Tag Archives: Ireland

The Dublin Oldschool (2018),

Director: Dave Tynan.
Starring.Emmet Kirwan, Sarah Greene, Seana Kerslake, Ian Lloyd Anderson. Ireland/UK. 1h 39m.

I assumed this was going to be more about older irish problems and feelings towards the British, maybe I’m still on a high after watching Black 47 (2018), but this is more of a cross between It’s all gone Pete Tong (2004) and Trainspotting (1996) but without that certain spark or energy instead it’s way more realistic (than Trainspotting) and totally poetic both in narrative and throughout it’s dialogue. There are many drug addicts here, some have succumbed and others literally only use it to enhance their recreation.

So this movie tells a story of Jason (Kirwan), an aspiring DJ who spends those few hours between drug field trips in the streets of Dublin, he stumbles on his educated and long time addicted brother Daniel (Anderson). The two subsequently bond and clash as they batter through their differences and in a strange Irish way, catch up with each other. Jason is determined to reach his goal at DJing a very special illegal rave while trying to win his ex back, this young man really has a lot on his plate and struggles every step of the way. Continue reading The Dublin Oldschool (2018),

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The Devil’s Doorway (2018)

 

Director: Aislinn Clarke
Starring: Lalor Roddy, Helena Bereen, Lauren Coe, Ciaran Flynn . Ireland / UK. 1h 17m

This found footage horror is set in the swinging 60’s but it isn’t influences by mini skirts and being hip instead the women involved are quite different, Devils Doorway sees Father Thomas Riley (Roddy) and Father John Thornton (Flynn)  despatched by the vatican to investigate reports of a miracle in a Catholic asylum based in the wilderness of Northern Ireland.

At this remote asylum for immoral women, the statues of the Virgin Mary have been weeping blood. The two priests open their investigation by filming each other, the younger, Father John arms himself with a 16mm camera to record their findings and often interrogates father Thomas about his life and beliefs as a priest, after some adjustments they head to the vast home and begin their investigation but are confronted by some fiercely protective nuns who see their presence as insulting and can’t wait to see the backs of them. Continue reading The Devil’s Doorway (2018)

Black 47 (2018)

Director: Lance Daly.
Starring. Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Stephen Rea, Freddie Fox, Barry Keogham, Sarah Greene. USA. 1h 40m.

This brilliantly dark poetic revenge flick from the bleakest part of Irish history is rough but so intense. Based on the Irish Language short called An Ranger by PJ Dillon and Pierce Ryan, this lengthy retelling is focused on an Irish Ranger returning home from war and finding his homeland is very different to how he left it.

Starting on another tangent, the film opens with Hanna (Weaving) losing his temper with a prisoner, a member of the Young Irelander movement, while losing his temper he strangles the man he sips from his canteen while another guard realises Hannah has killed the prisoner.

Meanwhile Martin Feeney (Frechville) a former Connaught Ranger arrives in Connemara, west Ireland in 1847, the worst part of the Great Famine, he finds family home hollowed out and filled with pigs, he learns that his mother died from starvation and his brother was hanged after stabbing a bailiff during the family’s evection. Feeney stays with his brothers widow (Greene) who are squatting in one of the few remaining houses. Soon the landlord arrives to evict the family, killing Feeney’s nephew and destroying the home. Feeney is arrested but managed to kill his captors and destroy the barracks and re returns to find his sister in law and her daughter dead from exposure. This sparks something dark inside of Feeney and he begins to seek a tortuous bloody revenge on the men who have wronged him. Continue reading Black 47 (2018)

Traders (2015)

Director: Rachel Moriarty.

Starring: Killian Scott, Peter O’Meara, Nika McGuigan, Barry Keoghan. Ireland/UK. 1h 30m.

Harry Fox is a man who has it all, an amazing apartment, a cushy job, good looks and a fancy car, but his company goes bust and after a few angry phone calls from the bank  he looks set to lose it all. But just in the nick of time a close friend, Vernon comes up with a bizarre but workable solution when he masterminds an insane game called Traders. Advertised on the deep web, the game rules are laid out. You take all your money and sell off all your property bag up the cash (in a green bag) write a suicide note, meet up with the other unknown “Trader” take several bus rides and go to a secluded location, trade phones dig a grave and fight to the death, the winner buries the loser, posts the suicide note and goes home with double his money. Sounds simple so what’s the catch? Continue reading Traders (2015)

Citadel (2012)

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Director: Ciaran Foy .

