Consider it an old lesson: If a stranger shows up on your porch, claiming to be your long-lost sister, maybe don’t automatically believe them. Such is the pickle that Allison Tolman’s Merle finds herself confronting in “Barracuda,” when young Sinaloa (newcomer Sophie Reid) appears, touting a shared genealogy that is only the tip of the metaphorical iceberg.
While the sisters eventually bond, long-simmering resentments on Sinaloa’s side — the pair apparently share a father, a country music star who influences her own musicianship — threaten to pull them apart. Or perhaps that’s what Sinaloa wanted the entire time? After the film debuted at this year’s SXSW, our Eric Kohn wrote that “Barracuda” is a “beautiful, haunting drama,” with a particular focus on how music ties together people (and maybe even pulls them apart).
“The real focal point of ‘Barracuda’ has less to do with the way Sinaloa talks about her problems than her ability to sing them,” Kohn wrote. “Not since ‘Broken Circle Breakdown’ has a movie used country melodies so effectively to convey its characters’ internal turmoil.”
Directors Julia Halperin and Jason Cortlund’s previously took their relationship drama “Now, Forager” on the festival circuit back in 2012, but “Barracuda” sees them going in an entirely new direction, though one still built on the strange intricacies of personal bonds and boundaries.
The film also stars JoBeth Williams, Luis Bordonada, Larry Jack Dotson, Butch Hancock, Bob Livingston, and The Mastersons.
Orion Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn Films will release “Barracuda” in select cities on October 6. Check out our exclusive trailer below.