The Barn Part II
the barn part ii | justin m. seaman | lexi dripps | sable griedel | mitchell musolino | slasher | demon | demons | zombie | zombies | nightmares film festival | better horror | united states | diana prince | linnea quigley | doug bradley | will stout | the barn | sequel
Film: The Barn Part II
Director: Justin M. Seaman
Writer: Justin M. Seaman
Starring: Lexi Dripps, Sable Griedel and Mitchell Musolino
This is a movie that I was excited to check out. I enjoyed the original one which I hadn’t seen until watching in prep for this sequel that was being shown at the Nightmares Film Festival. It was the Midwest premiere for the film as well.
Synopsis: the Halloween ban is now lifted in Helen’s Valley and the sorority girls of Gamma Tau Psi place Michelle (Lexi Dripps) in charge of their annual haunted house. Unfortunately, some uninvited trick or treaters from her past come knocking…
For this sequel, it takes place a few years after the original one. Michelle is now attending a local college as the synopsis said and is part of a sorority. They use their Halloween haunted house to fund their yearly activities. The problem is that some of the sisters have ruined it so they can’t do it on campus. Heather (Sable Griedel) is placed in charge and Michelle steps up to help her. They need to find a new location for it though.
The two ladies go to the local video rental store to get some ideas for their haunt. Heather knows Charlie (Chad Bruns) who works behind the counter. She introduces him to Michelle. They hit it off. He also recommends a local guy who knows of a barn that they can rent. It turns out to be the barn from the original movie. The price is right and they go about setting up the haunt.
There is the issue that could stop them. There is the ban on Halloween after what happened the night that Sam Daniels (Mitchell Musolino) and Josh Harper (Will Stout) disappeared as well as the killing spree. The mayor, Lloyd Kaufman, has decided to lift it. This is much to the chagrin of Sara Barnhart (Linnea Quigley). There is a town meeting about getting an emergency injunction for the ban getting restored that night.
The sorority doesn’t realize the location they’re using. To start their haunt, the guests must knock and say trick or treat. They don’t realize that this awakens the evil spirits below. This brings back The Boogeyman (Justin M. Seaman), The Candycorn Scarecrow (Jedediah Giacchino) and Hallowed Jack (Caden Holmes) among other demons. They’re back to collect those that woke them up and more. They’re not the only ones who come back though either. Can everyone survive this Halloween night?
That is where I’ll leave this recap as well as introduce you to some of the characters that we get here. Where I want to start is that I like that this one expands on the first one did. We bring back familiar characters, add some new ones and build on the mythology. That is what I like with a sequel. This also amps up the body count which helps as well. These are all things I appreciate as it feels like the original, while also doing its own thing.
Where I officially want to start then is with the story and the changes made. In the original, it was a slasher that felt like a side-scroller video game. This one has a similar vibe as each set piece inside the haunted house is different. We get the original trio of demons in The Boogeyman, The Candycorn Scarecrow and Hallowed Jack back. They also bring in others like one that is dressed as a crow and there’s another that is a pig. I do like this. The only issue is that we don’t get as much from the original ones which I wanted just a bit more of. Not enough to ruin this though. I wanted to establish that. What is interesting there is that we learn the history of The Boogeyman and how this started. Walter Daniels (Doug Bradley) even tells the story which I loved that. It feels real.
Sticking with the slasher aspects, I want to go to the effects. They are great here. They went practical with everything that they could. That is something that I appreciate. The different set pieces are interesting and they do some fun things with character deaths. On top of that, we have a large cast of characters as cannon fodder. They don’t all get fleshed out, but they don’t necessarily need to either. There is enough personality though where I could recognize them. Not by name, but what they looked like. I give them credit here for not going CGI heavy. Only using it when needed.
Now I did need to shift over to an issue I had. This one incorporates zombies. It feels out of place since that wasn’t in the original one. It seems to me that this as included to raise the stakes and make it more difficult for our characters. I don’t like it since that feels like why it was done and wasn’t in the original. I’m fine with introducing new things, but it also should work in the same confines that were set up previously. There is also the issue of Michelle not knowing this is the same barn from before. She has some sly facial expressions where I do think she did this on purpose, which is messed up if true.
Where I want to go next would be with the acting. I was glad to see Dripps, Musolino and Stout back, even if the latter two are on a more limited basis for obvious reasons. I did like introducing new characters like Griedel and Bruns. These performances fit for what was needed. The rest of the cast around them are good. I also liked cameos by the likes of Diana Prince, Bradley, Quigley, Ari Lehman, Kaufman and John Bloom aka Joe-Bob Briggs. They are fun for what they give to the movie.
The last thing to go into would be with the filmmaking. I think that this sequel fixed an issue I had. What I didn’t have a problem with in either was the cinematography. This looks great. It is shot better than its budget so I give them credit there. The soundtrack wasn’t as good as the original one as it didn’t stand out to me necessarily. It also didn’t take me out. What I’m glad though was that they fixed with the issues with the sound quality of the dialogue of the characters. That made me happy.
In conclusion, this is a worthy sequel. It takes what the first one did and builds on that. We get a large cast of characters to kill off by our demons. I like that we brought back familiar characters as well. There isn’t a bad performance and the cameos we get here are great. The effects were good. The filmmaking techniques were as well. I had no issues there. If I did have an issue, I like that they built on the mythology from the original one, but they add different things that don’t work for me. Not enough to ruin this though. It was a fun take on a supernatural slasher.
My Rating: 7 out of 10