences while creating the film, citing the 1999 Japanese horror film Audition as his main inspiration. Check out his full explanation below:
“I guess the main influence for that – and there are a million influences, we’re all moviegoers, so every movie you see is lodged in there somewhere. So thousands of movies go into this movie, but I would say Audition, Takashi Miike’s 1999 movie, it’s the spiritual ancestor, that’s for sure. Just because, thematically and structurally, it’s very similar. Psycho too. But in terms of tone, our rule was Fincher on top, Raimi on bottom. David Fincher was the early on, then once we got under the house, you know, Sam Raimi with all the goofiness and visual flair he uses. »
How Barbarian Borrows From His Diverse Influences
Barbarian kept audiences on the edge of their seats with its twists, but Cregger’s inspirations are actually clearly evident in the film. Audition’s influence is best seen in The Mother, which, like Japanese horror film antagonist Asami, turns to monstrous acts of violence in response to years of abuse. A similar comparison can be made between AJ and Shigeharu from Audition, as both men blithely ignore the warning signs that appear. Barbarian also uses the mid-film shift in perspective that made Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho so groundbreaking when it was released in 1960. Cregger amplifies this shift masterfully by applying the restless tension that director David Fincher often employs for the first half Barbarian. and the frenetic energy seen in Sam Raimi films for the second half.
As a self-proclaimed movie buff, Cregger demonstrated his impressive understanding of the horror genre with Barbarian. While many films borrow from others who have influenced them, few are able to combine those influences into something entirely new. Cregger was able to draw inspiration from making Barbarian a smash hit in a year full of great horror films. It seems certain horror fans will be watching to see if Cregger can recreate that success with his next film.