Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Coen Brothers' Raising Arizona Was An Unexpected Influence On Barbarian

Zach Cregger's "Barbarian," starring Georgina Campbell, follows a young woman who finds something truly chilling and surprising in her rented residence. The unexpected horror hit also features gore veterans Bill Skarsgård (the terrifying clown Pennywise in "It") and Justin Long ("Jeepers Creepers") and is led by Cregger's captivating vision. The seemingly simple plot of "Barbarian" leaves viewers subject to be stunned by the endless thrills lurking inside the never-ending house.

The trailer for "Barbarian" unleashes a disturbing concept when Tess (Campbell) opens a mysterious passageway inside her Airbnb that appears to be imprisoning former guests. The reviews for Cregger's film have been overwhelmingly positive, with Rotten Tomatoes scoring the film a near-perfect 92% from critics. Audiences on Rotten Tomatoes agree, "The less you know going into "Barbarian," the better — but be prepared for an ending that might rub you the wrong way."

If you haven't experienced this unforgettable hair-raising adventure, you'll soon be able to watch it safely in your own home without fear of any double bookings or other nefarious acts. Cregger has been vocal about the process behind this unique film, and even shared the influences behind "Barbarian." Due to the unforeseen nature of the film, you can probably expect his inspirations are equally as unpredictable and amusing.

Raising Arizona's distinctive camerawork heavily inspired Barbarian

Due to the horrifying nature of "Barbarian," it's surprising to say the least that the early Coen Brother's wacky comedy "Raising Arizona" inspired Cregger's unique camera movement. "Raising Arizona" stars Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter as a rebellious duo willing to do anything to have a baby of their own, even if that means stealing one. In a list on Letterboxd, the thrilling director reveals the diverse list of films that influenced his enthralling horror debut, including "Psycho," "True Romance," and "Get Out." 

"[Raising Arizona] came out around the same time as Evil Dead 2, and together they inspired a generation to get aggressive with the camera. Well, me anyways. This movie made me dead set on being a filmmaker." The director notes he was also deeply motivated by Sam Raimi's innovative and bloody cinema, especially "Drag Me to Hell" and the aforementioned "Evil Dead 2." These influences are seen and felt in "Barbarian's" unnerving pacing, subjecting the audience to an unbearable level of suspense as Tess explores the winding home. 

"Raising Arizona's" jarring cuts, breakneck camera movements, and fresh quick zooms and dollies are seen in the unflinching and harrowing cellar in "Barbarian." The reaction shots of Skarsgård and Long instill fear into the audience as we imagine far worse than we're able to see. This also creates a deeper relationship between the film and viewer, which is frequently felt in Coen Brother films and which makes "Barbarian" a horrifying standout.