Small town. Supernatural force. Old barn. 20 year history.
In director Corey Norman’s The Barn, a small town is tormented by an unknown supernatural force that has been responsible for the disappearance and death of many of the town’s population over a 20-year history. At the center of much of the mystery is an old barn and its inhabitant Skip, the town’s recluse.
Whether Skip or the barn itself has anything specifically to do with the two decade history remains a mystery in this effective and satisfying thriller from Bonfire Films.
Propelling the story is Bobby Stevens (Erik Brobst) a young and shy member of the town who is picked on by two schoolyard bullies in Jake (Peter Campbell) and Seth (Mike Rodway). One day when Seth and Jake follow Bobby to the barn, a mysterious entity takes control of Seth and an outburst of extreme violence is channeled towards their weak prey. That event has a profound impact on Jake and it is his transitioning through both conscious recognition of their actions and by various ghostly sightings that will lead Jake down a path to ultimate discovery of who or what is behind the town’s grief.
Small independent films such as The Barn are sometimes laden with sub-standard production values including the casting of actors that fail to provide the requisite confidence required to carry a small production. But this is where The Barn separates itself from its inferior peers. The acting, in particular that by Peter Campbell, is confidently strong and the combined efforts of Jack Tracksler, Timothy J, Royal, Daniel Noel, Jenny Anastasoff and Stuart Townsend are equally up to task. The film is well shot and scored and the Director of Photography (Kenn Gonneville) can definitely take a bow for their effort.
As expected with films that have budgets of $2,500 or less (funding for the film came primarily through sizeable donations both local and abroad), not every note is hit with pinpoint accuracy. Still, there is definitely a positive aura engulfing the final cut. Those both in front of and behind the camera would seem to have incredible awareness and confidence in the project and the execution of this self-assurance is definitely embedded in the output.