Review of “There’s Something in the Barn”: A garden gnome causes chaos.


A father from America assures his two children that nothing bad will happen while they are living in Norway on a farm he inherited. They plan to turn the barn into an Airbnb rental, but encounter a grumpy elf who lives there. Essentially, this is a film about dangerous garden gnomes. It is a silly horror movie that does not live up to expectations, lacking in both humor and true scares. However, there are some delightfully gruesome scenes and a few good jokes about cultural differences.

Initially, I believed the movie was geared towards children, but that changed when a teenager used profanity. The beginning is reminiscent of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, with an American family (Bill, his wife Carol, and two kids from his previous marriage) relocating to Norway. Their moody teenage daughter Nora is unhappy and complains, saying “This is like hell! Frozen over!”

In the movie, Gremlins appear after Bill’s son, Lucas (played by Townes Bunner), becomes friends with an elf in the barn. The elf is well-behaved as long as the family follows the rules: no bright lights and no loud noises. However, things take a wild turn when the family hosts a housewarming party for their new Norwegian neighbors. These scenes offer some of the film’s most comedic moments, cleverly poking fun at national stereotypes and biases. There is a recurring joke about the lack of guns in Norway. However, Home Alone managed to portray dysfunctional families in a funnier and more cynical way, while this film takes on a more wholesome tone with a saccharine ending.