Director – Jon Wright (Grabbers, Tormented)
Starring – Hannah John-Kamen (Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, Ready Player One), Douglas Booth (The Dirt, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies), and Colm Meaney (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Con Air)
Release Date – 2022
Rating – 3/5
I’ve been fortunate enough to review a few Irish folk horror films over the years but the number of movies I’ve seen is nowhere near the number of movies that I want to watch. I love Irish folk tales and blending those into horror films is a match made in hell in my humble opinion. That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to review the new Irish folk horror film Unwelcome when my friends over at Well Go USA sent over the press release. The trailer didn’t really impress me but I loved the synopsis and artwork for the release. I requested a copy and as soon as I could I made the time to check it out. Like always I want to thank Well Go USA for hooking me up.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a young couple expecting their first born. They move to the Irish countryside after a home invasion in hopes of having a better environment to welcome their bundle of joy to. They hire a local family to help their with their home repairs but as the relationship between them starts to deteriorate they soon discover a dark secret about the home and the legend of the Red Caps that live in the woods behind their home. **Spoiler Alert**
Unwelcome is one of those horror films that really made my mind race when I first read the synopsis. The artwork and trailer did very little to stir my imagination but that synopsis really had my brain working overtime. The film is not something that I can see myself revisiting or recommending to close friends looking for something new and bone chilling. However, it was a decent first time watch that did struggle with it’s own footing. I wanted to love it but it’s one of those films that has a fantastic story but fails to fully capture what it could have been.
The acting in this one is a bit underwhelming but I enjoyed it for the most part. I really liked Hanna John-Kamen and Douglas Booth as the young couple. They worked very well together and their relationship feels so authentic. I was surprised to see Colm Meaney in the film. Star Trek fans may recognize him from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. I loved his character and the intensity he brought out from time to time. With that being said, I was not a fan of his film children. One of them was portrayed by Game of Throne’s actor Kristian Nairn who portrays a similar character as his GoT character. He is severely underutilized here and it’s a crime that he was typecast like he was here.
The story for this one takes some time to get going but the final leg of the film is fucking insane. The first portion of the film follows the couple who is trying to do some repairs to their home after they hired a handyman and his three children. Some things are said and done during the repair process that has the couple on edge but things go fucking berserk in the final stretch of the film when the story comes full circle. It’s a ride that has a slow build up but well worth the trip. I just wish more time was spent on the local legend and less on the unhinged family that does home repairs.
Finally, the film has some seriously fun and bloody moments as the film was coming to a close but the first hour or so of the film is pretty dry in regards to blood. The kills all looked good but the visual effects were a bit of a disappointment. I’m sure a different way involving practical effects could have been used and more effectively. Overall, Unwelcomed is not an essential Irish folk horror flick but it’s still a fun watch. Check it out.