Tuesday, March 15, 2016

10 Irish Horror Films to Watch on St. Patrick's Day

Are you sick of watching the same horror movie every St. Patrick's Day? I mean, Leprechaun and its spawn are all good and fun to watch while drinking some green beer and munching on vegan colcannon, but why not celebrate this St. Patrick's Day with other Irish horror films?

Ireland is filled with so many spooky stories and legends that it is mind-boggling that there aren't more horror films set there that feature its lore. Also, we can't forget that Halloween has its roots in Samhain, which started in Ireland (can someone make a historical horror film based on Samhain, pretty please??).

As St. Patrick's Day is fast approaching and I really don't want to watch Leprechaun in the Hood again, I've selected 10 Irish horror movies below for you to choose from. These are Irish productions, Irish-directed, set in Ireland, and/or feature tales specific to Ireland. I've also seen all the films below and can vouch that they are all solid movies encompassing a wide array of sub-genres. So whether you are looking for supernatural horror, monsters, witchcraft, psychological horror, zombies, creatures, vampires, or even horror comedy, I got you covered below!

Check out my picks for 10 Irish horror films to watch this St. Patrick's Day:

The Hallow (2015) - A family who moves into a remote house in Ireland must battle malicious spirits living in the ancient Irish wood that surrounds the new home. This is my personal pick for this St. Patrick's Day, as it features lore and legends straight from the Emerald Isle and takes place in Ireland. It's beautifully shot, has a unique story, and features ancient creatures (all done with practical FX!) I definitely would not want to face!

Isolation (2005) - On a remote Irish farm, five people become unwilling participants in a genetic experiment involving cows that goes nightmarishly wrong. I remember when I first saw this flick I thought it was so good that I immediately hosted a horror movie night to share it with my friends! A tense tale that teaches us that Mother Nature shouldn't be trifled with...

Shrooms (2007) - A group of friends is stalked and murdered while looking for psilocybin mushrooms in the Irish woods..or are they all just under the influence of the shrooms? While this film might have gone the expected "wacky" route, it actually doesn't and instead gives us a taut slasher, set against the lush background of Irish woods.

Grabbers (2012) - When an island off the coast of Ireland is invaded by tentacled, bloodsucking aliens, the heroes discover that getting drunk is the only way to survive. This horror comedy focused around drinking might be the most perfect horror movie to watch on St. Patrick's Day if you liked getting tossed. It's a whole lotta fun whether or not you decide to indulge in booze.

Wake Wood (2010) - The grieving parents of a nine-year-old Alice who was killed by a savage dog move to a small Irish village where they soon learn of a pagan ritual that will allow them three more days with their daughter. But what will they do when it's time for Alice to go back? This was an excellent folk horror film that really deserves more exposure! What more can you ask for than a creepy village and menacing townfolk that possess arcane rituals and secrets?

The Canal (2014) - David and his family move into an old, reputedly haunted, house by a canal. When David begins to suspect his wife is having an affair, he starts having nightmarish visions, which are further compounded when he receives a reel of footage that shows his house was the setting for a brutal murder in 1902. Becoming progressively more unsettled and unhinged, David begins to believe that a spectral presence is in his house. This film has some memorable and creepy visuals that stick with you and a unsettling feel throughout its running time. Plus, the urban setting of Dublin, Ireland plays upon the feeling of old vs. new and urban decay.

Boy Eats Girl (2005) - A boy declares his love for his girlfriend, only to die the same night. He is brought back to life by his mother as a flesh-craving zombie, who sires more teen undead while trying to control his, er, appetite for his beloved. This is a cute and gory zombie flick, sweet but filled with sticky red stuff!

Citadel (2012) - An agoraphobic father teams up with a renegade priest to save his baby daughter from the clutches of a gang of twisted feral children who are responsible for his wife's death. Set in the grimy slums, this is another film that explores urban decay as well as those "forgotten" by society. It is a film that has a slow burn, but is also highly atmospheric as well as violent and jarring.

Let Us Prey (2014) - A rookie cop begins her first night shift at a remote Scottish police station where a motley crew of both cops and prisoners are stuck for the night. Soon, all hell breaks loose when a mysterious stranger enters the station. Though this film is set in a small Scottish town, the director is Irish, so I've included it on this list. It is an excellent potboiler that keeps escalating with plenty of bloodshed and mystery along the way.

Byzantium (2012) - Residents of an English coastal town learn, with deathly consequences, the secret shared by the two mysterious women who have sought shelter at a local resort. This moody piece by Irish director Neil Jordan (who also directed one of my childhood favorites, Interview with the Vampire) is perfect for melancholy introverts who would much rather keep to themselves than deal with the drunken crowds at the bars this St. Patty's Day.

BONUS PICK: The Holidays anthology horror film has a St. Patrick's Day segment that I really enjoyed!

What will you be watching this St. Patrick's Day?


  1. Excellent list. I've seen about half. I will always remember Byzantium for one of the the best horror lines ever: "The world will be more beautiful without you in it." Gave me chills.

  2. As always, you deliver. But - many of these (as you pointed out) aren't Irish. Byzantium for instance is a very British (and moody) film. Grabbers was pretty fun, but The Canal was quite obvious (and boring). But I am looking forward to watching some of the other ones on this list!

  3. Oh, and I really liked Citadel despite its flaws!

  4. I really want to see The Hallow. The trailer looked great!

  5. Great article, Dorothy Mills is also a great Irish film :)

  6. Thanks for this great list!They all look super!

  7. I really liked Bysantium. I've seen it more than once. I liked the ending.


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