Director: Andrew Currie
Being an unbridled fan of the horror genre, you understand that at any given time, you could end up watching one of the worst movies ever made. And after 85 minutes, Barricade proved this theory oh so true.
Alright, it’s not the worst flick ever created. But it is definitely the worst of the year thus far. Just taking into account the broad strokes of what makes a competent cinematic product (horror or not), this has zilch. Sure there’s a slight interest of what is causing a raucous in a secluded cabin where a father and his children are vacationing. But that’s about the only element to keep you from walking out of your own living room (this went straight to DVD – for a reason). The ending is terribly unsatisfying. The acting is misguided and hampered by poor timing and a juvenile edit. Hell, even the lighting of each scene is the pits! And the producers, WWE Studios, cannot cry out that they could not afford better equipment. Yet feel free to say that you hired some shanty filmmakers to cover your ass.
Eric McCormack (yeah, the guy from Will & Grace) takes his two kiddies (Conner Dwelly and Ryan Grantham) up to his late wife’s family cabin during the peak of winter (at least the setting was decent). Through flashback sequences, you learn that the family is trying to cope with the loss of their wife/mother (Jody Thompson), and feel this getaway will do the trick. Upon arriving, McCormack starts seeing human figures, hearing noises, and is baffled by his children’s behavior (mainly a barrage of strange questions). In trying to come to grips what is happening in-and-around the cabin, he decides that he must, wait for it, barricade all entrances to the cabin; even though he’s not quite sure if the threat is coming from outside or in.
One subplot being dragged through this severely under-developed nonsense is that all three of the characters develop some sort of cough. And it’s annoying, since it is never fully explained. They could have titled this, “A Tuberculosis Christmas” with all of its poorly cued hacking away.
As the haunted house portion fully kicks in – with an assortment of loud knocks, piercing eyes appearing in windows, and rooms getting messed up – maybe two instances could actually qualify as a nominal scare. And then, there’s this obvious psychological angle being woven in and you immediately start thinking that this is all in McCormack’s head. This notion would have been fine, if it was disguised or articulated in a proper manner. And this is also the point where pacing becomes a sore spot and continuously haunts the product the rest of the way.
Clearly, the filmmakers were trying to borrow ideas from The Amityville Horror. Thing is, they borrowed these said ideas from the dismal 2005 remake, and then compounded the idea into this disaster.
Overall, Barricade is too moronic to get out of its own way. And McCormack should never try to portray a horror victim ever again. Now WWE Studios is a separate entity from their uber-successful pro-wrestling television product. But the irony of it all is that a key factor in how WWE has earned “empire status” stemmed from the company’s in-ring performers being able to properly sell the scripted angles/actions to the fans. With this flick, everyone involved couldn’t sell a hot Amsterdam window girl to American Pie’s resident horn-dog, “Steve Stifler.”