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It’s nearly peak horror movie season, so watching the terrifying new film Barbarian (which currently has a rare 92 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes!) feels like the right way to kick things off. The movie opens with the ultimate travel nightmare scenario (a double-booked Airbnb) before unleashing countless wild, gruesome plot twists that’ll make you want to leave your lights on forever—and that’s after one of the most disturbing scenes was cut, according to the film’s star Justin Long.
The actor, who you also know from happier flicks like Dodgeball and He’s Just Not That Into You, spoke about the new movie on the latest episode of House Beautiful’s haunted house podcast, Dark House. Fair warning: If you haven’t seen Barbarian since its official release in theaters on September 9, get ready for *slight* spoilers as the ominous trailer doesn’t give much away.
Before we get into it, here’s the deal: Directed by Zach Cregger, the movie follows Tess (Georgina Cambell), who finds out the rental home she booked is already occupied by another guest, Keith (It’s Bill Skarsgård of Pennywise infamy). Most of the frightening action takes place in creepy tunnels and caves underneath the house—it’s not your average creepy basement, it’s worse—where a monstrous creature called The Mother lives. Justin Long plays AJ, an objectively awful human being who owns the rental house.
If you’re among the brave moviegoers who made it through the flick, then you know one of its most horrifying moments comes when The Mother drags AJ into her filthy lair and attempts to nurse him per an ancient instructional video on breastfeeding. Chances are you’re still trying to erase the image from your mind, but the scene was originally even worse.
“There was one [scene] that got cut, which took it to another level,” Justin told Dark House cohosts Hadley Mendelsohn and Alyssa Fiorentino. “Because I’m fighting so much and flailing around, The Mother grabs a rat that’s scurrying by and she bites its head off and chews it up and tries to baby bird it into my mouth.”
Absolutely deranged!! And if that doesn’t make you sick to your stomach, get this: It was filmed using warm, “bloody” prosciutto. “I didn’t think I’d ever eat prosciutto again,” Justin admitted on the podcast. But later that night, he had a panini with prosciutto on it because he “couldn’t help it.” Honestly…good for him.
If you want to hear more about Justin’s experience working on the film (along with his thoughts on the paranormal and his favorite horror movies), you can listen to the full episode of Dark House on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. And if you, like me, need to wash down every scary viewing or listening sesh with a lighthearted alternative, go watch Love in the Villa on Netflix afterward. It’s literally the exact opposite of Barbarian: a romantic take on a rental double-booking that becomes an Italian vacation meet-cute.
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