<I>Barbarian</I> editor Joe Murphy
October 13, 2022

Barbarian editor Joe Murphy

Barbarian, from writer/director Zach Cregger and horror producer Roy Lee, is set in Detroit, where a young woman books a rental home in preparation for a job interview. When she arrives late at night, she discovers that the house is double booked, with a strange man already staying there. Against her better judgment, she decides to spend the evening, but soon discovers that there’s a lot more to fear than just the unexpected guest. 

The feature from 20th Century Studios and New Regency, stars Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård and Justin Long, and features original music by Anna Drubich. Joe Murphy served as editor on the projct, working remotely for the initial editor’s cut, and then collaborating in-person with Cregger on the director’s cut. Murphy cut the movie on an Avid system and says it was important to Cregger that the characters’ POVs were used to help build tension.

“We returned to this multiple times in the edit — when should we see an empty dark hallway or show the light of a flashlight searching for something in the darkness instead of the face of the character? A few times, we didn’t have the right moment for a necessary POV shot and would dip in our post tool kit to enhance or create it with VFX.”

According to Murphy, the project’s biggest challenge was finding the right overall pace for the film, since the story jumps in time and place.

Editor Joe Murphy

“Ensuring that the audience would remain invested in our main character Tess’ journey required careful calibrations of our scenes and sequences,” explains the editor. “In particular, finding the balance of story time spent in each section, and feeling out when we had too much or too little, required experimentation in the edit.”

Barbarian will be released digitally on October 25th.