Nina's problems at home become too much for her so she takes a trip to Germany in an attempt to relax with her long time friends Michael and David. It seems like a good plan and things appear to be going well but things take a turn when the three friends take a camping trip to a secluded lake. There a family of disfigured rednecks enjoy abducting anyone foolish enough to walk into their woods.
Consider me a day late and a dollar short when it comes to "Barricade" from Timo Rose. Being the cheap bastard that I am I constantly passed on buying the movie when it was initially released, thinking it wouldn't be long before it went down in price. Before I knew it, the DVD went out of print (A limited edition going out of print? Who would have guessed! Derp.) and then resellers were trying to get collector's prices out of the DVD. Patience paid off in the end as I was able to finally grab "Barricade" for cheap recently, and I was glad I would finally have a chance to watch what seemed to be the opus title in Rose's filmography.
Basically, "Barricade" is another German equivalent of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Nina (Raine Brown) heads to Germany to spend some time with her friend, Michael (Joe Zaso), and to take a break from her troubles back home. Michael, along with David (André Reissig), take Nina out to the lake to do some camping and proper relaxing. As usual, a family of freaks and mutants that delight in kidnapping, torturing and killing innocent campers set their sites on the three.
Admittedly, I wasn't expecting a whole lot out of "Barricade" by the simple fact its plot is a cliché and Rose's movies, like most modern German horror movies, are often little more than mindless gory cheese-fests. However, it always appeared that "Barricade" was more than that and it was very well received. So it did come as a surprise to see that "Barricade" was nothing more than typical German-gore fodder. It was especially surprising since the movie was worse than some of his earlier films. There isn't much of a story in the movie, even though they (poorly) tried to shoehorn some semblance of a plot in between the random, pointless scenes of a mutant family torturing and killing nameless victims. The movie is composed almost entirely of filler as a majority of the scenes are these nameless characters -- who have nothing to do with the movie or story as a whole -- being killed in gruesome and gory ways.
Following Rose's filmography, the only movie of his that I had watched before he went on to make "Barricade" was "Rigor Mortis". Granted that wasn't a great movie but it showed promise. When I watched "Barricade" it felt like he had taken a few steps back as a filmmaker. There are only 4 years between productions but still, there was enough time and projects between the two for him to grow as a director. Instead, "Barricade" came off as amateurish and genre-basic. It is almost shocking to think that this was a movie that came from a man who had at least 12 projects under his belt before he made "Barricade".
The movie's general lack of material and only being able to offer kill scenes may not be a bad thing if you all you need or want are special effects and gore. I was genuinely expecting something better than that though. Perhaps that is my own fault for having expectations in the first place, but I don't think I was asking for too much. "Barricade" felt more like a first time feature than a movie from someone who has been making films for almost a decade. Ronny made an excellent point in one of his reviews for an Olaf Ittenbach movie; these types of movies become very tiresome because the director never progresses. They seem to make the same thing over and over again and that's what "Barricade" felt like. It also doesn't help that I've already seen "Fearmakers", Timo's follow to "Barricade", which was awful so I know it doesn't get any better from here. And looking at both "Unrated: The Movie" and "Violent Shit 4", I would say it's more or less the same thing still. Except maybe for some self-deprecation and comedy from Rose and Schnaas while they acknowledge how rubbish these movies are.
In the end, I would say it is my fault for having expectations for "Barricade" since by now I should know better. It is very much a typical German splatter movie and doesn't have anything to offer a viewer outside of gore and special effects. And that's probably all anybody wants out of these movies. Although I don't think that serves as an excuse for how bad "Barricade" was. Much like "Fearmakers", "Barricade" is a complete mess when it comes to the editing and unnecessary use of filters. The paper-thin storyline and the countless scenes that were in the movie only to pad the runtime. Like I said, it is my own fault for having expectations of any kind but this movie should have been better than it was and shouldn't have come off as amateurish as it did.