Georgina Campbell as Tess in 20th Century Studios' BARBARIAN, exclusively on Hulu. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Why Is the Creature in Barbarian Obsessed With Milk? Explained

Got milk?

Possibly one of the biggest sleeper hits of the year has to be Zach Cregger’s mysterious Airbnb thriller Barbarian, which was released to rave reviews and a promising word-of-mouth buzz. If you’re here, though, chances are you’re wondering: Why is the creature in Barbarian obsessed with milk? With that in mind, then, let’s discuss that very question and get to the bottom of this mystery. Let’s go!

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***Major Story Spoilers for Barbarian Follow***

Why Is the Mother in the Barbarian Horror Movie Obsessed With Milk? Explained

In a surprising twist, while the deadly creature within Barbarian is the Mother, the real monster at the heart of the film is the serial rapist and kidnapper, Frank. As it is alluded to in the film, Frank (portrayed by Richard Brake) is an awful human being who spends his time abducting women, trapping them in a dungeon in his basement, and filming them while doing unspeakable acts of violence to his victims.

It’s unclear how long Frank has been doing these abhorrent deeds, but it’s clear that he’s been doing it over the course of many years as there are lots and lots of videotapes that AJ Gilbride (Justin Long) stumbles upon later in the movie. Another very important piece of evidence is the presence of the Mother, who is essentially a feral human and the end result of decades of Frank’s raping, in-breeding, and neglect.

the Mother, Barbarian
Image Source: 20th Century Studios

Because the Mother wasn’t offered the luxury of a proper upbringing, and instead has been forced to live out her life in the lonely darkness of a dungeon, her instincts are more primal and more child-like. Of course, as you may have gathered from her moniker, her behavior is largely motivated by her desire to be a mother as all she’s ever known and ever been seen as is a vessel to raise more children.

As a result of this, the Mother is obsessed with kidnapping children – much like her father, Frank – and will raise and protect them; violently, if needed. This brings us to her compulsion to feed milk to her victims.

As her motivation is solely on kidnapping and raising children, the Mother gives milk to her victims because she is trying to nourish them and care for them as she believes a traditional mother would do. The real tragedy behind the Mother creature is that she is actually quite a sympathetic character that lacks the emotional nurturing that a human needs and deserves. Her wish to give others milk is more out of caring for them than truly wanting to hurt them.

Finally, another interesting wrinkle is the idea that barbarians used to love to drink milk, which could be another rather outlandish reason why the film is called Barbarian.

So, that about wraps things up for now. We hope that helped to answer the query: Why is the creature in Barbarian obsessed with milk? For more on the film, here’s why Barbarian is called Barbarian, as well as our full review of the pic.

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Dylan Chaundy
Dylan is a Senior Writer at Twinfinite and has been with the site for over two years, and in the games media industry for over a decade. He typically covers horror, RPGs, shooters, Roblox, indie titles and movies, and loves reading, pizza and skateboarding; ideally, at the same time. He has a degree in English Literature from Aberystwyth University, Wales. He thinks FTL may be the most perfect game ever created.