Starring: Aneurin Barnard, James Cosmo, Jake Wilson, Wunmi Mosaku. Ireland/Scotland/UK. 1h 24m.

A deeply moving and scary psychological horror, written and directed by Ciaran Foy,who later went on to direct Sinister 2 (2015). In this dark Gaelic horror drama we’re introduced to a young couple expecting, Tommy (Barnard) and Joanne (Shiels) live in a decomposing apartment block, while returning home, the couple get separated, while Tommy is in the lift, a group of hooded teens start attacking his heavily pregnant girlfriend as he desperately tries to escape the confines of the lift, he finds her unconscious, with a syringe in her stomach, during flashbacks we see that Joanne survives and gives birth to a baby girl, but remains in a coma and eventually is taken off life support. The distraught Tommy attempts to care for his daughter while dealing with acute agoraphobia as a result of the ordeal, his only support is Marie (Mosaku). Continue reading Citadel (2012)

Killer Force AKA The Diamond Mercenaries (1976)

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Director: Val Guest
Starring : Telly Savalas, Peter Fonda, Christopher Lee, O J Simpson, Maud Adams. USA. 1h 42m

Basically this is just five guys out to complete a diamond heist, but the in depth plot is a bit more tit for tat, the head of security, Harry Webb (Savalas) believes there is going to be a robbery in one of the diamond mines out in the desert and soon becomes unpopular with everyone including a cover girl model who happens to be the daughter of his boss and owner of the mine who is love with one of his team, Mike Bradley (Fonda). Nelson, the mind administrator, gives Bradley the task of stealing a diamond not only to test him but to get him involved with a group who are planning a major heist. Continue reading Killer Force AKA The Diamond Mercenaries (1976)

Ordinary Decent Criminal (2000)

 

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Director: Thaddeus O’Sullivan.
Starring:Kevin Spacey, Llinda Florentino, Helen Baxendale, Peter Mullan, Stephan Dillane, David Hayman. UK/Ireland. 1h 33m.

The first time I caught this, it was on TV as myself and my partner were getting ready to go out for the night and were incredibly delayed as we wanted to watch the end of this film but also were quite desperate for last orders. It’s as ingenious as it is inviting.

Loosely based around the life of a real Dublin gangster Martin Cahill whose story was originally brought to the big screen in 1998 by John Boreman as The General. This version of Cahill played by the soft faced Kevin Spacey is way more devious and mischievous and ever calmly smiling smiling almost at the audience, because, we know.. he ain’t such a bad guy after all. Continue reading Ordinary Decent Criminal (2000)

The Hallow (2015)

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Director:Corin Hardy .
Starring: Joseph Mawle, Bojana Novakovic, Michael McElhatton, Michael Smiley . UK/Ireland. 1h 24m.

It’s interesting to see an Irish horror story that doesn’t revolve around leprechauns and banshees but instead picks at the pantheon of folklore monsters from deep within the Irish forests but doesn’t really dig into their tangles mythology.

Adam (Mawle) and Clare (Novakovic) receive a hostile welcome from the locals after the pair of cityfolk set up home in an isolated house on the edge of a forest that Adam is tasked to work on, causing friction with the eco bunnies but their neighbour becomes a more sinister daily threat trying to persuade Adam and the baby to keep out of the Hallow, “the forest is their home, they want the child”. So Adam takes the baby on tour of the forest and discovers a grisly neuro-active fungus that strangely connects with the child snatching kiddy folk. Continue reading The Hallow (2015)

The Survivalist (2015)

the survivalist

Director: Stephen Fingleton
Starring: Martin McCann, Mia Goth, Olven Fouere. Ireland/UK. 1h 43m

A impressive and unusual post apocalyptic survival story, if the title didn’t give that away already.. instead of a desert wasteland and zombies this lush yet bleak take on our future is incredibly intense and thought provoking.

Unnamed and isolated a young man forges a future for himself in the wilderness, growing what food he can on land littered with the bodies of those who have tried to rob him in the past. Eventually his solitary existence is disturbed by two starving visitors, a young girl Milija (Mia Goth) and her long silver haired banshee of a mother Kathryn (Olwen Fouéré), who first offer the man seeds then sex for food and shelter. Eventually unspoken rules and a tentative bond is formed although everyone is striving to survive and no one fully trusted. Continue reading The Survivalist (2015)

From the Dark (2014)

From the Dark

From the Dark  (Horror,  2014) (18) D: Conor McMahon  C: Niamh Algar, Stephen Cromwell, Ged Murray. 1h 30m. Ireland.

