Darren Lynn Bousman Discusses His New Film, The Barrens
What do you get when you take a man already losing his mind, place him deep into the forest and then add the Jersey Devil on top for good measure? You get The Barrens; an emotional thrill ride that’s more than just a take on a legendary cryptid.
Written and directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (whose previous works include Mother’s Day, The Devil’s Carnival and SAW II, III and IV), The Barrens stars Stephen Moyer (True Blood) as Richard Vineyard, a suburban husband and father trying to rekindle the relationship with his family by taking them on a camping trip deep into the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.
Along the way, the family discovers the legend of the Jersey Devil, but Richard reassures them that it’s all just pretend (SURE it is) and nothing to worry about. But, there are secrets that Richard has been keeping from them. One of which eventually causes him to spiral out of control and descend into madness as he becomes convinced the family is being stalked by the legendary monster.
The Barrens also stars Mia Kirshner (The Vampire Diaries), Allie MacDonald (House at the End of the Street) and Shawn Ashmore (X-Men: The Last Stand).
I found this film intriguing on many different levels. First, Stephen Moyer’s performance is outstanding. I haven’t seen someone lose their mind this good since Jack Nicholson went bonkers in The Shining. I also enjoyed how the movie deviated from what I initially expected. Just when you think you have it figured out; the story takes you off in an entirely different direction.
Viewers wanting to see a glimpse of the legendary creature certainly won’t be disappointed with this movie. But in the end, the real reason The Barrens succeeds is not because of the monster. It’s the story of a man’s descent into madness that draws you in and keeps you guessing until the very end.
In a world hungering for great dramatic thrillers, it’s unfortunate that films like The Barrens (along with Bousman’s previous film, an amazing re-make of “Mother’s Day” starring Rebecca De Mornay) never saw a wide theatrical release. Both of these films are solid, well-crafted productions with stars who give nothing less than stellar performances. Ones that I highly recommend you see.Continued on the next page