It's that time of year again, the time when the streets turn green with vomit and everyone you know has an Irish accent. The time, when The Pogues are finally getting some air time on the radio and the only horror movie any one can ever think of to recommend is Leprechaun. However, like last year, I went rooting around and found a few more titles from the Emerald Isle, that will send shivers down yer spine and have you holding on to yer Blarney stones for dear life.
Here are 5 More Horror Films from the Emerald Isle:
5. Botched (2007) - After a diamond heist goes wrong, Ritchie's boss, Mr. Groznyi gives him one more chance to work off his family's debt. Groznyi wants him and a couple other guys to get him an antique cross that is locked away in a safe on the top floor of a penthouse apartment. Having no choice, Ritchie takes the job and meets with his two partners, Peter and his idiot brother, Yuri. They break into the penthouse without a problem, but Peter kills the woman after she gives him the cross. They bolt out of the apartment and back into the elevator. Unfortunately, the elevator makes a stop on a floor and a group of christian Russian women get on the elevator. Peter tries to persuade the ladies to get off and take the next one, but he just lets a few more people on the elevator. Fuck it! The elevator starts going down and gets stuck on the unfinished 13 floor. Thinking that it's the police who stopped the elevator, Peter pulls out his gun and takes the everyone hostage. They move everyone off the elevator into one of the many rooms of this labyrinth floor. However, they learn that it is not the police, but a descendent of Ivan the Terrible, who has stooped the elevator and lured them down there, so he can kill them off one by one! Can Ritchie escape this madman and pay his debt to Groznyi or will he become another sacrifice to this devil?
This was a strange film and I'm always apprehensive when I see Stephen Dorff (The Gate) in a film but it was actually okay. It seemed a little scattered in areas, like the madman in his viking gear, ballet dancing to his kills and all the goofy traps that are scattered around the floor. Most of the characters are pretty text book and can be humorous at time but Stephen Dorff is actually quite good as Ritchie and so is Jaime Murray (Dexter: Season 2) as Anna, the hostage/love interest for Ritchie. Sean Pewtree, also shows up as Groznyi but he isn't in the film that much but when he is, it's good. There are some good bloody scenes and the body count is pretty decent but it's a shame that they tried to make it funnier than making it more gruesome. I think if the spent more time with the killing instead of the lame jokes, it would have been better. I've seen better but it still enjoyable and has it's moments. Worth watching after a few beers and these are times I wish I drank.
4. Grabbers (2012) - A group of fishermen are working during the night, when they see a mysterious flash of light hurtling out of the sky. One of them runs to tell his father, when all of a sudden, the crew starts disappearing off the boat. The fisherman realizing he's the last one on the boat, left looks up and screams in horror at what is coming toward him. The next morning, a young Garda named Lisa is coming over to the island for 2 weeks of training. When she gets there, Garda O'Shea is there, half in the bag from the night before, to pick her up and he is that excited about having a rookie on his team for the next couple weeks. Meanwhile, on a boat, fisherman and local town drunk, Paddy Barrett pulls in an unusual creature in his lobster cage. He shows it to his buddy Murphy but he says that it's not a lobster and then Murphy gets squirted in the face with some kind of goo. Back at the station, O'Shea gets a call to come down to the beach because there are a number of dead pilot whales there. When they get there, Dr. Smith, a marine biologist, is already there and is confused at how they all died. O'Shea assures him that this happens all the time and not to worry, then packs up and heads over to a construction sight to get some buddies to clear the beach of the whales. During that rainy night, a mysterious creature attacks Murphy and his wife in their home and the crew, O'Shea hold to clear the beach disappear as well. The next morning reports are flooding in of disturbances, then Paddy Barrett comes in and tells Lisa and O'Shea that he has a monster in his bathtub. When they go to investigate Paddy's tub, they find a tentacled monster that is hungry for human flesh! Could this be the creature that is causing the disturbance on their tiny island or is this just the tip of iceberg and they may be in for a bigger problem soon?
