You can’t blame people today for wanting to get away from it all. Sometimes nothing sounds more appealing than retreating to a remote cabin in the mountains for some rest and relaxation. Shut off the phones and other electronic devices, or just leave them at home. However, it you are going to do this, have a contingency plan for emergency purposes. You never know when a blizzard could keep you stuck in cabin, completely cut off from the outside world.
In Fido director Andrew Currie and WWE Studios’ Barricade, Terrence Shade (Eric McCormack) has decided to get out of the city and take his two kids to a remote cabin (which is really a very large house even though people continuously refer to it as a cabin).
A year prior Terrence and young Cynthia (Conner Dwelly) and Jake (Ryan Grantham) lost their wife/mother. She desperately wanted to have a white Christmas at the cabin but Terrence kept making excuses to get out of it. A workaholic, Terrence is pretty much a jackass. At one point he tells his wife that being a mother is her strong suit while “mine is paying the bills,” implying that he really wants nothing to do with his two children.
It doesn’t take long for trouble to arrive after the family reaches the cabin. Strange and unexplainable occurrences have all three on edge. Terrence glimpses a spooky girl outside a kitchen window. Cynthia says something is in the attic. Jake spots something in the trees that surround the cabin. We catch brief glimpses of someone/something but it’s hard to make out exactly who/what it is.
Things quickly go from bad to worse. A sudden blizzard traps them in the house. Everyone comes down with a nasty fever. And all three are convinced that something is after them. So they try to barricade themselves in the house. Cynthia (somewhat inexplicably) wonders if maybe that’s exactly what it wants.
Barricade is a frustratingly run-of-the-mill horror movie. It’s certainly not terrible. The performances are solid. The isolated setting, while familiar, is effective and the cabin sufficiently creepy. At 75 minutes sans credits, it sure doesn’t overstay its welcome. And despite an overreliance on boo scares (people popping out of nowhere, things leaping from off the screen), some of them work well.
It just doesn’t add up to much or do anything particularly interesting. Frequent flashbacks to happier days are filler. The matter of whether or not the freakiness is all in Terrence’s head is telegraphed early on and there are no surprises. No real suspense is ever generated. The end result feels completely inconsequential. You watch it, and you’re not bored, but you’re not fully engaged either.
Barricade is passable Saturday night viewing, but nothing to make the extra effort for.