14 Most Terrifying Scenes From Barbarian (2022) That Scared Every Single Watcher

With its intriguing storyline and intense horrors, “Barbarian” is the first great horror movie of the fall and readily appeases horror-hungry audiences. In his third full-length film, actor-turned-writer-director Zach Cregger takes audiences on an Airbnb trip gone horribly wrong as two strangers who are forced to spend the night together because their rental was double-booked learn the house’s gruesome secrets and encounter an unexpected visitor who is anything but normal. Great thrills and unexpectedly funny humour combine in “Barbarian,” which is enhanced by a fantastic cast and Cregger’s direction. However, there’s no denying that “Barbarian” is a complete terror and shock-fest that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.

As soon as the primary character Tess (Georgina Campbell) steps into the dark basement of the house, the movie begins to gently lead viewers down a twisted rabbit hole that consistently provides excellent scares. After an unexpectedly abrupt unveiling at the end of the first act, the Mother (Matthew Patrick Davis), the movie’s main entity, leaves spectators shivering. And let’s not even talk about the film’s bizarre and bizarre last act, which is filled with horrible violence. Let’s examine the scares in “Barbarian” that are actually the scariest as there are several ways that the movie terrifies viewers.

A gruesome final kill

The entire last act of “Barbarian” is filled with scary scenes as AJ and Tess struggle to survive the Mother. Tess is in pain after AJ shot her with a bullet, but despite having a brief moment of reflection on his actions, AJ isn’t prepared to give his life to save her. In reality, he’s far from being a hero because in the last seconds of the chase, he tries to kill Tess to protect himself. It’s a tense situation because you’re not sure if Tess or the Mother will survive the fall.

The Mother initially appears as though she won’t stand up, but sadly for AJ, she does, and she won’t let him get away this time. One of the goriest deaths in the movie is when AJ is killed by the Mother, who not only pokes out his eyeballs but also crushes his head with her bare hands. It’s a gruesome and disgusting kill that’s satisfying because to how awful AJ is but incredibly scary due to its explicit nature because Cregger doesn’t hide anything either. This murder will never be forgotten, that much is certain.

A quickly closing door

Who would have imagined that some of the most dramatic moments in “Barbarian” would originate from a door? The basement door in “Barbarian” actually causes a surprising amount of difficulties because it traps whoever is inside there with very few escape routes. Even worse, it has the terrible habit of automatically closing at inconvenient times.

It’s a clever take on the old-fashioned horror device of doors closing on their own, and Tess finds herself playing a rather tense game of cat and mouse as a result. She has the lingering concern that every time she goes into the basement, the door will shut, trapping her there among the horrors of the house. Tess experiences a few unexpected close encounters with the door as it slowly closes, which leads to a few early “Barbarian” catch-your-breath moments. That door is a persistent source of fear for the protagonists and the audience, even if it doesn’t quite measure up to other jump scares and shocking revelations later in the movie.

A surprise appearance

After leaving the house, AJ and a hurt Tess are taken in by Andre (Jaymes Butler), a homeless man in the neighbourhood, who gives them refuge while the Mother looks for them. Andre tries to give AJ and Tess a breather by disclosing the Mother’s horrifying history at this point. Good times, however, are fleeting in “Barbarian,” and Andre’s final words become infamous because of a brief remark about his home being secure.

The Mother’s unexpected return causes a fantastic jump fright, launches an exciting chase in the conclusion, and finishes in a genuinely terrible kill as she rips off Andre’s arm and beats him to death. Andre’s death is one of many startlingly gory ones that appear throughout “Barbarian.” It’s a brutal ending for a person with good intentions, and it’s a memorable horrifying moment that disrupts the serene mood with unexpected fear.

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AJ discovers Frank

While still stranded in the catacombs, AJ ultimately discovers another secret area after escaping from the Mother. He is not, nonetheless, alone. A short while after glancing around the place, AJ discovers an elderly man who is also present and tries to assist him in speaking. While this would initially seem like a good development, viewers will soon understand that the old guy is actually Frank, the original owner of the home and a serial rapist, and that he should not be trusted.

Since you are already aware of Frank’s evil tendencies, seeing him again is utterly horrifying. Frank is first introduced in some flashbacks in which he is shown stalking a woman. Your eyes are glued to the bell system cord out of concern that he may pull it because every action he takes seems to have the potential to have terrible effects for AJ. Before Frank decides to take matters into his own hands, AJ also ultimately recognises Frank’s sadistic conduct and mocks him. A terrible individual makes an unexpected reappearance to the scene to start off the sequence, and while Cregger plays with your concerns of Frank, you are constantly on edge.

