The New Wave of Irish Horror: 9 Films Leading the Irish Horror Invasion



Ireland’s independent horror film industry is just a small start in the grand scheme of horror film history, with the country’s initial entry into indigenous horror being as late as comedy. zombie of 2004. dead meat, directed by Conor McMahon. Although Irish directors like Neil Jordan have achieved international success and recognition for horror films like Interview with the Vampire (1994), it is only in the last ten years that Irish horror has become firmly rooted in the physicality of Ireland and centers a narrative on Irish culture, its often dark and sordid history, and its rich folklore, gained international cinematic recognition.

Over the past five years there has been a monumental shift in the way Irish horror is projected and recognized globally, proving that this tiny island has a thriving horror hive worthy of rivaling Japan. with his J-Horror or the K- of South Korea. Horror. A force of unique, hard to replicate and quintessentially Irish horror lore, make way for Eire-Horror!

devil's door

  1. The Devil’s Door (2018) Directed by Aislinn Clarke

Set during one of Ireland’s darkest and most harrowing times, The Devil’s Gate is one of the pioneers of the new wave of Irish horror. Two Catholic priests (Lalor Roddy and Ciaran Flynn) are sent to a laundry in the Madeleine to investigate a potential miracle. There, they soon discover that the nuns, especially the sinister Mother Superior (Helena Bereen), are hiding all kinds of evil behind the laundry room doors. This chilling, found footage-style horror aims to terrify audiences not only with its supernatural scares, but also in its portrayal of the real-life horrors of the Magdalen laundries and the Catholic Church’s tyranny of women and children. As in most horror traditions, The Devil’s Gate mirrors the society he was born into and reflects the atrocities that still haunt Ireland today, a country that still suffers from the intergenerational trauma of its recent history.

hole in the ground-

2. The Hole in the Ground (2019) Directed by Lee Cronin

Starring Seána Kerslake as a mother who, after moving with her son to rural Ireland, begins to suspect that her child has been traded for a malevolent creature of supernatural origin. Based on Irish folklore of a changeling fairy child, The hole in the ground is a disturbing exploration of parental mental illness and psychosis. As well as being rooted in the Irish tradition of mischievous fairies, the film is also heavily influenced by the traditional Irish children’s folk song “Weile Waile” which tells the story of a woman who takes her child to the river and kills with a fountain pen. Like its sinister and morbid influences, The hole in the ground is dark and dark and was one of the first Irish horrors to gain international recognition and acclaim, so much so that director Lee Cronin is helming the next Evil Dead Rise slated for release later this year.

Hell County Boys (2020)

3. Boys From County Hell (2020) Directed by Chris Baugh

Giving an Irish twist to vampire lore, Hell County Boys is a comedy-horror set in a fictional rural town where a local son and father must put aside their tumultuous relationship and save the people of Six Mile Hill from an ancient vampire who has recently risen, extremely hungry, from his prehistoric tomb. Based on the Irish legend of Abhartach, a neamh-mairbhor walking dead, who rises from the grave to drink blood before being killed by the local chieftain Cathain with a sword made from yew. Hell County Boys is firmly rooted in Ireland, not only with its basis in Irish mythology, but also with the comedic aspect of the film which is equally charming and quintessentially Irish.

You're Not My Mother (2021)

4. You’re Not My Mother (2021) Directed by Kate Dolan

In her first feature, Kate Dolan you are not my mother is a taut folk horror set in urban Dublin’s inner city. Char (Hazel Doupe) struggles to come to terms with her mother’s mental illness and balance a difficult school life. When his mother (Carolyn Bracken) returns after going missing, Char begins to realize that the person who reappeared might not be his mother at all. Steeped in Irish culture and the belief system of the Aos Si (a supernatural race related to fairies), you are not my mother perfectly depicts the customs and traditions that the Irish still apply in their daily lives. Deeply terrifying and horribly suffocating at times, you are not my mother is a tour de force in the modern folk horror subgenre. (Discover our Convo X Fango with director Kate Dolan and star Hazel Doupe)

Bringing Out the Fear (2021)

5. Bring Out the Fear (2021) Directed by Richard Waters

Mainly located in one place, Take out the fear continues the woodland horror trend that has seen increasing popularity in the horror genre. As Rosie (Ciara Bailey) and Dan (Tad Morai) walk through the forest, they begin to realize they want very different outcomes for their current relationship. Dan wants to get married while Rosie wants to break up, and as their walk progresses, they soon realize that it’s not just their relationship that’s doomed. Vertiginous and tinged with a slight surrealism, Take out the fear depicts the very real nightmare that can come from toxic relationships haunted by addiction and deception.

Changeling (2021) Directed by Marie Claire Cushinan and Ryan O'Neill

6. Changeling (2021) Directed by Marie Claire Cushinan and Ryan O’Neill

short horror Changeling comes from the duo behind Je Suis Le Cat Productions and depicts a new family during the Great Irish Famine in the mid-19th century. It’s a terrifying portrayal of how beliefs in the supernatural were often a front for severe postpartum depression and psychosis. Dark and sinisterly morbid, Changeling is loosely influenced by the true story of Bridget Cleary, a woman who was murdered and set on fire by her husband due to his insistence that a changeling replace her. Encompassing one of the darkest periods in Irish history with perhaps the most serious act that can be committed on screen, Changeling is a small but effective dose of horror.


7. Let the Bad In (2021) Directed by Conor McMahon

Another entry into the Irish vampiric comedy genre, Let the bad in is set in Dublin city centre, illustrating the strained relationship between brothers Matt (Karl Rice) and Deco (Eoin Duffy). Matt is the younger brother of long-suffering drug addict Deco, who appears in his home one morning, after being bitten by a vampire. Matt must stop his brother from giving in to his vampire instincts and fight against a horde of vampires determined to turn the entire town into bloodsucking creatures. Also featuring the vampiric Anthony Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as a vampire hunter with a fondness for trains, Let in the bad is an interesting combination of The Lost Boys (1987) and irish buddy movie Adam and Paul (2004). It’s a humorous yet heartfelt reflection on the damage drug addiction can do to families and society as a whole.


8. Mandrake (2022) Directed by Lynne Davison

Northern Irish horror Mandrake tells the story of empathetic probation officer Cathy (Deirdre Mullins) as she takes on the case of local “Bloody” murder legend Mary Laidlaw (Derbhle Crotty) as she is released from her jail for brutally murdering her abusive husband. With its stark portrayal of natural and raw maternal instincts, the film pits two mothers against each other, both determined to protect their two vulnerable sons. Intertwined with witchcraft and occultism, the film is based on the lore of the mandrake root, with its fertility healing powers, it encompasses the tradition of the Irish woman healer and her place in society.

the cellar3.webp

9. The Cellar (2022) Directed by Brendan Muldowney

Satanically sinister, The cave stars Elisha Cuthbert as Keira Woods, who, after moving her family to a rural estate, begins to suspect that the winery is hiding serious secrets after her daughter goes missing. As she begins to unravel the mystery that shrouds the abode, Keira must face the darkness or risk the possibility of losing her family forever. Marrying the usually opposing forces of science and faith, The cave is part occult terror and part Lovecraftian otherworldly horror. The cave plays on fears of the eternal damnation of souls and mind-boggling mathematical equations. (Discover our SXSW interview with Brendan Muldowney, Elisha Cuthbert and Eoin Macken.)

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