Best of Irish Horror

For a country so rich in myths and folklore,  Ireland doesn’t produce many horror films. Let’s hope someone is carving out some funds from the $250 million that the Irish Film Board received last year to help usher in more scary movies from the Emerald Isle. Until then, here are five great Irish horror films to watch this month.

Citadel (2012)

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“Take a look at yourself. Everything about you, says victim.”

A grieving new father joins forces with a grumpy priest to protect his baby from being taken by feral children.

Nothing will prepare for the barrage of emotions you’ll feel, watching a grieving young man struggling to care for his baby, fight the broken system, and deal with his post-traumatic stress disorder, all while fending off a group of freaky feral children from trying to kidnap his child. Suspenseful and unsettling, in the same vein as the French thriller Them, sadly, The Citadel misses the opportunity to truly be a frightening horror film, nonetheless, I still recommend it for the outstanding performances from Aneurin Barnard and James Cosmos.’

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Nails (2017)

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“We may need to adjust her medication.”

While recovering from a terrible accident, a paralyzed woman encounters a malevolent spirit in her hospital room.

Hospitals are simply the creepiest places. Given all the death and despair that happens, I’m surprised there aren’t more horror movies set in hospitals. This story seems to capitalize on that very notion that evil spirits lurk around patient rooms, waiting to torment the right victim. Being helpless and sick is only the start of our heroine Dana’s problems, but is she really being haunted or is it all in her head?

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The Lodgers (2017)

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“This house speaks to us, it belongs to us, and we to it.”

Bound by a family curse, twin siblings are forbidden to leave their ancestral home, a dilapidated haunted mansion, and follow three eerie rules until their destiny is fulfilled.

There are consequences to forbidden love and it doesn’t just end in nine months. This creepy supernatural thriller, reminiscent of Poe’s House of Usher, relies heavily on dark mood and suspense to frighten viewers. Although the story is bit muddled and heavy on exposition, the performances are excellent, and the cinematography is gorgeous. Fans of gothic horror will enjoy this movie.

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Wake Wood (2009)

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“What goes on in Wake Wood is not for everyone.”

After their little girl is tragically killed by a savage stray dog, a young couple is granted an opportunity to bring their daughter back from the dead so they can spend three more days with her.

Nothing good can come from digging up your dead daughter. In their first theatrical feature in thirty years, Hammer Films returns with a cross between Don’t Look Now (1973) and the Wicker Man (1973). While not quite as clever as either of those two films, Wake Wood is still a pretty solid B-movie with plenty of decent scares. The all-star cast includes Game of Thrones thespian Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle, Timothy Spall, Ruth McCabe, Brian Gleason and introducing Ella Connolly, who in my opinion, ties with Orphan’s Isabelle Fuhrman, as the creepiest kid in horror in 2009.

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Grabbers (2012)

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“It’s always the quiet places where the mad shit happens.”

When blood-sucking aliens crash land on a small island off the coast of Ireland, two cops join forces with the town locals to fight back, and eventually, they learn, being drunk may be the only way to survive.

This hilarious horror-comedy may be the most Irish movie ever! With a smart, snappy script and plenty of monster deaths, this goofy film subtly spoofs other sci-fi horrors, but it’s the quirky likable characters, played by a cast of who’s who of famous Irish actors, that really make the film enjoyable. With monsters looking like they came right out of Lovecraft story, the CGI creatures are surprisingly well-done for its limited budget. Unfortunately, despite the cliffhanger ending, there still is no sequel plans. Here’s to hoping the movie finds streaming life somewhere, cuz this hidden gem has cult-favorite written all over it.

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