Help is available if you or someone you know has experienced a sexual assault. Visit the website of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network or call the National Helpline of RAINN at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

AJ is a real life horror

Unfortunately, we must talk a bit more about AJ because of the real-life horrors that his story introduces, which give the movie a socially conscious touch to its plot. AJ is accused of sexual assault against a former co-star when we first meet him. Despite his vehement denials, there are times when his demeanour and outlook make you wonder about him. We won’t have to wait long to learn the truth, and it will be difficult to continue to view him in the same light.

He basically confirms the story is genuine in a drunken encounter with an old buddy at a pub, and he further confirms it in an epiphany he gets after Andre provides him and Tess with a transient hiding place. While Cregger’s direction and Long’s portrayal of AJ make you chuckle at his stupidity, there’s something about his story that touches a horrifyingly genuine nerve. You never forget what AJ has done, and he’s truly a walking real-life horror.

Help is available if you or someone you know has experienced a sexual assault. Visit the website of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network or call the National Helpline of RAINN at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

First blood

Although The Mother poses a continual and scary menace throughout “Barbarian,” her first appearance is the most terrifying since it comes as a complete surprise. By the time the Mother shows up, you have already become thoroughly invested in Tess and Keith’s charming chemistry, their burgeoning relationship, and the interesting mystery going on. You are completely in the dark about what is truly happening when she finally shows up toward the conclusion of the first act, which makes her shambling out of the shadows utterly horrific.

The Mother really emerges from the shadows to offer a horrific scare and perform a shocking and brutal death on Keith by repeatedly banging his head against the wall as Tess and Keith reconcile in a dimly lighted tunnel. It’s a pivotal point where the horrors of “Barbarian” really come into play, and it’s a terrific technique to shock viewers by revealing a terrifying horror enemy.

Frank’s VHS collection

Given how little he knows, AJ’s ultimate meeting with Frank is terrible in its own right, but what’s even scarier is what he learns about Frank’s collection of videotapes. When AJ inserts one of the crudely described VHS tapes he discovers in Frank’s room and watches it, he is horrified by the reality. The videotapes and Andre’s explanation for the Mother’s creation portray a worse picture than the flashbacks, which had revealed Frank’s techniques for planning his kidnappings.

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AJ’s startled reaction tells you all you need to know, and you can’t blame him for the immediate dread and revulsion that can be shown on his face, even though we (thankfully) never see what occurs in the films. One of “Barbarian’s” most terrifying and disturbing revelations is that Frank tortured the ladies he trapped down there. Throughout the entire movie, your mind is racing for answers about what Frank truly did in the basement. This incident solidifies your already-held opinion that Frank is a complete monster.


Mistaken identity

Tess doesn’t realise that AJ (Justin Long) is essentially the worst person ever because of how clearly guilty he is of sexual assault, but she tries everything in her ability to try and save him. Tess first manages to escape, then returns to the house, finds her way through the dim hallways, and eventually returns to the Mother’s room. But shortly after, she catches a glimpse of a light through the shadows, and with one small action, she finds herself on the ground with a gunshot in her abdomen.

Tess was unaware that AJ had obtained a weapon from Frank (Richard Brake) and was now cautiously navigating the tunnels in the belief that the Mother was still concealed somewhere. So he doesn’t think twice to fire when he sees a mysterious figure standing not far from him. Unfortunately for him, Tess is the only one present, and the entire scene is incredibly exciting. Tess’s entrance back into the house is tensely anticipated, and when she sees the light from AJ’s phone, you are silent before being startled by the well timed gunshot scare. After that, you’re even more frightened since Tess literally hangs on while she bleeds for the rest of the movie.

Help is available if you or someone you know has experienced a sexual assault. Visit the website of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network or call the National Helpline of RAINN at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Morbid motherly moments

You can’t help but wonder what the Mother really has in mind for AJ and Tess after they first meet while being held captive by the Mother, and the answer is genuinely creepier than one could ever imagine. As the creature attempts to mimic motherly behaviours on Tess and AJ to effectively turn them into her children, viewers immediately understand why the creature is referred to as “The Mother.” However, motherly responsibilities have never appeared more gloomy given the Mother’s monstrous appearance.

