Director Darren Lynn Bousman blogs about The Barrens and praises Stephen Moyer

Those of you who are familiar with Darren Bousman’s blog posts know that he speaks his mind and doesn’t hold back when it comes to his experiences in the film industry. The director of The Barrens posted a blog entry about his experience making the film, his struggles with the IMDB ratings and his frustrations with the Pirate Bay.

A few paragraphs from Darren’s blog post:

The movie was edited and finished, and I found myself once again left with a movie I loved, but maybe not the most commercial of films…
A mish-mash of genres… More a drama than horror… But too horrific to be a drama… But one thing I did have… Amazing performances…

I can’t say enough good things about my cast:  Mia Kirshner, Allie McDonald, Peter DaCunha all amazing.  But I had an ace up my sleeve, I had Moyer.  Stephen FUCKING Moyer turns out a fucking chill-inducing performance… In a lot of respects, the entire movie rests on his shoulders…  And he kills it; he makes this movie his bitch.

I remember getting the phone call that the movie would only be released on a handful of screens and then it was doing VOD/DVD/ STREAMING.

This was a punch in the gut.  But a feeling I was getting all too used to.  Dear Baby Jesus, what do I tell my cast?  What do I tell Moyer?

Read the complete blog post here. It makes an interesting read and gives insight into the psyche of a director.

Darren Lynn Bousman


  1. As always it is all about the money. As far as I can tell hardly any investments were made in even promoting this film, the people working the hardest for it are those without a budget and without receiving payment for their efforts: the fans. The more I learn about the film industry the more I am disappointed by it.

  2. As always it is all about the money. As far as I can tell hardly any investments were made in even promoting this film, the people working the hardest for it are those without a budget and without receiving payment for their efforts: the fans. The more I learn about the film industry the more I am disappointed by it.

  3. I always knew that filmmaking is a dark and unfair thing. I am not a horror or triller genre fan, but I felt this movie is good and Steven is doing impossible things in acting. Once you see him you will never take your eyes till the very end. But  Darren is right – commercial and perception is everything for a movie. They can’t rely on few fans as we are.  and all the others  just watch the raitings on IMDB.

  4. I will stand by Mr. Bousman, Stephen, the rest of the cast, the crew.  I’ll be watching via DVD.  I want to see this film.  I want to see Stephen’s performance.  That’s my bottom line.

  5. Having been on The Barren set, I feel emotionally connected to this project. I was so hoping for a wide release so the Billsbabes of “The Canadian Caper” fame could see the film together. My disappointment, of course, pales to that of Darren’s. He put so much into this project. Clearly, Steve did too. It’s unfortunate that the film is not getting the attention it deserves, but we can do our best to spread the word and change the unfavorable perceptions into very positive ones. I simply cannot wait for my DVD to arrive. Once I see the film, I promise to talk it up big time!

    1.  @Bills4me I can imagine how disappointed you are, Bills4me.  You actually visited Stephen while he was filming.   I feel badly enough, but you, I’m sure, feel terrible.  I cannot imagine how Stephen, and the rest of the cast and crew must feel.  Sometimes the film industry just stinks!

      1. @iamtrue2bill @Bills4me we are very dissappointed. This movie deserves to be in theatres and at the very least a screening in Canada! (Peter Dacunha’s mom)

      2.  @Kindnessrules  @iamtrue2bill  @Bills4me 
        Hi Peter Dacunha’s Mom!  Do you think if enough of us banded together we would be able to get it into a theatre in Toronto? I’ve ordered my DVD, but would love to see it on the big screen. Too bad TUGG doesn’t operate up here. Are you aware of any alternatives???  

      3. @Bills4me @iamtrue2bill .
        I have spoken to Darren and I know he would love to have a screening here. If we all Send a request to Tugg explaining how’ many fans want to see The Barrens here in Toronto. You can use my name and tell them I sent in a request and have a theatre in Oakville lined up. We just need to get approval from Tugg and Anchor Bay. I am sure Darren would support it! Peter will be there and I could contact the other cast. We should also start a twitter trend The Barrens in Toronto

  6. I’m sure the film industry has always struggled with the dichotomy of art
    However, the business side of this arena has come under attack with the development of technology that undermines profits by making ownership, for all intensive purposes, a moot point.
    I believe there is enough room in our movie theaters for many more films than are currently shown. I want to see more independent films.  I want to see more films with a new vision, a fresh approach. 
    Someone, somewhere, somehow needs to come up with a way to allow good films that don’t have the $$$ for wide-scale advertising campaigns to be better distributed to theaters.
    I honestly don’t know how smaller, independent films get made at all.  But I’m very glad there are brave film makers like Mr. Bousman out there who take a beating and keep on ticking.  We need them.

