Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Channeling the outrageous VHS era horror-inspired fun of 2016’s The Barn, this belated sequel (aptly titled The Barn Part II) delivers big on copious boobs and crowd-pleasing practical gore effects. Crowd-funded, low budget horror often feels like a passion project finally fully realized, and The Barn Part II is no exception. The baddies may look a little different and the acting is still just as wooden from nearly everyone, but in the end, the movie feels lovingly imagined. It takes stock of the previously-established mythology by forging ahead in an all-new horror arena!

The events of the previous movie have become the stuff of campfire legend, and the opening scene wastes no time getting us reacquainted with what to expect from the twisted world. Our three big bads The Boogeyman, Hollow Jack, and the Candy Corn Scarecrow are back! They completely demolish an unsuspecting troupe of young Boy Scouts before we flash forward one year later. It is 1992, with Halloween fast approaching. Sam (Mitchell Musolino) and Josh (Will Stout) are still missing; their friend, Michelle (Lexi Dripps), is the lone survivor of the massacre. Josh’s sister, Michelle, and their sorority house concoct something meant to honor the MIA duo. The annual Halloween Bash could relaunch Halloween for their town off-campus, and where else to hold the event than a creepy barn?

An ancient well in the “basement” of the barn is about to cause a whole lot of havoc. A socially awkward guy clearly crushing on Michelle from local video store Tape Deck offers up his family barn for use in this fundraising event. Meanwhile, the very same night, a town hall meeting with the goal of banning Halloween forever is set to take place, hosted by none other than curmudgeon Sara Barnhart (Linnea Quigley). Radio DJ Dr. Rock (Ari Lehman) plans to show face in order to plead his case. As the kids all gear up to unwittingly pay host to these monsters from another dimension, a typical (and hilarious) party prep montage is just what the doctor ordered. 

Once the action kicks into high gear, The Barn Part II relentlessly delivers kill after kill in quick succession. It even manages to introduces a couple new baddies in the form of a piggy man and a crow-vulture type creature that roams—and pecks—with gleeful abandon. Cracked heads, eyes gouged out, faces slashed in half, hearts ripped out—no expense is spared in the practical gore department. At a certain point, The Barn Part II becomes a frolicking zombie movie, complete with buckets of blood and various characters arming themselves for a wicked battle. I assume the majority of the film’s funds went here, so if savage murders are one’s bread and butter, they will no doubt leave satisfied.

With big epic moments and direct connections to the original, The Barn Part II is a satisfying, gory romp that left me hungry for more. Hellraiser’s Doug Bradley and horror double feature legend Joe Bob Briggs are both in on the fun as well, with the former playing an exposition-dumping old man that explains away the origins of our villains, while the latter runs a drive-in theater. Similar to the first, this sequel leaves the door open for still further mayhem and chaos. I know I’m ready to open up the barn doors for whatever Justin M. Seaman has in store next…

The Barn Part II screened at 2022’s Popcorn Frights Film Festival. 

One thought on “Popcorn Frights 2022: The Barn Part II

Leave a Reply