We’ve had a slew of Christmas action movies and the latest is There’s Something in the Barn but unlike ‘Whistle Down the Wind’ what’s in that barn turns out to be an elf. And it’s a grouchy one at that – hardly surprising as this is set in a small Norwegian town, a country that’s ice cold and expensive that it’s a surprise it’s not twinned with Melania Trump.
But it’s where Bill (Martin Starr) and his wife Carol (Amrita Acharia) stepmother to his two children, teen Nora (Zoe Winther-Hansen) and Lucas (Townes Bunner) have emigrated to from the US having inherited the house after an Uncle accidently kills himself when he tries to set the barn alight.
Bill’s plan is to turn the barn into a holiday rental property but it’s the barn elf that has other ideas and its Lucas who first encounters and befriends him and all seems well as long as everyone adheres to a couple of rules. No bright lights and no loud noises which goes some way to explain why there are no elves in Blackpool. There’s a gentle build up until all Hell breaks loose with digs at American and Norwegian culture as Lucas’ bid to keep the peace is destined to fail and the barn elf summons his murderous mates who lay siege to the home, the family and anyone who comes near the house which includes local villagers. It’s going to get messy.
The fantasy element is flagged upright from the start with an American family knowing where Norway is (any country thinking of invading America should forget about any formal weaponry and would cause mass confusion merely by carpet bombing the country with World Geography exam papers….but we digress). The simmering resentment between the moody teen daughter and her stepmother, a life coach (and there’s far more jokes to be had at her expense than the film allows) is entertaining with Carol’s ‘Happy Vison’ calm evaporating before she finally loses it in spectacular style.
But when the mayhem begins it gets bloody although not as gory as might be expected and instead goes for a middle path between full on gore and mild moments of ‘eeeew!’ What it probably would have benefitted from is going full on early Peter Jackson gore a la his 1992 gore fest, ‘Brain Dead’. That said this is still nonetheless great fun with something that will appeal to everyone and with the Israel-Palestine situation there’s even an unintentionally timely joke about the Oslo agreement.
There’s Something in the Barn is a home invasion movie that plays like Gremlins meets Home Alone with a cast loving it as much as audiences will.
Here’s the There’s Something in the Barn trailer……
There’s Something In The Barn will be available in UK Cinemas & Digital Download from 1st December 2023