Detroit’s ‘Barbarian’ is THE ‘Michigan Basement’ Nightmare Fuel
Basements are pure nightmare fuel. There. I said it and I'm not ashamed.
The only thing worse than being in an old 'Michigan Basement' is being in a dark 'Michigan Basement'. The 2022 movie 'Barbarian' perfectly captures every dark scenario you conjured in your 6 year mind whilst standing in bleak, shadow riddled, musty cellar.
If you grew up in the Mitten State, you've no doubt encountered a 'Michigan Basement'. Definitions vary, but most residents agree that any basement with cement walls and a dirt floor qualifies. Some argue that a true 'Michigan Basement' is a crawl space that was converted to a basement, with a 2 foot wall surrounding the perimeter to preserve the original foundation and structural integrity...blah blah blah...if there's a dirt floor and it smells like fungus, it's a 'Michigan Basement'.
'Barbarian', set in an abandoned Detroit neighborhood, takes that childhood fear of a homes lowest level and turns the volume up to 11. I won't give you any spoilers here, but I will warn you if you haven't seen it: Take every nightmare, every fear, every cold chill you've ever experienced about a basement and 'Barbarian' looks you dead in the eye and says "Hold my Faygo".
Remember being a kid and having to go down to the basement to get something? We kept our ice cream in the basement freezer and Saturday nights our family had sundaes. Being as that the delicious treat was located in the terrifying lowest level of our home, we would take turns each week. It wasn't the journey down the steps that freaked me out, it was going back up the stairs with my back to the basement. To this day I am unsettled when my back is to a dark hall or stairway.
The movie is set in the Brightmoor neighborhood in Detroit but, no filming actually took place there. In fact the only scene in 'Barbarian' filmed in the Motor City according to Fantrippers is on Griswold Street. This is the scene where the films lead actress learns just how dangerous a neighborhood her AirBnB is in. Other than this scene, where you can see the statue of Michigan's first governor, Steven T. Mason, in the background.
Detroit's 'Barbarian' was actually filmed in Sofia, Bulgaria. After watching the movie through a second time I'm comforted that the home it was shot in is an ocean and an over $1,500 flight away.