Every Main Character In Barbarian Ranked Worst To Best

"Barbarian" is the new horror movie released by 20th Century Studios, written and directed by first-timer Zach Cregger. If you've seen it, you'll know it's a chaotically insane movie with one surprising, messed-up twist after another and more than a few "wtf" moments. Critics, including our own Ryan Scott, are raving about how bonkers it is, with the main sentiment being that it's best to go into the theater knowing nothing about the film to be completely surprised by its wild turns.

The premise is simple enough. A young woman named Tess (Georgina Campbell) travels to Detroit for a job interview and rents an Airbnb-style house only to discover it's already been rented to an awkward young man named Keith (Bill Skarsgård). She ends up deciding to stay in the house with him, and everything sort of goes crazy from there, with the trailers giving away the fact that something is going on underneath the home. One of the things that makes "Barbarian" memorable is its characters, who rank on a scale somewhere between good, to completely ... um, bad. If you've seen the movie and don't mind major spoilers, read on as we complete the important task of ranking every main character in "Barbarian" in order of worst to best.

9. Frank

We learn that Frank (Richard Brake) owned the rental house in the 1980s. This guy is definitely the worst character in "Barbarian." He built an expansive underground tunnel system, kidnapped, caged, and (presumably) murdered women as well as sired inbred children and/or grandchildren like "The Mother." He even kept tapes of his victims. Bad. Very, very bad. The worst.

 Frank stuck around after all his neighbors started selling their houses and, as we see, the neighborhood eventually falls into disrepair, but Frank remains hidden in the tunnels in his own underground house of horrors. Frank ends up offing himself because he thinks the cops are coming to arrest him after AJ finds his creepy bedroom. Good riddance because this guy has zero redeeming qualities. As a side note: Richard Brake also played the Night King in "Game of Thrones" in Seasons 4 and 5. That's not totally relevant but an interesting tidbit nonetheless.

8. AJ Gilbride

This guy. This guy! My goodness, it's so great to see Justin Long back in the horror genre, and oh man, his character, AJ, is a doozy! Showing up randomly around halfway through the movie, we realize right away that we're in for a wild ride with his character. AJ is a Hollywoothe midst of getting fired because an actress has come forward to accuse him of sexually assaulting her. Later, we learn that he is the current owner of the home on Barbary Street that Tess and Keith have rented. In one of the most entertaining sequences in the film, AJ goes deeper and deeper into the tunnels, measuring for extra square footage for resale purposes.

AJ's quite the character, and he's certainly not a good guy in the film. Not only is he awful for what he did to his co-worker, but he also continues to be awful by putting himself before others — to the point of pushing Tess over the edge of a water tower to save himself. AJ barely skates by as being not quite as bad as Frank but only because it's so fun to root for his demise.

7. The Mother

The Mother (Matthew Patrick Davis) in "Barbarian", aka the mutant creature in the tunnels, is unpredictable and not very pretty to look at. She may have murdered a few folks, but she meant well, you know? It wasn't her fault that her (presumed) granddad, Frank, was a sicko serial rapist-killer. And she followed the instructional video on how to nurture a baby quite well — all things considered. 

Honestly, all she wanted to do was make sure everyone was well-fed. Also, talk about athleticism! Her flying leap off the water tower has to be one of the most impressive acts of physical prowess ever captured on film, and she did it to save her "baby," Tess. That's powerful motherly love right there. Still, she did kill Keith — at least someone who looked a lot like her did. So, unfortunately, that's going to earn her a place lower down on the list.

6. The property rental management company

These guys sucked. They rented the house to two different people at the same time, and furthermore, they were no help at all in terms of resolving the situation. That's unprofessional and completely unacceptable if you ask me. Were they even a real company? How did they not know about the tunnels under the house? Or did they? This begs the question of how the double booking even occurred. 