Synopsis :  A couple on a trip through the Irish countryside find themselves hunted by a creature who only attacks at night.

Back to basics horror that reinforces our primal fear of the dark.

Setting the scene is set as an elderly man desperately trying to bury a body in a peat bog, the soil starts to move, there is a scream and a struggle, cutscene and a young couple make their way through the beautiful Irish countryside bickering over marriage ( I hasten to add that I totally agree with the definition of love and marriage in this conversation). The car breaks down and help is sought in a quiet village down the road. Then things start to get very strange.

Director Connor MacMahon has been slowly ploughing through all the different types of movie monsters in his films and while the actual monsters origins and species isn’t fully explored within the movie it’s easily categorised as a Vampire, looking and acting most like  Nosferatu (1922).  The film boasts an extremely small cast of 4, but doesn’t lack on suspense and thrills, while trudging through at a slow pace.

Being afraid of the dark is quite a natural thing for most of us, having a calculating psychotic monster with a blood lust stalking you doesn’t ease the fear. From the Dark explores all of those creepy moments in the quiet darkness.

from the dark

After the couple make it into an abandoned cottage with the monster hot on their heels they soon work out that light is their own saviour. Being in strange surroundings and with one of them injured it becomes a tricky fight for survival. After Mark (Stephen Cromwell) is mauled by the beast his immobility leads Sarah (Niham Algar) to take the lead in fighting and getting them both to safety. The bickering couple soon have only each other to hang onto and love is no longer in the question, in a similar vein as Hush (2008) they find a much stronger bond to overcome any troubles they once had.

With the hungry creature stalking them  at at all times and trying to work out it’s strengths and weaknesses while protecting Mark, the quick witted and extremely brave Sarah becomes resourceful in her search for light and weapons. Unlike other thrillers like Storm Watch (2007) where Nadia Fares suddenly turns into Macgyver when the shit hits the fan, Sarah’s attempts are much more grounded and realistic. The creature is kept out of sight for most of the movie but it is very apparent that its fast, violent and likes to dwell in the darkness.

The film is high tension and full of jump-scares as well as playing on various phobias, a creepy spider scene as well as some claustrophobic moments, much like the survival horror video game series Alone in the Dark. The effects are very simple, there is little CGI if any, everything is left up to great acting intelligent creature effects. the downside is the lack of varying scenes. the film does lull in the middle, there are only so many times Sarah can run freely around in the darkness with this killer beast always missing her before the mind wonders how long until the end. Things do pick up though, and the ending is quite dramatic and makes up for any earlier shortcomings.

There is a decent slice of gore in between the running around in the dark, a brutal amputation scene and very little dialogue towards the end. It’s a great attempt for a horror movie with an obvious low budget. It makes the best of what it available and dare i suggest that it has a Hammereque style to it. I would imagine something like this coming from the Hammer Horror revival.

It is simple and does revert back to the basics of the horror genre, but its flare is in the wild thrills of the chase the bravery against the unknown. It’s an interesting change to the style of horror that is being produced in modern times, it’s not relying on buckets of gore and huge effects but is an actual horror movie and unashamedly nothing else. I would like to see more modern films taking this on board, as well as future movies from MacMahon.

It won’t grasp a lot of cinema fans as it doesn’t have a classic ending, it’s on the quiet side, more could have been done with sound track in all fairness. There are some moments which people will want to see the gore but it’s not shown. But for me it’s breath of fresh air into my much loved genre.

L : Vampire movies that don’t mention vampires, Selected Irish films, Film that make the dark scary again, Small movie casts, Creatures afraid of the light
A: Creatures who are afraid of the light, therefore.. Demonic.
R: Dog soldiers (2002), 30 days of night (2007), Nosferatu (1922), Hush (2008), Alone in the Dark (2005),

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Rating –  6/10


V
: It’s a good film, but with it’s quiet nature and lack of effects it won’t win over too many hearts. Once the mechanics are in place it’s quite interesting with a few screams and shocks in this bitter sweet love story in a dark and horrible chase until dawn. I admire the fact that a lot of the graphical horror scenes are left for the imagination but I also would like to have seen some intelligent use of lower budget creature effects too add a bit of character and oomph. Still an all round good movie it just needed a little tidying up around the edges.

5B : Connor MacMahon
OST: Soundtrack – gorgeous song at the end.
TIL : Bad guys always have long coats

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