Skip to main content

Barbarian Trailer Introduces Another Bill Skarsgård Thriller, And He Might Not Be The Villain This Time

It’s hard not to think of Bill Skarsgård, or any member of his iconic acting lineage, as a villain. Bill in particular landed a hell of a resume entry when he played Pennywise the Clown in Andy Muschietti’s remake of Stephen King’s IT. Seeing him advertised in a movie titled Barbarian, you’d think that Skarsgård is going to be playing yet another creepy heavy; but as you’ll see in the trailer for the upcoming movie, it looks like he might not be the villain this time.

20th Century Studios recently released the trailer for writer/director Zach Cregger’s August theatrical release. The basic framework sees Georgina Campbell’s Barbarian character meeting up with Bill Skarsgård’s at a random rental property. Apparently these two strangers were a case of double booking, though that doesn’t seem to be the case once the footage takes a decidedly creepier turn. 

If only Skarsgård’s recently ripped physique seemed to be present in Barbarian, he might have been able to handle the weirdness that ensues. There’s as many nopes as there are mysterious thresholds crossed in Barbarian’s first look, and surprisingly Bill Skarsgård might not be the villain behind it all. 

It’s a curveball for sure, as the moment a title card naming this film as being “from a producer of IT” shows itself, you’d think you have his role pegged. After all, Skarsgård did make a young co-star cry merely on his reputation as Pennywise. As it turns out, Bill Skarsgård looks like he’s in just as much danger as his co-stars, which also includes Justin Long in the mix. 

Bill Skarsgård answering the door in a very chill manner in Barbarian.

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

There’s as many nopes as there are mysterious thresholds crossed in Barbarian’s first look, and surprisingly Skarsgård might not be the villain behind it all. It’s a curveball for sure, as the moment a title card touting this film as being “from a producer of IT” shows itself, you’d think you have his role pegged. As it turns out, Bill Skarsgård looks like he’s in just as much danger as his co-stars, which also includes Justin Long in the mix. 

What’s even more surprising about Barbarian is that it’s writer/director is best known for his work in the comedy troupe The Whitest Kids You Know, and the 2009 comedy Miss March. Barbarian looks like another case of comedic talent effectively crossing over into more harrowing circumstances, with Zach Cregger dropping a very sinister looking movie. 

As for an educated guess on what’s going on in Barbarian, well your guess is as good as mine. It looks like some sort of twisted experiment or regimented process is going on in the secretive underground chambers on display. I don't want to automatically say "oppressive apocalyptic breeding bunker," but the disturbing signs seem to be pointing that way just a bit.

The fright on the faces of Justin Long, Georgina Campbell, and especially Bill Skarsgård seem to suggest that all three of these potential participants are equally caught off guard/horrified by their reality. The only other clues we’re given to Barbarian’s evil plot, outside of glimpses of other random elements, are provided in the following voice-over:

This process might seem overwhelming. But with a little practice, it can soon become a pleasurable experience. This is perfectly natural.

Yeah, this doesn’t look natural, and nor does Barbarian seem to have the interest in giving its characters a “pleasurable experience.” The audience, on the other hand, might be in for the twist-filled nightmare of their lives. We’ll find out soon enough when Barbarian debuts, exclusively in theaters, on August 31st. 

Whether you classify this movie as a horror or a thriller, that shouldn't stop you from seeking out some more scary scenarios on the lineup of upcoming horror movies. Though if this talk of ripped Skarsgårds and barbarians has you looking for a certain thrill, you can see Bill's brother Alexander have his vengeance in The Northman; which is currently available for rental and purchase, as well as streaming to all Peacock Premium subscribers

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.