How Barbarian’s Director Feels About The Wild Internet Theories He’s Read About The Horror Movie

Barbarian looks like (and starts) with the simple premise of a woman who finds herself in an awkward situation when the Airbnb she books is already occupied by another person. In an optimistic move, she decides to stay the night. But there’s a lot more to the upcoming horror movie than the trailer advertises, and the internet has already been theorizing about what the real plot could be. Yes, Barbarian writer/director Zach Cregger is reading your ideas. 

When CinemaBlend spoke to Cregger about the movie, we first spoke about the clever Barbarian trailer that will not prepare you for the actual plot of the film. When asked whether he was behind the misleading advertising, here’s what the filmmaker shared with us: 

I was invited to participate in making the trailer. I was very relieved that from the get go Disney was on the same page as me, that they did not wanna put any spoilers in the trailer. They cut the trailer that is out there in the world. And I think it is fantastic. If I had been left to my own devices, I would not have made a trailer that good. So, thank God they're pros at what they do. They know how to market this movie and I, my hat is off to them and I think they crushed it. So yeah, it's pretty spoiler free. It's funny, because a lot of people will leave comments on the trailer saying like, well this, you know, I know what happens. I promise you. You don't know what happens.

Yes, this is technically a Disney movie, but by way of 20th Century Studios. But believe me, I wrote CinemaBlend’s Barbarian review, and it’s way more bonkers and brutal than I expected from the footage shown. As Zach Cregger shared, he was not involved in the making of the trailer, but it fit exactly what he wanted for viewers before diving into it. The audiences who have seen Barbarian it so far have called it “crazy” and “fun,” with critics overall are enjoying the film as well.  In terms of the internet theories ahead of the release, here’s what Cregger said: 

I read a lot of the comments. So far they've been positive, so I haven't really had my feelings hurt that much. As soon as my feelings get hurt I'm out. But, no I do keep an eye on 'em and it's fun. Some people have brought up some really amazing points that I've never even realized. Like people pointed out that barbarian is anagram of Airbnb and I did not realize that until way too late. Somebody pointed out that 476 Barbery, the address of the house that is like 476 is the year that Rome fell to the barbarians. I didn't know that, you know, it's fun.

In the comments for the Barbarian trailer, there’s a ton of people praising how little the look at the movie tells them. We’re so used to seeing previews online or before seeing another movie in theaters, and feeling like we already know the entire plot of the film. Already audiences are making some chilling connections that Zach Cregger didn’t even realize and have shared real elements of the movie that go with things he didn’t intend on. 

It’s clear horror fans are really getting into it. One popular topic of conversation ahead of the release is whether Bill Skarsgård will be the villain of the movie. Fans of the genre, of course, know him as Pennywise in the IT movies, and he’s the man Georgina Campbell’s character ends up being double booked with in Barbarian. Also, Justin Long is in the movie, but he’s barely teased in the trailer itself. What role does he even play? 

Barbarian is playing in theaters now. Check out CinemaBlend’s full Barbarian interviews with the director and cast before or after you see it! 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.