“I went over to his house and he gave me a ton of advice on inevitable issues I could expect to encounter on my first feature,” Cregger told Empire. “Then I showed him a cut and he gave me notes. He was very helpful.”
It’s always a wonderful sight to see artists like Peele dedicate their time to boosting up-and-coming filmmakers. Ever since he found industry recognition for his debut film, “Get Out,” making a change behind the camera and boosting fresh talent has been something Peele has been working towards with his production company, Monkeypaw.
Though “Barbarian” certainly feels like something shiny and new, the film’s modern approach to its socially relevant ideas feels like something Cregger very much owes to Peele. Since “Get Out” blew up in 2017, there’s been a wide array of media that makes up the “social horror” subgenre, which has even influenced the way we reflect back on horror’s past (see Nia DeCosta’s “Candyman” sequel).
“Barbarian” handles its subject and themes with subtlety and respect before going full camp, but it’s undeniably a film about navigating a male-dominated world as a woman, and the horror found at the very center of its mystery box is rooted in a grotesque history of gendered violence. While “Barbarian” nose-dives into the fantastical much more than “Get Out” does, its suffocating approach to tying its horror to tangible, real-life social situations mirrors what Peele accomplished with his debut film.