This movie was pretty terrific and I really liked the fact that it's a creature from space! Director Jon Wright blends a great mix of horror/comedy, that it puts it up there with "Shaun of the Dead". The story is well written and I thought the solution to keep the creatures from eating people was pretty funny. You'll have to watch to find out. The casting is spot on with Richard Coyle (Outpost: Black Sun, Coupling) as O'Shea and Ruth Bradley (Alarm, In Her Skin) as Lisa. They play well off each other, her the straight cop and him the alcoholic, reminds me a bit of Scully and Mulder from the X Files, in some instances. There isn't a lot of blood but there are plenty of dismembered heads flying around and some intense monster scenes. The creatures doesn't look all that complex but it can be pretty terrifying when those arms come flying out. If you've been jonesing for a good creature feature in the midst of this zombie/vampire take over, check this out and you won't be disappointed.
3. Wake Wood (2011) - Patrick and Louise's young daughter, Alice gets mauled by a dog and the grief forces the couple relocate to the small remote town of Wake Wood. One evening on their way home, their car breaks down and they go to Patrick's boss, Arthur's house for some help. Unfortunately, no one seems to be home and while Patrick is knocking on doors, Louise wanders into the wood and sees the rest of the town performing a strange pagan ritual. She gets spooked, when she catches Arthur's eye and runs back to Patrick but doesn't tell him what she saw. When they get home, Arthur is there waiting for them and tells them he is just checking up on them to make sure they were ok with the bad weather and all. Louise soon learns from her new friend, Mary that the town has a secret, which is they have the ability to bring back the dead for three days. Patrick and Louise go to Arthur and beg him to bring Alice back. He tells them that he can only bring back people who have been dead for less than a year because if they're in the ground any longer then something will go wrong. Wary of the consequence, the couple tells him she has been dead for less than a year and Arthur puts the ceremony in motion. Luckily, a older man dies in a cattle accident and his widow begrudgingly gives them permission to use his remains to be the vessel to bring back their dead daughter. Now, that's a favour! That night the town comes together to perform the gruesome ceremony and it seems to go off without a hitch. Bringing back the dead can be tricky. Alice returns and has no memory of what has happened to her. Patrick and Louise bring her home but shortly after getting her all cleaned up, they notice a strange difference in their little girl and then bad things start happening, like animals and people being killed. Is this to good to be true for the couple or have they opened up a door that may never be closed again?
I was concerned about this film when I decided to watch it because it was getting some blase reviews and I didn't like the look of the film when it first started. But after watching it, I thought it was pretty great and think director David Keating puts together a great horror film with a lot of emotional ties to it. Very similar to Pet Sematary, his characters are dealing with the grief of losing a child and will give anything for one more moment with their child. Aiden Gillen (Game of Thrones) and Eva Birthistle (Daisy Chain, The Children) compliment each other very well. Also, Timothy Spall (Harry Potter franchise) is quite good as Arthur, the leader of the Wake Wood community. There are some gruesome scenes that don't pull any punches, like Alice being mauled by the dog and the rebirthing ceremony, which is so bloody that you'll want to turn away but you won't be able to. The ending has some very nice twists and turns that will leave the film wanting more. Great film and totally worth checking out!
2. Citadel (2012) - Tommy and his pregnant girlfriend, Joanne are moving out of their run down apartment building. Tommy puts the last load into the car and gets into the shitty elevator. When he gets to his floor, the elevator gets stuck and he watches as three hoodie youths start beating the crap out of Joanne! Tommy finally breaks free of the elevator and gets her to the hospital but it's too late. She has passed away but they were able to save the baby. This event turns Tommy, now single parent, into a agoraphobic and has a hard time leaving his house, unless it's for meetings about his agoraphobia. He is attacked again by these feral children while coming home and is warned by an angry priest that these feral children will not stop attacking him until they have stolen his daughter away. The priest tells him that the only way to stop these attacks and cure his agoraphobia is to face them and burn their building down, which happens to be the building he just moved out of. He refuses but after these evil kids break into his home and kidnap his daughter, all bets are off. Now with the help of the priest, Tommy must face his fear and save his daughter from these wild monster kids!
