Runtime: 82 minutes
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Director: Andrew Currie
Terrance (Erik McCormack) decides to take his daughter Cynthia and son Jake to a secluded cabin for Christmas after his wife dies. His wife loved going there when she was younger and always wanted to take her own children there, but Terrance was always too busy with work to make time with his kids. Now, he wants everything to go well. He has Christmas gifts waiting and a freezer stocked with food, so everything should be a breeze.
Unfortunately, on the way to the cabin, they hit a wild animal. He goes to check on it and puts it out of its misery. Though he lies to his kids about what happened, he can't stop thinking about it. The first night at the cabin goes well, but his kids are still a little uneasy given that they never had a real relationship with their father before.
We quickly learn that Terrance is haunted by the death of his wife. He keeps flashing back to their last few moments together, but we don't learn what really happened to her until the end of the film. Things begin happening around the house that make the family wonder what's happening. The door flies open on its own, they see faces peering at them from the windows, and other odd things occur. Terrance finally decides that the only way to keep his family safe as the snow piles up outside is to barricade them inside the old cabin, but that only seems to intensify the unusual activity.
I never heard about "Barricade" until I was watching another movie and a trailer for it came on the screen. After finally seeing it, I wish I heard about it sooner. This is easily one of the top films I've seen in the last few months. While it does have a few down moments, it manages to create a tight and thrilling story.
Films that take place in a contained location often struggle. "Barricade" primarily takes place in the cabin, and we really only see a few different areas of that house, but I think that's what makes it so strong. With such a confined space, you never know what might happen when a character turns around or the camera shifts. I was literally edging forward in my chair waiting for something else to happen.
McCormack does a great job too. His Terrance is clearly a man with some issues. He isn't over his wife, doesn't know how to raise his children, and generally just feels lost. We know this, which is why we don't know what to think when things go awry. Is the old family cabin haunted, or is Terrance just seeing things and making his kids see things too? By the time "Barricade" finally reached its end, I was literally bouncing in my seat ready to know what happened.