THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE BARN is a new Christmas horror-comedy that takes place in Norway and features elves. Lots of jokes about Americans and Norwegians, which work well – for the most part. Screened at Fantastic Fest 2023. Read our full There’s Something in the Barn movie review here!
THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE BARN is a Christmas horror-comedy with a classic horror premise, but also references to classic Christmas comedies. For me, there were lots of scenes that felt like direct tributes to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Admittedly, I do watch that movie every year during the holidays, so maybe it’s just that this is always my go-to Christmas movie.
The story plays out in Norway, but we follow an American family. This results in a movie where people speak English, so it has the all-important international appeal. For the record, the actual horror elements come in full force during the third and final act.
The movie is getting its world premiere at Fantastic Fest 2023 but will be out on VOD in November of 2023.
Continue reading our There’s Something in the Barn movie review below.
Setting the stage
As with many Christmas movies, it begins by setting the stage which involves a gorgeous landscape full of snow. And, of course, several quirky and kitsch characters as this is a horror-comedy.
The plot is very simple as we meet Bill and his family as they’re moving into their new home in Norway. Bill inherited his uncle’s estate in Norway, which has made the small American family dream of turning it into a bed and breakfast.
Adapting to a Scandinavian lifestyle, in a very rural part of Norway isn’t without challenges. As Bill’s son, Lucas, is exploring the barn on the property, he discovers an ancient barn elf living there. From talking with a local Norwegian elf specialist, Lucas learns that there are rules you need to follow, if you want to keep the barn elf happy. And, trust me, you want to keep the elf happy!
While Lucas does his best to follow the rules and even interacts with the barn elf, his father does not. In fact, Bill completely ignores Lucas’ warnings, which makes the barn elf angry. As we learned from the opening scene, you don’t upset the barn elf without dire consequences.
Christmas traditions across the world
Because this Christmas movie takes place in Norway, we get a loving (and funny) look at various Christmas traditions across the world. Particularly in the US and Norway. This results in many jokes about both Americans and Norwegians, which work well – for the most part, anyway.
There’s Something in the Barn does tend to go for two of the most obvious; Americans are loud and all have guns, and Norwegians are reserved and like to drink lots of alcohol. Again, these jokes are made with love and go both ways so they serve their purpose very well here.
Especially in getting us to care for the various characters before the craziness begins. Oh, and the bloody violence. And yes, there will be blood. Lots of it.
There’s Something in the Barn world premiere at Fantastic Fest
Magnus Martens is the director of this horror-comedy with the screenplay written by Aleksander Kirkwood Brown. The producer is Kjetil Omberg, who worked on both Dead Snow 1 and 2 as well as The Trip. In other words, lots of brutal horror comedies which is exactly what this is as well.
The cast of this Norwegian Christmas horror-comedy features Martin Starr (Silicon Valley) as the father, Bill. Among the Norwegian characters, we also see quite a few familiar faces. These include Henriette Steenstrup of the Netflix series Ragnarok as the local police officer. She is probably my favorite character in this movie. Also, you’ll see Jeppe Beck Laursen from the Nazi-Zombie horror-comedy Dead Snow and the recent horror-comedy The Trip.
For me, There’s Something in the Barn works at its finest when the story goes for cultural jabs or pure creative survival tactics. Also, the nostalgia for both horror and comedy of the 1980s, so if you like this as well, you’ll want to watch There’s Something in the Barn. We screened this at Fantastic Fest 2023, but I’d love to rewatch it during the holiday season next year.
There’s Something in the Barn had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest 2023. It will be out on Digital in the US on December 5, 2023, and in UK Cinemas & Digital Download from December 1, 2023.
Director: Magnus Martens
Writer: Aleksander Kirkwood Brown
Cast: Martin Starr, Amrita Acharia, Kiran Shah, Townes Bunner, Zoe Winther-Hansen, Calle Hellevang-Larsen, Henriette Steenstrup, Paul Monaghan, Jeppe Beck Laursen
After inheriting an old cabin in Norway, an American family moves there with the intentions of turning the adjoining barn into a bed and breakfast. They end up disturbing an ancient Barn Elf who will go to deadly lengths to drive the family away.