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Cast: Scott Glenn, Chris Coy, Stephen Tobolowsky, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Kristen Hager
Eugene van Wingerdt (Scott Glenn) is a small-town barber hiding a dark secret. Twenty years earlier he was arrested for several gruesome murders, but was released due to insufficient evidence. The detective in charge of the case killed himself in despair. Now the detective’s son is in town, with a few secrets of his own. Is he seeking revenge or hoping to learn at the feet of the master? Through the film’s myriad twists and turns, you’ll realize there’s much more to evil than you ever could imagine.
As "The Barber" opens we are taken back to twenty years earlier. A serial killer, Francis Allen Visser, is being released from prison because a cop made mistakes on the case. Distraught by what happened the cop takes his own life while his little boy is playing video games in another room. Fast forward two decades and we meet John McCormack who is in town because he is convinced that the local barber, Eugene Van Wingerdt is Visser. John's plan is to act like he is a fan and he wants Eugene to teach him to kill and get away with it. John thinks he is playing Eugene but is he being lured in by this clever killer?
In a lot of ways "The Barber" is your typical serial killer film. It doesn't break any new ground but for a number of reasons I thought it was a cut above most others. For starters I thought the film did a good job at creating suspense and tension. It also had a good bit of mystery behind it and instead of being just another violent serial killer flick with lots of blood and guts this instead was a character piece. A thinking man's thriller that has plenty of twists and turns in it to keep you engaged and guessing the entire time.
I also enjoyed the cat and mouse game between the two main characters, which brings me to one of the film's biggest strengths, the cast. I have always been a huge Scott Glenn fan but like most older actors his roles have dropped off over the years. But he is back and he has never been better as Eugene and Chris Coy is amazing as well as John. When the two of them are sharing the screen it is mesmerizing to watch. The rest of the supporting cast did a great job playing their characters as well.
Like I said before the film is not perfect but to be honest I was not expecting a Oscar winner here. The film has enough going for it to keep everyone glued to the screen, waiting to see what happens next. The basic story line is simple but there is plenty going on to make it interesting. I did not go into major plot details here to avoid spoilers for those waiting to see. I really enjoyed the film and thought it was a very good feature film debut from Director, Basel Owies. I look forward to seeing what this talented film maker has coming next.
I highly recommend checking this out if you like a good thriller and/or if you are a fan of Glenn's like I am.
Available on DVD and Blu-ray with Special Features that include:
Released by Arc Entertainment
*** 3/4 Out Of *****