Images of beautiful green landscapes, historic castles, whiskey, Guinness, and Colin Farrell are likely to come to mind when you think about Ireland. The word “horror” comes to mind significantly less frequently. Despite the fact that Bram Stoker, the legendary author of Dracula, was born in Ireland, many people are unaware of the country’s exceptional horror output. The Irish horror cinema sector is particularly robust, with a slew of superb films released in recent decades. Let’s take a look at seven of the greatest Irish horror films to have come out.
1. The Devil’s Doorway (2018)
Director- Aislinn Clarke
The Vatican sends Father Thomas Riley and Father John Thornton to a distant Catholic institution for immoral women in Northern Ireland in the 1960s. In order to investigate rumours of a miracle, a statue of the Virgin Mary pouring blood. Instead of discovering a wicked horror show of sadistic nuns, satanism, and demonic possession. The priests encounter a perverted horror show of sadistic nuns, satanism, and demonic possession. There are supernatural forces at work here, but they are not of God’s making.
2. The Hole In The Ground (2019)
Director- Lee Cronin
Sarah O’Neill is trying to escape her broken past by starting a new life with her little son Chris. On the outskirts of a backwoods rural hamlet. Sarah’s fragile security is shattered by a terrible meeting with a mysterious neighbour. He is sending her into a nightmare of anxiety and suspicion as she tries to figure out if the strange changes in her son are linked to an ominous sinkhole hidden deep in the forest that borders their home.
3. Let Us Prey (2014)
Director- Brian O’Malley
Rachel, a rookie cop, is ready to start her first night shift in a run-down police station in a Scottish backwater town. The kind of place where the tide has gone out, leaving a motley crew of aimless, forgotten, bitter-and-twisted people. All believe they deserve to be somewhere else. They all believe they’ve arrived by chance and that with a little luck, things will improve. On both points, you are incorrect. Six is on the way, and all hell is about to break loose.
4. The Hallow (2015)
Director- Corin Hardy
With their infant kid, a couple relocates to the backyards. The microbiologist spouse has arrived to check the trees for clearance. Locals tell him not to enter the forests because the “hallows” will enter his home and abduct his child. The infant’s nursery window is shattered one night. But the couple is persuaded by the local cop that it was caused by a bird. However, as the mystery emerges, things become increasingly horrible.
5. Isolation (2005)
Director- Billy O’Brien
Dan, a broke farmer, rents his property to John, a scientist from Bovine Genetics Technology, who is studying genetic alterations of cattle to improve fertilisation. While assisting the cow in giving birth, the veterinarian Orla is bitten by the calf, and she suspects that something went wrong with the experiment. Dan invites the young couple Jamie and Mary who are camped in a trailer in front of his farm’s gate to assist him deliver the calf during the night because the cow has a tight route for the calf. The offspring bites Dan when it is born; Orla arrives later and knows it is a genetic oddity, so she sacrifices the calf.
6. The Canal (2014)
Director- Ivan Kavanagh
David, a family man, and his expectant wife Alice buy an old house by a canal to start their own family. Five years later, their son Billy is the family’s pride and delight. For his partner and friend Claire, David works as an archivist and editor of films. David finds that his house was the scene of a brutal murder when she brings him a reel of 1902 video to work. David is haunted by this discovery, as he sees a stranger inside his house harming his son. When David discovers Alice is cheating on him with her client Alex, he witnesses a stranger murdering Alice and gets obsessed with identifying the perpetrator. Meanwhile, he becomes the police’s top suspect.
7. Citadel (2017)
Director- Ciaran Foy
Tommy Cowley is a young parent suffering from chronic agoraphobia as a result of his wife’s terrible attack by a gang of twisted feral youngsters. He is trapped in Edenstown, a run-down suburb, where he is terrorised by the same gang, who now appear to be after his young daughter. Tommy sets out to discover the terrifying truth about these veiled children, torn between the help of a sympathetic nurse and the vigilante priest. He also learns that in order to be free of his phobias, he must confront his previous demons and enter the abandoned tower block known as the Citadel, which he fears the most.
In conclusion, while a case could be made for all the films discussed above being worthy of recognition, the reality is that the differences in quality among these Irish horror films are relatively negligible. However you look at it, Ireland’s horror output has been fairly respectable throughout the years. So if you’re looking to catch up on some classic horror flicks, then all of these titles are worth a watch or two.