    1. @iamtrue2bill Well said, iamtrue2bill, Bills4me, and others.  It is incredibly disheartening that the money god is the final arbiter of what makes it to our theatre screens.  Creative films like  “The Barrens” languish for want of advertising and marketing dollars.  This is so not right.  A better way must be found to bring films like “The Barrens” to the attention of the move-going public and make them available for all to see.

  7. Just goes to show you how messed up movie-making has gotten. Talented, hard-working, passionate people trying to make entertaining films for fans and not getting the support to get these movies out to the public. It’s one thing a studio money to hand over movie to get a film made, but it’s another to put support behind it, which the studio doesn’t seem to have any interest in. Instead, they want to put their time behind retreads, cgi-fests, and cliched comedies that people have seen countless times. It’s a shame.
    I love Darren’s passion and honesty. And I’ve shown my support  for him and the cast by pre-ordering the Blu ray.

  8. Yesterday I read the article in Darren Bousman blog and was very sad about what I knew from it. Many fans were waiting for the Barrens movie release and we got it at last. But don’t forget that people who have done the movie also had their expectations about it.  I must confess I am a bad person, I used the pirate copy to watch the movie and I know it is bad thing.  So I will try to diminish my mistake as soon as I get the possibility. The movie producers and the cast satisfied my expectations about the film. So as a grateful viewer I am obliged to do the same towards them. I liked the movie – this is the short version of my impression. I am not a person whose opinion can be considered as authoritative critics. I don’t like horror or thriller genre. I know nothing about how a movie can be evaluated and considered as “good” or “bad”.  The only thing I have is my intuitive impression. And I am sure many other people are like me. As I am Stephen Moyer fan I was obliged to watch this movie. I must confess that if not this I would have never done it. I am not sure if I could ever even hear about it either. But still, I want to share my opinion. The movie took my attention from the very its opening credits. The music, the song and the clip were amazing. Somehow it reminded me of True Blood credits, or I am already crazy as a mad hatter  Stephen and his character never disappointed me in this film either. Richard was wonderfully dysfunctional, sometimes irrational and even jealous. The small humor scene with his daughter’s friend who thought that in spite of him being old he was hot was nice. I have a strange feeling that this scene was written by Stephen himself. I noticed that he likes to joke about his age and women’s attitude towards him in his roles. But that is all about jokes. Everything that followed later was no joke. I am not going to retell the story and give spoilers. I have read some comments on IMDB about illogical places in the plot but if to judge plainly how many movies do we know where there is no strangeness in characters reasons? But the explanation to me is simple. Richard is a dysfunctional person. Even before going to the woods and starting all this Jersey Devil stuff he was so jealous towards his wife, he had some issues in his family. I am convinced that the creators of film did the best choice in casting ever. Stephen completely had all my attention every minute even when everything I wanted to do was to close my eyes and hide my head under the quilt. I can not imagine anyone else who could play this role. I tried very hard but I couldn’t see any signs of vampire Bill in Richard. They were completely different personalities. This is 100% his film, it challenged his acting skills and I am sure that the actor passed this test brilliantly. I also want to point out the beautiful visual picture I saw in the movie. The beautiful autumn deep forest of Canada was the great place for this story to take place. I was in total awe enjoying operator and director work, the play of shadows and light on my screen. Some people complain that the story is dragged and boring but I can’t agree with this statement.  This is not an action film where I can’t even blink and not miss something important at this moment. Showing the psychological changes in a personality needs many tiny details that help us to understand, to build the depth of a character. The focus of the story was the main character and I never was lost or puzzled except when it was the writer’s and director’s idea. The main thing I both admire and hate in such movies is that I can never understand the end of the story. As the result I was left with all the same unanswered questions which appeared in my mind while watching. Still there is some pleasure in pondering them and I like this process. So having such impression after watching I was shocked to know the fate of the film. It is a big grief that such movie can not get the acknowledgement it really deserves and is doomed to be lost and forgotten just because of money and heartless and narrow-minded moneybags.  The real art always suffer – this is the reality and the law of life.    But anyways I will wait and hope for the miracle. My biggest cudos to both Mr. Bouseman and Mr. Moyer for this film and I hope this won’t stop them and destroy their passion.

  9. It appears to be a screwy system to me.
    I no longer put any credence in ratings or promotions of films. It is so untrustworthy.  Too many times I’ve been misled by exaggerated ratings and massive promotion of blockbuster films that end up being mediocre pulp at best.
    Unsung films have often proven to be really enjoyable and memorable. 
    The money train rolls on and over creativity and independence.  I refuse to board that train. The movie industry, creativity and the audience are short changed all too often.  Great actors are overlooked for the big celebrity name that can’t act their way out of a wet paper bag.
    My criteria to watch a film begins with, who is in the film followed by film makers whose work I have enjoyed in the past then the genre.  There is only  a handful of actors I will watch whatever they are in .  Stephen Moyer is on that short list because I know whether it’s great material or not he will give a great performance and will enhance and elevate any project he is involved in. 
    Put your discretion to good use and support movies that appeal to you not just the ones that are force fed to the public. Maybe that would send the message that we the audience are not as malleable as they think we are nor are we as willing to plunk down our money for tickets for whatever they offer up.