For his first movie, director Ciaran Foy does a really nice job. The film has some terrifying moments that will make you jump and there is a lot of tension that surrounds the film. I think, Aneurin Barnard (Ironclad) is terrific as Tommy and James Cosmo (Sons of Anarchy) is great as the angry priest. The only issue I have is sometimes these feral children are relentless and unstoppable and sometimes they don't attack him for no reason. I understand the ending, don't get me wrong but there was a scene on the bus, that I don't get and another in the house, both times I thought he should have been dog meat for these kids. Other than that, it's a great scary movie and I'm looking forward to seeing more from Ciaran Foy. Check it out!
1. Stitches (2012) - It's Tom's 10th birthday and his mom has hired a clown to entertain him and his friends. Unfortunately, Stitches is a shitty clown and is taunted, mocked and accidentally killed by Tommy and his friends. Whoops! On the night of the funeral, Tommy finds a gag left by Stitches and runs it over to the cemetery to place it on the grave. When he's there, he's sees a strange clown procession go into what looks like an abandon mausoleum. He follows the clowns and watches a secret ceremony for their clown brother. He sees them place the egg Stitches painted on a shelf but he is seen by the clown leader and giving a warning that Stitches may return to exact his revenge on them and finish the party! Then he wakes up, it's 6 years later and he has a birthday coming up in a couple days. His mom tells him that she's going to be away on business this weekend but he can have a friend come over. When he gets to school, things have changed in since his party for Tom and his friends. He still has some core friends like Richie, Bulger and Vinny but the girl he loves, Kate is seeing someone else and Paul and Mary bully him. While in class, he tells Vinnie about his mom going away and Vinnie thinks they should have a party. While contemplating the idea, he starts hallucinating about Stitches the clown brutally killing his friend. Luckily the bell rings, he wakes up and it's off to the next class. After some prodding by his friends, Tom decides to have the party and word gets out like wildfire! Unfortunately for Tom, the hallucinations are becoming more frequent and he thinks he's going mad.
Saturday night comes quickly and the house soon fills up with people ready to party but little do they know, Stitches the clown has now risen from the grave and is ready to party too. Kate arrives at the house but Tom is really high and they awkwardly talk to each other. All of a sudden a crazy clown bursts into the party and pins Tom on the ground, then starts hitting him! Fortunately, it's just Paul being an asshole and tells everyone to take a fucking joke. Paul heads upstairs to get changed and to take a piss, when he meets Stitches and has his block knocked off. Stitches starts going through the party guests and getting his revenge on those who wronged him. Can Tommy and his friends stop this evil clown from killing everyone in his house and put this clown down in the ground again?
This has to be one of the best clown horror films that I've seen. Director Conor McMahon (Dead Meat) seems to understand what makes clowns both funny and creepy and is able to portray that on screen. The character Stitches the Clown at first reminds me of Bobcat Goldwaith's Shakes the Clown, derelict clown who isn't very funny but when he comes back from the grave for revenge, he reminds me of Freddy Krueger from the NOES franchise. Reminiscent of Krueger, Stitches kills them with a purpose and in a way that is ironic and amusing. Ross Noble does a bang up job as Stitches and I would love to see a sequel from these guys. The main characters were very good as well and reminded me of the kids from The Inbetweeners. I liked how the kids weren't the popular kids or the geeks but the forgettable teens in the middle, which worked for a lot of good comedy in the middle of the film. A lot of well thought out kills with excellent special effects that will put a smile on your face. This is a definite must seem if you like scary clowns... or even if you don't!
These films will go down just as smooth as any logger, so why not take in a few while yer recovering from the night before.