The Barbarian Ending Explained (In Detail)

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Barbarian.

Barbaric ending explained. Written and directed by Zach Cregger, Barbaric premiering at San Diego Comic-Con 2022. The horror film is one of the few to leave all of its twists and major plot points out of its trailers. The story has a simple premise, but there are many layers. Barbaric follows Georgina Campbell’s Tess Marshall, a woman who arrives at her Detroit Airbnb to find that another tenant is also staying there. Things take a turn from there.


Barbaric The ending sees Tess return to the Airbnb to rescue AJ, who has just witnessed Frank die by suicide. Tess and AJ manage to escape from the miserable house, but the mother is far from dead, alive despite Tess crashing her car into the monstrous woman. Although they take refuge with a local man, the Mother kills him too. Wounded after AJ shoots Tess, the actor sacrifices her to the mother, throwing her over the edge of the water tower to save himself. Luckily for Tess, the mother broke her fall, but the antagonist wasn’t done yet, gouging out AJ’s eyes and killing him. Tess eventually shoots the mother and survives the terrifying ordeal.

Related: The Biggest Movies Coming Fall/Winter 2022

The end to Barbaric is unexpected, with the plot itself not following traditional storytelling routes to keep viewers guessing. There’s a lot to unpack regarding the horror movie’s ending, including how Barbaric draws comparisons between AJ and Frank, and what the ending ultimately means in terms of the film’s themes.

The Barbarians Ending Compares AJ and Frank

AJ is appalled when he sees Frank’s recorded videos of the women he abused, locked up, and presumably tortured. The actor has a stomach ache and considers Frank a monster. Justin Long’s character may not have stalked women, kidnapped them, or caged them, but his actions — raping a co-worker, throwing Tess out of the water tower to save himself — are deplorable in and of themselves. The irony is that AJ views Frank as a terrible person and himself as a good person who made bad choices. However, barbarians The ending brings both men into focus, suggesting that they aren’t too different from each other, after all. The common denominator here is toxic masculinity and misogyny, which made both characters believe they had a right to women’s bodies and could somehow control their lives. There’s a moment when Frank and AJ come face to face, and it’s like the latter sees a part of himself in the former. It’s one of the most intriguing parts of the horror movie, of course.

Why Frank lived in a locked room

With the mother wandering the subway alone for so long, it seemed like Frank was long dead and buried. This turned out not to be the case. Although it is unknown when he locked himself in the basement room, it is possible that he hid there to hide from the mother. She was the result of his abuse and rape over the years, and although he had control over women for so long, it’s possible the mother was ultimately able to get her revenge in a small way. If she attacked Frank, or assumed he was her baby like she did with Tess and AJ, he could have barricaded himself inside the room to get away. Seeing that he never once left inside, Frank hiding in fear of someone coming after him and hurting him serves as his reward for all the atrocities he has committed over the years.

Airbnb ownership explained: who built the subway (was it frank?)

Barbaric strays from the main action to go back in time, explaining the origin of Airbnb’s basement and Frank’s uses for it. Considering AJ had no idea there was an underground to begin with, that suggests the location wasn’t part of the Detroit house plans. But who built it? Was it really Frank? It is possible that the violent man is at the origin of the creation of the underground tunnels. He has everything he could have needed to commit his atrocities. On the other hand, it could be that the Airbnb property was built above the dark tunnels below. Frank could have found out when he moved in and made sure there was a secret door to keep people out. It is unknown when Frank moved into the neighborhood, but the houses appeared relatively polished and new in the 1980s, suggesting that the underground location predates the houses in the neighborhood. Also, people might have noticed if Frank had hired a construction company to dig under his house.

Related: Best movies of 2022

Where have all the corpses gone?

Airbnb’s basement is a scary place. It’s dark, damp and horrible. As Tess and AJ pass, cages are strewn in the corners. What’s odd is that there are no bodies lying around – no skeletons or parts of remains. So where did all the women go, probably killed by Frank (or died of malnutrition),? Tess watches the mother murder Keith, but her body is nowhere to be found by the time AJ appears and begins looking around below. It is possible that the wicked man carried the remains of the deceased women to the backyard and buried them there without anyone being further notified. By the 1980s, Frank’s neighbors were moving out of the area, and since no one lived there anymore, Frank could have easily gotten rid of anyone. Even the Mother, however distant she was, emerged from time to time. She probably hid Keith’s body somewhere in the house where it wasn’t so visible. It’s either that or the Mother just moved Keith to a dark corner of the tunnels, which are vast.

What The Barbarian’s End Really Means

Barbaric suggests that women aren’t particularly safe in any environment – not even in their own home, with Frank invading a woman’s home for nefarious purposes. Tess rented an Airbnb hoping to spend a night alone before her big interview, but she had to keep her guard up because of Keith’s presence. Meagan couldn’t trust her co-star anymore after he sexually assaulted her, turning her work environment into an uncomfortable place. It’s not hard to believe that the cops wouldn’t believe Tess about her imprisonment. It was easier for them to believe that she was crazy to be a victim. No one has come for women before her, and a big part of controlling women in society is making sure they aren’t believed. After all, Meagan’s sexual assault allegations against AJ caused him to call her a liar instead of acknowledging her actions. The women in Barbaric suffer a lot, and the lack of empathy, not listening or believing what they have to say is what continues to sustain men like AJ and Frank. Even the ending, which sees Tess trying to help AJ (and doing the exact opposite to him), shows how he only cares about himself and can’t be trusted. If nothing else, the horror movie is certainly a cautionary tale and a focus on the toxicity that leads women to feel unsafe to begin with.

Comments are closed.