Netflix Halloween Countdown: "The Bar"

Updated on November 1, 2017

Netflix Halloween Countdown

For the month of October, I have selected 17 horror (or horror-themed) movies, at random, on Netflix. Over the course of this month, I watched and reviewed a lot of spooky, scary, gory, chilling, horror-themed movies and, with each review, I have included a table (at the very bottom of the article) where I have ranked them in order from best to worst. So if you are looking to get in the Halloween spirit, by watching some Halloween style movies, then these articles are for you!

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Synopsis

Elena (Blanca Suárez) has a date tonight with a guy that she met online. The only problem is, her phone is almost dead so she heads into a bar with the hopes that they will have a charger. The bar, located in (a very crowded) downtown Madrid, is populated by a group of colorful personalities. People are yelling, arguing with each other, running in to use the bathroom, and so on. Elena picked a pretty busy bar to walk into but, when the bar's staff falls behind on an order and a man decides to leave, the man is shot in the head by a long distance weapon.

When the man is killed, just outside the doors of the bar, the people in the streets run, frantically, out of harms way. The streets of downtown Madrid quickly become desolate, leaving only the men and women in the bar. While some of the people in the bar are trying to decide if it is safe to leave, one man decides to go check on the man who had been shot. Almost as soon as he leaves the bar, he is shot and killed as well. What is going on? Who is doing this? Why? These are all questions that need answers, but one thing is for certain: they cannot leave The Bar.

Official Trailer

The Pros & Cons

The Pros
The Cons
Strong Start (+4pts)
Dumb Characters (-6pts)
Unpredictable (+5pts)
The Reveal (-4pts)
Homeless Man (+4pts)
The Bar (-6pts)
All movies start with an average score of 75pts, points are then awarded for each Pro and taken away for each Con. Each Pro or Con is designated points ranging from 0-10 allowing me to convey to you how significant these Pros or Cons are.
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Pro: Strong Start (+4pts)

I thought this movie started out very strong. It did a great job of getting all of these characters in the bar quickly, and it showed all of the characters interacting with one another. These characters have quite the variety of personalities and differences, so they (naturally) do not all get along. The movie really does not spend too much time on the setup (maybe about ten minutes). After that, a man gets shot just outside the bar and the craziness follows quickly after.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, we get to see how all of the characters in the bar react. This film does a great job of showing how these different personalities would behave after witnessing something so tragic. This was when the film was at its absolute best. With tensions rising, some characters point fingers at others, other characters try to unite the group to find solutions, and other characters seem to have a problem with every person in the bar. All of this happening, with a very dangerous threat outside, made for an entertaining first half of the film.

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Con: Dumb Characters (-6pts)

These characters were way too over-the-top for this movie. It was like there were two different movies happening throughout this film. The plot made it feel like an intense thriller while the characters made it feel like a parody of an intense thriller. What I mean by that is, while there were no good jokes in the film, the characters were written in a way that made them seem like they belonged in one of the Scary Movie films. They are so over-the-top and so ridiculous that it diminishes the films suspense.

These characters were also extremely dumb. I will not get into the details, but this is a very crazy plot and, in order to move that plot in the desired direction, the characters make incredibly dumb decisions. I will only give one example: the characters discover that they are trapped in the bar with only one working cell phone, and the filmmakers clearly needed to write that phone out of the plot. Multiple characters in the bar decide to fight over that cell phone, because they each have a different idea on who to call for help. This "fight" leads to two characters standing on top of a (small) table and ultimately leads to the phone becoming broken. This phone had been introduced earlier on in the film and the bad decision making was clearly in here as a plot device to take that phone out of the equation. This is just one example, and really one of the only examples I can give without spoiling the film. However, realize that this movie is filled with bad decisions like this.

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Pro: Unpredictable (+5pts)

The first half of this film is pretty unpredictable. From the moment that the first gunshot was fired, this film goes on a crazy ride as these characters bumble around frantically in the bar. The situation escalates very quickly and it continues to escalate throughout the first half of the film. Before the characters (or the audience) can fully process one event, the characters are arguing, bickering, and causing more unexpected things to occur. The characters do not know what is happening, who is responsible, or how much danger any of them are in. This causes some pretty crazy things to happen, while all of these characters become increasingly desperate to survive.

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Con: The Reveal (-4pts)

Like I mentioned before, this film is so intense because the characters have no idea what is going on, who is behind it, or how much danger they are in. The main question that makes this film so interesting (in the beginning) is: What is going on? This question provides for a captivating first part of the film. Then the reveal happens.

