EXCLUSIVE: ‘Barbarian’ Director on Film’s Surprises

Director Zach Cregger has teased the various surprises in store for audiences when ‘Barbarian’ hits theaters this weekend.

Barbarian is the next major horror film to hit theaters, and it already has social media buzzing. Early online reactions to the movie claim it as a must-see for fans of the genre, and there has been almost unanimous praise for its many supposed twists and turns. Luckily, whatever those surprises are actually are remains a secret for viewers who wish to enjoy the plot unspoiled. All that is publicly known is what can be found in the trailer – a woman knocks on the door of her AirBnB to discover it’s already occupied, and after going inside, learns that something terrible is waiting for her under the house.

In an exclusive interview with Murphy’s Multiverse, writer and director Zach Cregger was asked how he hoped audiences would react to what he has in store for them. Upon hearing the word “surprise”, Cregger fessed up to being as taken aback by his own script as anyone else. He explained his writing process, and how he weaponized it to make a genuinely shocking picture:

I was surprised. [laughs] I didn’t beat this movie out. I didn’t outline it, I just started writing it. I was discovering it as I was going. So, I didn’t know what was down under the house until it happened. I didn’t know. So, I was just as surprised as anyone. [laughs] That was my rule for writing. If I don’t know what’s gonna happen, there’s no way the audience could. And so, I just kept to that spirit throughout the whole process.

Zach Cregger

Prior to creating Barbarian, the filmmaker maintained a successful career in comedy as part of the iconic sketch troupe The Whitest Kids U’Know. It would seem his many years of comedic improvisation have paid off in a rather unexpected way, flexing the same creative muscle in a wildly different genre.

Barbarian crawls its way into theaters on September 9th.

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