You may have noticed I posted about my favourite horror/alternative Christmas movies the other day – well, I’ve just had the privilege of watching a screener for There’s Something in the Barn, and now that list needs to be updated!
Described as ‘Gremlins meets National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation‘, this is a laugh-out-loud funny movie about an American family who inherit a house with a big old barn in the middle of nowhere, and think it’s going to be a great idea to move there and turn the big old barn into a big modern AirBnB.
As a stereotypical annoying American family, it’s not long before they’re bothering wild moose, local Norwegians, and, unknowingly, their mystical Nordic barn elf that everyone – apart from young Lucas (Townes Brunner) – is 100% certain doesn’t exist.
There’s rules to follow when you have a barn elf. They don’t like changes to the barn (because it’s their home), bright lights, or loud noise. Of course, the family break every single rule many times over, and their only saving grace – at least for a little while – is the cookies young Lucas gives to the elf.
However, the family is on thin ice and it’s not long before all hell breaks loose – blame the lutefisk. It’s not long before multiple elves descend on the household, attack the family, and even kill some local friendly Norwegians in the process. I was particularly fond of Henriette Steenstrup‘s cop character – she didn’t deserve to go out that way!
As a family, they start off quite annoying and I’m not really rooting for them. The dad is a bit of a damp squib, with no backbone and no idea how to parent. The stepmother has uprooted her life and her mindfulness business to make this work. The teenage daughter is… a typical teenage girl. Lucas tries his best, but he’s ‘just the kid no-one listens to’ at the start of this story.
One of the best parts for me is the elves getting ludicrously drunk and partying hard – and making ridiculous (sometimes fatal) errors, like one of them accidentally shooting their friend, then turning the gun to have a proper look at it and shooting themselves, too.
Tor Åge (Calle Hellevang-Larsen) is a great addition to the cast, and plays a peace-loving historian who wants to find a resolution to the problem in a similar manner to the Oslo Accords (which never really worked). Twice he brings this up, and directly references Israel/Palestine, which is either really unfortunate considering the current seriousness of the situation, or particularly good timing, depending on how dark your sense of humour is.
I actually found There’s Something in the Barn a bit reminiscent of classic comedy horror movie Troll 2, albeit Barn is actually funny because it’s funny-good, rather than hysterically-funny-bad – if that makes sense. I think it’s the elves, and the fact no-one believes Lucas about there being something in the barn, that made me think of that particular film.
There’s Something in the Barn is definitely more on the comedy side than the horror one, although there are a couple of great gory scenes and violence, too.
The main elf is actually quite likeable, but he has quite a temper on him! I won’t spoiler it, but I was really pleased with how the story played out, and by the end of There’s Something in the Barn, you may be feeling a little bit of Christmas spirit.
There’s not enough great, really memorable Christmas movies being made these days, so if you want a laugh and something a bit unexpected, There’s Something in the Barn is a great pick this December. A rip-roaring, riotous time all-round!
There’s Something in the Barn will be released in cinemas and for digital download from December 1st.
What do you think, will you be watching There’s Something in the Barn based on this review? Are you excited about alternative/horror Christmas movies, or do you prefer to stick to the classics? Let me know in the comments!