Tag Archives: Ireland

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)

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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.

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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

POST DISCUSSION.

This must be the place (2011)

*THIS MUST BE THE PLACE – (Comedy, Drama 2011) (15D: Paolo Sorrentino C: Sean Penn,Frances McDormand 1h 58m  Italy | France | Ireland 

Cheyenne, a retired rock star living off his royalties in Dublin, returns to New York City to find the man responsible for a humiliation suffered by his recently deceased father during W.W.II.

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I vaguely remember seeing pictures of Sean Penn around dressed up as Robert Smith of the Cure, and people talking about a Cure movie then I heard that it wasn’t a Cure film at all.. so I never bothered with it, but Sean Penn, that hair.. news of an amazing OST. Eventually I had to check it out. It’s one of those passages of life kinda stories. Cheyenne is a fragile retired pop star living in Ireland being all glam and under the radar, When he gets news that his father has died, soon the story changes the quiet recluse pop star into a nazi hunter! Yeah it’s an unusual story which reminds me of the bizarre and surreal road trip that Wristcutters Story turned into. I adore the characters that he meets along the way, each one seems to be very carefully thought out and superbly acted. All owing themselves to Cheyennes own personal recovery, making amends with his late father and family history and dealing with the suicides of two fans. Penn plays a goth pretty well, I like the variations in dress and aversion for society while playing them.
08

Isolation (2005)

Isolation

(Horror, Thriller, Gore. 2005) (15) D/W: Billy O’Brien C:  Sean Harris, John Lync, Marcel Iures.  1h 35m. UK / Ireland.

On a remote Irish farm, five people become unwilling participants in an experiment that goes nightmarishly wrong.

TAGLINE : A horror film set on a lonely farm in rural Ireland.

 

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Well I don’t remember how I came about finding this flick, but it has two of my al time favourite UK actors in it and both were very hot to watch.. oh man!! It’s a keeper, just for Sean Harris and John Lynch visuals.

I do vaguely remember seeing this previewed on another DVD possibly Unearthed or the Decent and it looked terrible, I only recognised the movie from one of the final scenes..  I thought trailers were supposed to turn you onto a movie, make it look dazzling and schit? If they showed Sean Harris making out and John Lynch’s birthing scene the movie would have been higher on my to buy list!

The movie revolves around an out of work farmer, Dan (John Lynch)  and the use of his farm by scientist unknown  to breed a more fertile bovine, he’s Irish but he’s not f*cking lucky at all, he is kept in the dark  over many aspects of the “project”.

Along with all these problems Dan has a young couple (Sean Harris and Ruth Negga) intruding on his laaand (oh wait he’s not from Somerset.. ) * ahem * on his land.. To the viewer it’s clear that the couple are on the run, to Dan they are just going to get him into trouble with the unknown powers, but he’s not a monster, he lets them stay, that kind act might have been a curse in disguise. Still Dan’s main concern is the livelihood of his herd.. although to be fair I only remember seeing one cow in the entire movie!

Things are wrong from the get go in this dark, biological nightmare of a movie, two people are bitten by an unborn calf.. bitten!!!  Mind you the little fekker gets swung around by the legs and over the head of Dan on entry into this world! Is this honestly common practice?? WOAH!

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Then things get weird (if that wasn’t weird enough) There is a vigorous dose of gore and yucky moments, Cronehberg would be proud of the viral creatures, sliding around and biting folk. There are various arms up cows A$$es, strange cuts and bites, autopsies, vomiting, blood and guts, at least there was enough to make a little gore queen like myself squeal with delight!

 

A dose of Sean Harris and John Lynch makes me happy and get the old juices flowing, both are really great actors who aren’t afraid to get dirty for their work and it pays off. To be honest I don’t think nay shy actors fair well in such films.

While being a frim Reality Checked Drama, a Biological Sci Fi Breakdown and a Gore Bursting Virus movie, Isolation holds true to the modern British horror genre, it is a good movie, it doesn’t open up any new doors for any of the aforementioned genres but it does touch on a possible future crisis. I know a lot of conspiracy theorist, vegans and those sensitive to genetically modified foods/crops/herds will see this as a harsh bite of reality that we might have to face.

I have to give this movie huge thumbs up for using animatronics and not GCI, I really love when films do this, CGI can work at times but for this style of gore and horror you really need to see something with substance. We need to bring back blood soaked, repulsive, textured monsters and look and feel real man!

R: Squirm (1976), Slither (2006), Shivers (1975), Growth (2010), Ruins (2008), Bug (2006), Splinter (2008) ß do you see a pattern emerging here, infection movies all with one word titles…

7/10

07

Travelers (2011)

TRAVELERS

(Thriller,Sport, 2011) (18) D/W: Kris McManus P: Alex Edwards, Brian A Levine – 1h 24m. UK

TAGLINE: It’s in the blood.

Four friends set out on a motorcycle adventure weekend, clocking up miles in an attempt to outrun their urban lifestyles…

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Basics is that a  group of arrogant city boys go out camping in the wilderness on their pretty motorbikes, insult some locals about being inbred and attack a caravan which they discover a dead body is inside.. or what they presume is a dead body.. The owners of the caravan (obviously Irish Gypsies) come back and seek their revenge on their home being attacked.. the dead body gets up and it turns out it’s one of the Irish guys girlfriend/sister (probably both, we are talking about the rednecks of the British Isles here) who isn’t best pleased at her home being kicked in but takes mercy on the boys as her bothers/lovers deal out some punishment. The city boys find themselves on the run from the Irish and are being picked off one by one, and also manage to get themselves pulled into the Irish fighting scene as a redemption for their deeds! There is a lot going on in this film!

This movie for what it’s worth could have been an hour shorter. Yeah 24 minutes to tell the story then maybe an hour of real Irish Gypsy fighting! Saying that the fight scenes are pretty ruthless. Okay I’m being a bit harsh, it is a good story.. but I had problems with it..

It’s let down by the lack of acting and dialogue, but the depth of the plot keeps you interested enough to watch it through but afterwards I personally felt a bit cheated. Which is actually how I felt with another of McManus’s movies Dead in France (2012).

In a similar vein as Deliverance (1972) , Pig Hunt (2008) or more accurately Devils Bridge (2010), this movie tells the story of backwoods meets metroman with devastating consequences which in itself is nothing new but this has a slightly different twist on the subject which is inventive but could have been executed a bit better.

The only differences between this and Devils Bridge (2010) is a bit of a Shrooms (style twist to it. In addition to this one of the city boys is from a traveller background so kinda knows all about the life. So if he did know.. why the hell did he want to get back and why didn’t he protect his friends? Douchebag!

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It’s just below average, I think with a bit of tweaking and more emphasis on the twist/fighting and maybe some better production this could be an amazing movie. I want to like it but… I do really appreciate lo-fi British movies, there is a lot of creativity going on in this scene, it just needs a gentle push and it could be great again.

R : Knuckle (2011) which is more of a documentary, highly entertaining. Deliverance (1972) , Pig Hunt (2008)

5/10

05