Barbarian (2022)

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All of that is factored into what I'm saying already. My argument is not "they didn't give a single coherent explanation for why she might do this," it's that it simply isn't sufficient at that point.

The idea that any real person would give up on law enforcement in such a dangerous situation after a single attempt just seems nutty. And while A.J. was in danger, she literally already made that exact mistake--trying to help the guy herself rather than get help--earlier in the film.

If someone wants to excuse it because It's Just a Movie, that's fine, but it's definitely an example of a movie being a movie and no longer trying to resemble real life. I'm willing to overlook it in total, which is why I said I like the movie and started by defending her character's judgment. Just not in this instance.
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I don't know, there is a certain saying about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result...

But seriously, it is also foreshadowed by the homeless person in the neighbourhood who does try to warn her about what's in the house but she mistakes him for a crazy attacker (and does call the cops on him) - this only makes it seem more plausible that the police are quick to assume the same thing about her later in the film (especially if she can't provide immediate proof to back up such a claim and they cite their own reasons for why they can't legally investigate the building anyway). Trying to base it in what "real" people would do is going to be a little presumptuous because, well, who gets to define who a real person is, much less what they would or wouldn't do? Maybe in your personal experience the police are reliable and just enough that you would try calling them again even after the first unit to respond to your call is aggressively unhelpful, but does that mean you can unequivocally assume that the same is true of everyone else's experience with the police?
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I don't know, there is a certain saying about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result...
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That's literally my argument: she tried to help the guy herself once before and was literally thrown in a hole.


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But seriously, it is also foreshadowed by the homeless person in the neighbourhood who does try to warn her about what's in the house but she mistakes him for a crazy attacker (and does call the cops on him) - this only makes it seem more plausible that the police are quick to assume the same thing about her later in the film (especially if she can't provide immediate proof to back up such a claim and they cite their own reasons for why they can't legally investigate the building anyway).
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That's also all the more reason to listen to the guy and not go back in! All the things you're offering as reasons she should have given up on the cops are also reasons she should not.


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Trying to base it in what "real" people would do is going to be a little presumptuous because, well, who gets to define who a real person is, much less what they would or wouldn't do?
We do. The viewers decide what's plausible and who seems real. The reasoning you're offering in response is doing the same thing.

And this thread was already littered with people talking about characters behaving realistically or not before I said anything, so it's strange to only take issue with the idea now. Perhaps the next bit explains that:

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Maybe in your personal experience the police are reliable and just enough that you would try calling them again even after the first unit to respond to your call is aggressively unhelpful, but does that mean you can unequivocally assume that the same is true of everyone else's experience with the police?
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Yeah, I kinda suspected this is what was really at the root of this. As someone who's lived in a bunch of poor and/or high-crime areas, you can rest assured nothing I'm saying is based on a rosy picture of law enforcement, though I'm getting the feeling the contrary opinion here is definitely based on the inverse. I'd be surprised if we had similar levels of actual real-world experience with this, too.



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Maybe in your personal experience the police are reliable and just enough that you would try calling them again even after the first unit to respond to your call is aggressively unhelpful, but does that mean you can unequivocally assume that the same is true of everyone else's experience with the police?
If not
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the cops then at least someone. If someone I don't know comes to my door, I immediately call a friend or family member.

When a man was in my backyard with a gun and the police took 15 minutes to get to my house, I immediately also got my sister on the phone so that someone knew what was happening, where I was, etc.

It's not that she doesn't call the police specifically, so much as she goes down in the basement (where you know there won't be reception) without making anyone aware.


Now, that said, all of the above was so minor in terms of how I felt about the characters and the plot. Really just a blip. And like you say, real people do all sorts of things in stressful situations. I think it's heightened when you're watching a horror movie because you know that people are headed into danger and any decisions making things worse always stick out.



Yeah, I should've noted that earlier, but...

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...my initial comment wasn't even limited to law enforcement. The conversation got conspicuously dragged to them but the original idea was just that it's clearly better to get literally any help at all.

I also definitely accept "tough situations make people behave in strange ways," but the manifestation of stress and fear usually manifests in the opposite direction to the one we're talking about.

And I agree it's not a huge problem, which was also in my initial response (which, again, was primarily about thinking more of the character's judgment than most of the other people had to that point).



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OK I have a question.


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Since the guy we meet at the beginning of the film is not a bad guy, how did the house get double-booked? When the owner shows up he has been informed that it has not been cleaned because it has not been booked, so it is not his company who booked it. So, who booked it and who double-booked it?



Fair question. My assumption is...

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...that it's just incompetence. This would be my guess by default, but throw in the argument AJ has with the property manager (or whatever) about the house not being checked on for a couple of weeks, and that moves the needle on it for a bit more towards that null hypothesis.