The reveal happens and it is definitely anti-climactic. Do not get me wrong, I would be pretty stressed out if I was in these character's shoes, but I did not think the reveal lived up to the crazy, thriller-style intensity that the character's were experiencing beforehand. The reveal answers every major question that the audience and the characters have. The reason this is bad is that this reveal happens pretty early on in the film and, after that, the film loses most of it's steam. By that, I mean that the film becomes boring and predictable.

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Pro: Homeless Man (+4pts)

Out of all of these characters, the Homeless Man (played by Jaime Ordóñez) was definitely the best. As the movie loses all of it's steam (after the big reveal), this character is the only one that makes the film feel (even slightly) interesting because he remains unpredictable from beginning to end. As these characters discover what is going on and try to figure out a way to get out alive, the homeless man (who has always been played as a crazy man) is getting fed up with how little people think of him. They think his life is less important because he is homeless (or at least that is how he thinks they see him). As a result, this character becomes even more of a wild card and this was entertaining to watch. After the reveal, this character is the only interesting thing in this film.

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Con: The Bar (-6pts)

My issue with this film is pretty much everything that takes place after the reveal. The film very quickly turns into a very different movie. Initially, the film is an intense thriller but, after the reveal, the film slows way down and turns into a character story that centers around annoyingly dumb characters. Before long, the plot continues to move in a different direction (and at a crazy pace). By the end of the film it felt like I was watching a completely different movie. It just did not feel like The Bar anymore (and this "new" film was boring).

Grading Scale

Grade
Category
Points
A+
Amazing
95-100
A-
Amazing
90-94
B+
Good
85-89
B-
Good
80-84
C+
Average
75-79
C-
Average
70-74
D+
Bad
65-69
D-
Bad
60-64
F
Garbage
45-59
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Grade: C- (72pts)

I thought this film had a strong (and intense), start. The questions it raises provided for some very interesting scenes. With such a strong setup and premise, the film makes the mistake of revealing the answers (to all of it's questions) way too early on in the film. As a result, the last half of this film is spent in a very slow paced character story that focuses on uninteresting characters. Luckily, there was the Homeless Man. This was easily the best character in the film.

After the reveal, the film becomes very boring and predictable. The homeless man was the wild card that was thrown into the mix. When all of the other characters are agreeing with each other and trying to figure a way out of their situation, the homeless man is yelling, attacking people, and really just throwing a wrench (figuratively) into all of their plans. After the reveal, the film suffers from a lot of issues. The homeless man is not nearly enough to make up for those issues, but he is enough to make the rest of the film (at least somewhat) watchable.

My disclaimer for this film is that the entire thing is in Spanish. It does have English subtitles on Netflix, but I know that can be a deal breaker for some. I would say this movie is barely average, so it may not be worth having to read the whole time. If you want a ridiculous, parody-style, comedy that comes in the form of a thriller, then you may get some enjoyment out of it. I, personally, did not think it was worth my time. It has an interesting premise but fails in it's execution.

Ranking

Rank
Movie
Points
1
Housebound
87pts
2
The Awakening
82pts
3
Stake Land
81pts
4
The Babysitter
80pts
4
Gerald's Game
80pts
5
Stitches
78pts
6
V/H/S
77pts
7
Would You Rather
76pts
8
Viral
75pts
9
It Follows
74pts
9
Little Evil
74pts
10
The Babadook
73pts
11
The Bar
72pts
12
Yoga Hosers
69pts
13
Most Likely to Die
67pts
14
13 Cameras
66pts
15
Gallowwalkers
54pts

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    • Movie Beasts profile image
      Author

      Bryan Ouellette 2 months ago from Hudson, MA

      Hopefully you will have a better experience with it!

      I think the best way I could sum it

      up would be to split it into thirds:

      -The first third was great. It was intense and unpredictable. Definitely a decent thriller

      -the second third was a bit boring. The film slows way down and loses everything that made it intriguing before the reveal.

      -The last third was a bit more crazy. It was the closest the film ever got to being a horror. It was entertaining, but it I did not make up for the second part of the film.

    • NessMovieReviews profile image

      The OP Mother Of Non-Spoiler Reviews 2 months ago from Moreton Bay, Queensland

      I also saw this movie in the Horror Section but haven't been alert enough this week to watch a subtitled movie in the evening. I have no aversion to them though. I wondered how horror it might be.

      It looks good though, I'll still give it a go.

      Its a shame when movies peak early but fail to continue the momentum. Perhaps I will find the characters more likeable.

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