Maybe Keith wasn't as innocent as he seemed. So many unanswered questions remain. Regardless, the fact that whoever these people are, they conveniently weren't available to answer Tess' calls, and that is just not okay. I hope Tess and Keith both get a free voucher or discount or something out of this at least — except that poor Keith wouldn't be able to use it. Oops! Oh, well. This is why I stick to hotels when I travel.

5. The cops

The two police officers who Tess turns to for help later in the film are definitely in the middle of the road in terms of their ranking here. Though they do eventually kind of try and help her, they initially don't believe her story about being held captive in the tunnels by the Mother.

 Is it because Tess is a woman? A woman of color, specifically? Or is it because they've essentially written off the neighborhood as being unworthy of their precious time? Either way, these so-called men of the law waste way too much valuable time to be considered the heroes of this story. Worse, even though they do eventually accompany her to the house, they end up just driving away when another call comes in. So much for serving and protecting! Luckily for Tess, she ends up saving herself by driving her Jeep into the Mother — among other things.

4. Doug

Doug, played by comedian Kurt Braunohler, is a good hometown friend of AJ's, and therefore he must be kind of a slimeball by default. However, in terms of the overall events of the film, he's a fairly innocuous character — sort of a "chaotic neutral" if you will. AJ does essentially admit to Doug while they're out at a local bar that he did commit the assault in question. The hapless Doug doesn't seem too fazed by the icky revelation, accepting AJ's assertion that she "wanted it." 

Doug had a choice at that point, he could have unfriended AJ, reported him to the police, or at the very least, gotten angry, but these things don't appear to have happened. He sort of supports his friend. So again, Doug is kind of a slime but relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of things, considering all the other craziness that was going on. Not much else to report here.

3. Andre

Andre (Jaymes Butler) is the homeless man who Tess encounters multiple times in the film. She meets him for the first not long after her arrival and later when she has a chance to escape. He approaches her and tries to warn her more than once to leave, making him one of the good guys in the film. 

However, in the interest of self-preservation, he doesn't go quite as far as he could to help warn Tess and Keith, as he really could have done more to tell them upfront about the specific dangers that wait for them within the home. Still, the poor guy wasn't particularly deserving of having his arm ripped off by the Mother, after which she promptly uses it to beat him to death. It's a tragedy, especially since he helped Tess out by telling her to meet him at the water tower, but I guess them's the breaks.

2. Keith

Keith Toshko is the man who was double booked into the Airbnb at the same time as Tess. He's one of the more interesting characters in the film. At first, he seems very sketchy, especially since he's portrayed by Bill Skarsgård, who also happened to play the evil clown Pennywise in the latest movie version of "IT." As he awkwardly invites Tess to stay in the home with him, offers the bedroom to her while he takes the couch, pours wine for her, and explains that he's in a band, we wonder if his intentions are genuine or if he has more nefarious plans. 

Of course, we later learn that he's sincere, but it's not long after that he meets a rather unfortunate demise at the hands of the Mother (or possibly one of her siblings). Regardless, Keith does seem to be one of the good ones, making him one of the best characters in "Barbarian." Would he have eventually turned out to be some kind of weirdo murderer himself? Maybe, but we'll never know.

1. Tess Marshall

Without a doubt, the best character in "Barbarian" is its main protagonist, Tess Marshall, who rented the home so that she could go to a job interview. Now, don't get me wrong, Tess isn't perfect. First of all, she ignored every single red flag and chose to stay in the house against her better judgment. Nevertheless, she is a working girl trying to move up in her career, and there was nowhere else to stay, so we can't blame her too much. Plus, Bill Skarsgård is kind of cute in an unsettling sort of way. 

Still, what was she thinking going down in those tunnels alone?! And so what if Keith was crying out for help? Save yourself, girl! Regardless, Tess ends up proving worthy of her final girl status by showing a brave sense of selflessness more than once. She survives getting shot and falling off of a water tower, and she kills the Mother. Poor judgment aside, she's a total badass who didn't let the bad cops, the bad landlord, or the bad mutant mama stop her. Let's just hope she got the job.