With the release of The Hallow in cinemas, we take a look at 6 horror films shot in Ireland.
Ireland has been exporting tales of horror and gothic supernatural for more than a century. Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula, was published in 1897, and has been a staple of the horror genre since. Ireland’s pagan history and love of telling ghost stories makes it an intriguing location for any filmmaker; throw in an abundance of deserted castles and lots of isolated forests and you’ve got the perfect setting for horror! It’s no wonder that so many great horror movies have been shot in Ireland. Inspired by the release of The Hallow, in cinemas from Friday 13th November, here are just a few of the most iconic ones…
The Hallow (2015)
This November 13th, The Hallow, opens in cinemas across Ireland. The Hallow tells the story of a London-based conservationist sent to Ireland with his wife and infant child to survey an area of forest believed to be hallowed ground by superstitious locals, his actions unwittingly disturb a horde of demonic creatures who prey upon the lost. Alone and deep within the darkness of the remote wilderness, he must now fight back to protect his family against the ancient forces’ relentless attacks. Starring Joseph Mawle (The Awakening, Game of Thrones) and Bojana Novakovic (Devil, Burning Man), The Hallow marks acclaimed visual stylist Corin Hardy’s feature directorial debut.
Dementia 13 (1963)
One of Francis Ford Coppola’s lesser-known works, this thriller tells the story of a woman named Louise whose Irish-American husband dies. Louise wants in on her wealthy Irish mother-in-law’s will, so comes up with a scheme to get the cash. Her plan involves travelling to Ireland to visit her late husband’s family castle. Her scheming ways are interrupted, however, when a maniac begins murdering members of the family. Fresh out of film school, Coppola spent nine days at Ardmore studios shooting this drama that was loosely inspired by the work of Alfred Hitchcock. Howth Castle depicted the fictitious “Castle Haloran” in the film.
Paddy Breathneach’s Shrooms follows a group of American thrill-seeking students who arrive in Ireland, having been promised the ‘trip’ of a lifetime by their old college friend and mushroom expert, Jake. Despite Jake’s warnings about the mushrooms they shouldn’t eat, things start to go horribly wrong as the group begins suffering horrific visions. They realise something in the woods is after them, and the lines between fantasy and reality become increasingly blurred. The film was shot over a period of seven weeks – largely in Rossmore Park in Co. Monaghan.
The Eclipse (2010)
Directed by Conor MacPherson, this beautifully shot supernatural drama was filmed in Cobh Co. Cork. Set in a seaside Irish town, the film tells the story of depressed widower Michael (Ciaran Hinds), who begins to experience strange and supernatural occurrences connected to his elderly father-in-law, who is close to death in a local nursing home. As he falls for visiting horror novelist, Lena, Michael’s supernatural visions grow more vivid and disturbing.
In this comedy-horror, a small island off the west coast is invaded by bloodsucking aliens. It should be a cause for concern but the quick-witted inhabitants soon discover that getting drunk is the only way to survive. Not one for those with a weak stomach but hilarious nonetheless. The movie, starring Richard Coyle and Ruth Bradley, was filmed on the peninsula of Inishowen in Donegal
Byzantium is an Irish horror fantasy film directed by Neil Jordan and starring Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan and Jonny Lee Miller. The story follows a mother and daughter vampire duo who move into a rundown hotel while hiding out from other vampires. The local residents soon learn, with deathly consequences, the secret shared by the two mysterious women. The film was shot in various locations including Bray and the Beara peninsula in West Cork as well as the coastal town of Hastings in the UK.