Not great, but it was entertaining. For a horror movie it needed more oomph. But it gave me a few laughs, so I can't really complain.



OK I have a question.


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Since the guy we meet at the beginning of the film is not a bad guy, how did the house get double-booked? When the owner shows up he has been informed that it has not been cleaned because it has not been booked, so it is not his company who booked it. So, who booked it and who double-booked it?
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My impression was that the owner shows quite a bit later (like days, maybe even a week or two after the first act). The house isn't cleaned because it hasn't been booked since the double-boking incident. Nothing weird in that, in my opinion.
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How did that guy dig an endless mine shaft under his neighborhood and how is it that city services didn't notice it?



How did those two women survive the fall from the top of the water tower? I mean that was a killer fall?



How is human refuse being removed from the bowels of the mine-dungeon? Is tunnel-rat woman carrying out buckets of excrement to be disposed of in the toilet?



How are they keeping themselves fed down there? The main dude is bed ridden and tunnel-rat woman would only not get a second look at a Walmart. Was she buying her formula from Walmart? Was a Walmart nearby?



How did that nice Jeep not get stolen on that street?



Did she get the job? Will she make a documentary of her experience?


How did they do the effects work to make Detroit to NOT look like a lifeless hell-scape in the flashback?



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That's literally my argument: she tried to help the guy herself once before and was literally thrown in a hole.



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That's also all the more reason to listen to the guy and not go back in! All the things you're offering as reasons she should have given up on the cops are also reasons she should not.



We do. The viewers decide what's plausible and who seems real. The reasoning you're offering in response is doing the same thing.

And this thread was already littered with people talking about characters behaving realistically or not before I said anything, so it's strange to only take issue with the idea now. Perhaps the next bit explains that:


WARNING: "Barbarian" spoilers below
Yeah, I kinda suspected this is what was really at the root of this. As someone who's lived in a bunch of poor and/or high-crime areas, you can rest assured nothing I'm saying is based on a rosy picture of law enforcement, though I'm getting the feeling the contrary opinion here is definitely based on the inverse. I'd be surprised if we had similar levels of actual real-world experience with this, too.
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Well, yeah, that's why I said "maybe" - at least you also noticed that I responded to this observation precisely because nobody else had made it and it stands out even when discussing a film that plays fast and loose with what would be considered "realistic" behaviour. Even accounting for the possibility that she might eventually get in touch with someone less callous (which I already did), the ones she does meet specifically cite the legal reasons why they can't (or won't) investigate the house anyway such as her not being the house's owner. I think that does more to mitigate the idea than any question of whether or not it's purely a matter of her own volition.


WARNING: "Riddle me this, Batman!" spoilers below
How did that guy dig an endless mine shaft under his neighborhood and how is it that city services didn't notice it?

Bad neighbourhood that everyone else had moved out of years ago.

How did those two women survive the fall from the top of the water tower? I mean that was a killer fall?

The Mother caught Tess and is such an inbred freak of nature that she was able to both survive the fall and cushion Tess against it.

How is human refuse being removed from the bowels of the mine-dungeon? Is tunnel-rat woman carrying out buckets of excrement to be disposed of in the toilet?

Assuming she doesn't just have a whole other pit for it, she supposedly only leaves the house at night.

How are they keeping themselves fed down there? The main dude is bed ridden and tunnel-rat woman would only not get a second look at a Walmart. Was she buying her formula from Walmart? Was a Walmart nearby?

I don't think that was formula...(also between the aforementioned coming out at night and this guy seeming like a bit of a doomsday prepper, it's not implausible that he has supplies on hand.

How did that nice Jeep not get stolen on that street?

Nobody else around.

Did she get the job? Will she make a documentary of her experience?

I hope so.

How did they do the effects work to make Detroit to NOT look like a lifeless hell-scape in the flashback?

Assuming this is a serious question, it's all just a set.



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"Assuming this is a serious question" -- It wasn't. Just a joke.
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"Wow, CGI makes Detroit look like a nice city!"
Sadly, one does not need to construct a set showing dystopian cities. We now have several of them around the country.



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Heh, I figured as much. Still thought I'd try answering all the questions anyway.

The two hardest parts for me were


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1. The ridiculous deep coal-mine-thing under the house.

2. The women not dying when they fell off the top of a water tower.



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Well, yeah, that's why I said "maybe" - at least you also noticed that I responded to this observation precisely because nobody else had made it and it stands out even when discussing a film that plays fast and loose with what would be considered "realistic" behaviour.
I was talking about the "who's to say what a real person is/what's realistic?" stuff. It's obviously perfectly fine to raise the other questions/disagree about their realism, but the meta-level stuff, implying it's somehow weird or wrong to question realism at all, could've been raised at any time with anyone else talking about it before I said anything. To say nothing of a thousand other threads where we've all had discussions about that kind of thing.