Sheriff Grady Barnes is the main protagonist of the 2007 natural horror film Maneater. He is the aging and peace-loving sheriff of a near-crime free town on the Appalachian Trail.
Little is known of Sheriff Barnes' past, however, he married a woman named Mary and the two were never able to have children.
Sheriff Grady Barnes is the aging and peace-loving, but capable Sheriff of a town on the Appalachian Trail and was going about his usual day, until he receives word that someone had gone missing. He has the local vet try and track the missing jogger with his hound, but the dog spooks. As he and his deputies are about to try and track the jogger on foot, he is alerted that someone else had gone missing. Barnes travelled to the home of a hermit named Cotty Washburn, where he finds the mangled remains of the hermit at the end of a drag trail. The coroner confirmed that Washburn had been killed by an animal, but that the killer was too big to have been a native one. Barnes requested his teacher wife, Mary, not to let any children go near the woods, as he was concerned of public safety. Later, at the scene of a dead hunter's death, Barnes found a large pawprint of the animal that had killed him and had it casted. The vet confirmed that the animal was a Bengal tiger, shocking Barnes. Barnes then had all of his deputies back out of the woods and called a press conference. Instructing the locals to be in groups and armed if they needed to go outside, Barnes' told everyone else to stay inside as much as possible until the tiger was killed.
Mayor Earl Hundt was angered with Barnes for making that announcement, as the town's annual Corn & Apple Festival is about to start and told him to keep things quiet as he protected the town. The next morning, Barnes' deputy, Weinman, told him that Entertainment Weekly had offered a $10,000 reward for the head of the tiger. Barnes had the reward rescended and later encountered Roy Satterly, a young boy who mother kept him isolated, in the woods. He and Weinman gave chase, but were stopped cold by the sound of the tiger nearby. They found the attack scene where the tiger had killed a photographer and saw his photos of the tiger on his camera. The photos end up in the paper quickly and Mayor Hundt is once again angered with Barnes and informed him that the governor was sending in the National Guard to kill the tiger. The next morning, Barnes encountered Roy again and warned him to stay out of the woods, before taking him home and giving his mother the same warning. Barnes met with seven National Guardsmen, led by Sergeant Wenshiser. Barnes tried to offer advice and help to the guardsmen, but they arrogantly refuse it. After Wenshiser pointed out a tent across the field. Barnes walked to the tent and met with Colonel James Livingston-Graham, a wise and experienced specialist of hunting man-eating tigers from England, who told Barnes that he knew more about how to hunt tigers than anyone alive, that the guardsmen would fail to kill the tiger, and that he would start his hunt for the tiger when they finished.
Barnes later asked Wenshiser if he had a Plan B after the tiger killed one of his men, and Colonel Graham quickly appeared and advised against sending for more troops, before explaining how the tiger had killed the guardsman and finding his body. As Graham tried to leave, Barnes tried to accompany him, but Graham told him about his past when he lost a son to a tiger and said that he couldn't simply give the knowledge of how you hunt a man-eater to Barnes as advice, before telling Barnes to go back to town and tend to his people as a way to help him. Later, Barnes is alerted that Weinman and another deputy, Ezra Hundt, the mayor's son, had stopped responding after finding an abandoned troop transport. Barnes rrived on the scene to find that Hundt had been killed by the tiger, along with two National Guardsmen. Graham arrived soon after and explained how the tiger had attacked the guardmen and deputy and requested Barnes that he avoid the press if possible, to which he agreed. Later, at another press conference, Barnes was told that Graham had been exiled from India after he failed to kill a tiger for two years, in which the tiger killed over 200 people. After he is mocked repetitively, Barnes angrily ended the conference. Mayor Hundt then arrived and he and Barnes tearfully talked about the childhood days of his son, whom Barnes had known since childhood. On his way home, Barnes is alerted of a burglar alarm at a store and was chased into the store by the tiger after he arrived to investigate.
Inside, Barnes found Graham's hat, rifle, and a blood trail that he followed, before hearing Roy call out to him from under a truck outside. He then dove under the truck to protect him from the tiger and had him run to his SUV after the tiger had jumped into the bed of the truck. Barnes attempted to shoot the tiger several times, hitting a gas tank as the tiger ran by it with his final shot, causing it to explode and kill the tiger. Graham then appeared beside the building, bloodied, but alive. At his office, Barnes offered to let him stay with him if he wanted to remain in America, but Graham politely declined, saying that his hunting days are now over and that he needed to go home. Sheriff Barnes and his wife, Mary, happily adopt the orphaned Roy, whose mother was the tiger's final victim, having never been able to have children.
Sheriff Barnes is very experienced and skilled at doing his job, able to handle any situation regarding the law and public safety promptly and properly, while still not receiving any negative actions or attitudes from his people. However, he, sensibly and naturally, lacked experience when dealing with man-eaters and only knew how to keep people safe from it, while not knowing how to rid the town of the problem for good, causing him to rely of the specialized expertise of Colonel James Livingston-Graham.
Sheriff Barnes is very peace-loving, serious, and cautious, shown throughout the film Maneater. He was also a saddened man from not being able to have any children, but this was nullified when he and his wife, Mary, adopted young Roy Satterly in the end of the film. Barnes also loves his wife and people very much, and is always looking out for their well being. Barnes also has a hatred for darkness.