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In which the hunky star of Will & Grace (Eric McCormack) gets the opportunity to go all Jack Torrance while snowed in at a remote cabin with his two nervous children. However, instead of chasing his kids around with an axe, he attempts to prove his mettle by protecting them against ghosts—and a really nasty case of the flu.

Terrance Shade (McCormack) is a recently widowed MD who’s never really bonded with daughter Cynthia (Conner Dwelly) and son Jake (Ryan Grantham). After his wife’s unexpected demise, he decides to take his estranged offspring to an isolated mountain cabin for Christmas. On the Bad Idea scale, this rates near the tippy top, because, as the kids remind Pops again and again, he’s not handy, hardy, or even barely competent at wilderness survival. The whole Shade clan comes down with a bug courtesy of the town sheriff/shopkeeper/landlord (Donnelly Rhodes), and Terrance begins to see and hear things that cause him to come unhinged in a big way.

The crux of Barricade becomes readily apparent all too soon: Is Terrance hallucinating or is there an actual evil spirit loose in the house that’s causing them no end of misery? Why does Terrance keep flipping in and out of consciousness? Are the family members being haunted by their own sense of loss and guilt over the death of the wife/mother?

It’s not really much of a mystery, but director Andrew Currie and writer Michaelbrent Collings make sure that the atmosphere is suitably tense and claustrophobic throughout, and McCormack delivers a first-rate performance as the hapless patriarch trying his best to keep his children out of harm’s way. A very watchable little fright flick.

 

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