The entire scene is tense as Tess’ survival instincts lead her to reluctantly sip from the baby bottle that is filled with the mother’s breast milk in order to blend in. Given what happens to AJ when he rejects, it’s ultimately a wise decision, despite the unpleasant moment that punches you in the gut. When the Mother takes AJ through the tunnels and attempts to breastfeed him, it’s difficult to remain still in your seat. Overall, “Barbarian” makes it quite clear why the Mother earned her moniker, and it couldn’t be more odd or scary.

Night terrors

When Tess and Keith (Bill Skarsgard) spend the first night in the house together, one of the film’s initial jump scares occurs as a result of Keith’s nightmares. Tess discovers Keith fighting and groaning on the couch after being awakened by someone or something opening her door and making a scary noise while she was sleeping. The episode that follows features Tess approaching Keith as he experiences severe night terrors.

The sound of Tess approaching Keith is absolutely thrilling, and the increasing volume of Keith’s screams of dread further heightens the excitement. The jump fright that results from Keith abruptly waking up gives viewers the perfect shock and serves as an excellent stinger at the conclusion of a spooky scene. The awkward conversation between Tess and Keith provides the last laughter, but the unforgettably stressful scene earlier in the movie establishes the mood well and gives viewers a few excellent chills.

Secret discoveries

The fact that “Barbarian” withholds its answers to let your imagination to ruminate on the worst scenarios is one of the things that makes it such a rollercoaster of fear. In fact, Tess experiences a terrifying moment when she first enters the secret side chamber because of how dark and empty it is. Tess feels as like she is entering the scene of a snuff film because of the filthy bedding, sleazy lighting, and video camera, which is regrettably not far from the reality.

You don’t know what the chamber is for when Tess first finds it, thus it ends up being the first horrifying detail that makes your heart race. You’re left contemplating the worst possibilities until AJ discovers the truth in Frank’s room, and regrettably, the truth isn’t all that much better. Tess’ initial finding is a terrific, horrifying early thrill and the first concrete lead that viewers have into the unsettling mystery that develops.

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She comes at night

Tess resolves to confront the Mother head-on with the aid of something Andre revealed just as it seems all hope is lost for her after the cops don’t believe her and she is once again left on her own. Andre states that the Mother only emerges at night during his ramblings, and Tess uses this information to set up a trap by driving her car into the Mother when she emerges. When the Mother finally emerges from the little basement window, it’s with a lethal fright because of the intense buildup of anticipation.

Watching her slowly emerge from the little window hole is immensely unsettling, and Tess’s decision to confront the Mother in an effort to flee and save AJ feels fulfilling. Not to mention, it’s quite frightful to watch the Mother growl and yell at Tess after she is struck by the automobile, but she gets up very quickly.

Terror with a tape measure

Oh AJ, he’s such an idiot when he first walks into the house, largely ignoring all the red flags that something is wrong. He is so hopelessly stupid that even after discovering the hidden room in the basement, he doesn’t give it a second thought and takes out the tape measure to see if he can increase the property’s worth. As AJ ventures farther into the tunnels, he unwittingly puts himself in more danger, which makes the scene hilarious at first but quickly turns horrifying.

Later, the Mother begins to play tricks on AJ by fiddling with his tape measure and ultimately stealing it from him. As it begins a crazy chase scenario through the tunnels that traps AJ and shows Tess is still alive, it’s a terrific example of comedy transitioning to horror. Additionally, the tape measure reappears later in the movie to almost prevent Tess from escaping and add some nice jump scares to a tight situation.


The horrifying origins of the Mother

You are left wondering how this terrifying creature came to be from the moment the Mother first emerges. The Mother is a scary force, from her unnatural physical appearance to her disturbingly horrific outbursts that result in significant bloodshed in the movie. When Andre tells the reality about the creature’s past, things don’t get much better because it makes you feel physically sick.

According to Andre, the Mother is the horrible outcome of ongoing incest caused by Frank’s raping of both the women and children he abducted throughout the years. Andre’s description of the Mother’s genesis makes you immediately feel sick to your stomach, and it seems only right that something so horrifying would produce such a monstrous-looking creature as the Mother. It also sets up a significant jump scare and Andre’s quick demise, serving as a gruesome and horrifying appetiser to the horror and sorrow of the movie’s last act.


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Being a binge-watcher himself, finding Content to write about comes naturally to Divesh. From Anime to Trending Netflix Series and Celebrity News, he covers every detail and always find the right sources for his research.

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