  10. I left a post on Darren’s blog.  I feel for the guy, and for any creative artist, with all they have to go through just to get their work seen sometimes.  I can’t wait to see the film, and add what I’m sure will be a big “thumbs up” to the ratings.  I’m also going to order several more copies of the flic to give as gifts to friends…just one small way to help promote The Barrens.

  11. I stand by my idea about buying extra copies of the film, if it’s at all within your budget, to give to family and friends, anyone who likes the genre.  And maybe if as many of us as possible talk up the film, give it the positive ratings it deserves.

  12. For over a decade I have waited to see a Stephen Moyer movie on the big screen. When the first news came out about The Barrens I was ecstatic not just because it was my chance at last to see him in a theatrical release but also as a Saw fan, I knew that it would be good.
    Then the blow fell and the disappointment was palpable but it was not just disappointment for me but for all Stephen fans and for Daren too.
    The minute it is released I will be buying a copy for myself and copies for just about everyone that I can think of for presents. I would like to think that all Stephen fans would make it a gift giving priority for Christmas presents – whether the recipient wants it or not, Stephens performance deserves to be seen by as many as possible. It is worthy of it and the film its self, whether you are into the genre or not, is a first class surprise as an example of watching a person disintegrate in front of you.
    NO ONE ELSE could have played this part other Stephen and NO ONE ELSE could have made a movie of this type and turned it into such a study of one man’s fight to save those he loves in the face of the obstacles he was up against and make you truly care for someone that possibly may or may not have deserved it.
    There isn’t much that we can do to change the fact that there has not been a major theatrical release but if we at least get behind the DVD that is our way of saying to all the ‘suits and money men’ there, take it and shove it.
    Sorry not normally this colourful with the language but artistic creativity being brutalized by faceless and nameless morons who care little for the work and dreams that they are so quick to destroy, all for the sake of a buck, it just makes me boil.
    I intend to buy as many copies as I can – it is the only way to make myself stop feeling so powerless.
    It is a sad reflection of society when those with money can crush such artistic merit as they have done.
    Empty hearts and empty minds – money cannot buy respect and I have nothing but respect for Daren and his achievement with this movie and Stephen for his performance.

  13. I completely agree with your comments, Braz.  I was so hoping to see him on the big screen in a leading role, and I plan on doing the same thing; giving the DVD as a gift to as many as I can.  Though I haven’t had the opportunity to see the film yet, I’m trusting the strong approval I’ve heard from so many.

    1. @typeoneg Oneg, that is all we can do now to not just show our support but to get as many viewers as possible.
      It amazes me – how many truly over hyped movies do we go and see only to be totally disappointed with having fallen for the trailers that have been shoved down our throats and generally end up being the only memorable scenes from a movie.
      Then if we are lucky we come across a gem of an indie that totally surprises us, enthralls us, leaves us breathless and has a lasting impression.
      That is how I see The Barrens and that is why I want everyone that I know to see it even when it means that the only way they get to see it is if I buy them a copy.
      Don’t we all owe that to Darren, Stephen and all the rest of the cast and crew?

  14. We have to do what we can to show Stephen how much we appreciate his work, and this does seem to be one way to ensure more people see this film.

  15. Oneg at least now we have the chance to do something in a small way that will help to promote Stephen, the film and Darren, by swamping the DVD sales.
    For me that is a plus as for so long SMs works were not that well known outside of the UK but now, this in it’s own way is an awesome chance for all Stephen fans to put their money  where there mouth is and do something tangible to give back to him for all the enjoyment that we get from his performances.
    And that is the only silver lining that I can see in this whole predicament.

  16. Here’s the response I posted to Darren’s blog entry:
    Man, I am deeply saddened by your post. I’m an avid fan both of horror cinema and of Stephen Moyer, and have been eagerly anticipating the release of The Barrens ever since it was in pre-production. So to learn that it has been beset by such difficulties greatly disappoints me. I sincerely hope that you movie finds an audience through home media, and that the fans are more appreciative than the studio execs have been. I have faith that after this set-back, word of mouth will ensure that folks invest their time and money in seeing this movie, and it will get at least some of the attention it deserves. The fact that it is available in illegal download sites so soon only proves that there is an audience out there who are eager to see The Barrens.
    Oh, and anyone who votes for a one-star rating for a movie they haven’t even seen (and is doubtless worthy of a much greater rating) is a turd muncher. Once the real fans have investigated the movie for themselves and voted accordingly, the ratings will balance out and become more representative of the true feelings of movie-goers.

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