Gizmodo Movie Night: Irish Horror Movies Perfect for St Patrick’s Day Chills

Gizmodo Movie Night: Irish Horror Movies Perfect for St Patrick’s Day Chills

It’s St Patrick’s Day — the holiday where everyone gathers around to drink beer and watch scary movies! OK, we might have added that second part ourselves, but it’s only because for this week’s Gizmodo Movie Night, we’ve assembled this list of 10 Irish and Irish-made horror movies to add some spooky flair to the usual boozy festivities that go on during St Patrick’s Day.

And there’s not a Leprechaun among them!

Perfect movies to celebrate St Patrick’s Day

The Hallow (2015)

Unfriendly neighbours (including one played by Michael McElhatton, aka Game of Thrones’ Roose Bolton), the discovery of a most unusual fungus, and local folklore that claims supernatural creatures lurk among the trees greet a British biologist (Joseph Mawle, aka Game of Thrones’ Benjen Stark) and his family when they arrive in rural Ireland. Talk of banshees and fairies is especially difficult for a scientist to swallow, but it soon becomes clear whatever’s targeting the family is decidedly otherworldly — not to mention full of furious vengeance. Corin Hardy (The Nun) directed and co-wrote this folk-horror/eco-horror/body-horror/creature-horror film that, taken together with the thematically similar The Hole in the Ground, offers compelling evidence that wandering around haunted Irish forests is highly unwise.

The Hallow is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Citadel (2012)

Citadel is actually set in Glasgow, Scotland, but we’re including it here because writer-director Ciarán Foy (Sinister 2) is Irish — and also, this movie will haunt you. After his pregnant wife is viciously attacked by a gang of youths, agoraphobic Tommy (Aneurin Barnard) must raise their daughter alone, a situation that gets worse when she dies of her injuries, and then even worse when he realises the gang is now stalking his infant child. Oh, and even worse? The gang is not entirely human. Wunmi Mosaku (Loki, Lovecraft Country) co-stars as a sympathetic nurse in this unsettling tale, which skillfully digs into urban paranoia while telling a story that wavers between an unbelievably dystopian nightmare and the sense that maybe, somehow, this could actually happen.

Citadel is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Boys From County Hell (2020)

Welcome to Six Mile Hill, a small Irish village whose distinguishing characteristic is that its homegrown vampire legend just might have inspired Bram Stoker to pen Dracula. As this entertaining and gory entry from writer-director Chris Baugh explores, sometimes “legends” are real, and when that happens, it’s up to the toughest (and luckiest) community members to fight back. Or bite back, as the case may be. Read our full review of Boys From County Hell here and add it to your movies perfect for St Patrick’s Day list, immediately.

Boys From County Hell is streaming on Shudder.

The Devil’s Doorway (2018)

In this found-footage film from director and co-writer Aislinn Clarke, a pair of priests in 1960 Ireland visit one of the notorious “Magdalene laundries” — where unwed mothers and other so-called “fallen women” toiled under the watchful eyes of nuns who were basically prison guards — in the hopes of capturing the “first miracle caught on film.” But the statue said to be shedding bloody tears becomes far less interesting once the priests realise the facility is harbouring not just cruelty and harsh conditions, but also something decidedly demonic. Found-footage horror has been done to death at this point, and there’s plenty of shaky camerawork on display here, but The Devil’s Doorway does effectively leverage a setting that would already be disturbing even without the sense that something Satanic is happening around its fringes.

The Devil’s Doorway is available on Plex. ‘What’s Plex?,’ I hear you ask.

The Cured (2017)

Nothing screams St Patrick’s Day like zombie movies. This Ireland-set zombie movie from writer-director David Freyne imagines that after a virus transforms a good chunk of the population into rage-filled, homicidal monsters, a medical remedy is discovered. The catch is that it doesn’t work on everybody, making for a very tense clash between never-infected humans, who’d be vulnerable in case of another outbreak; the “Cured,” who’re viewed with suspicion but presumably immune from ever being zombies again; and the “Resistant,” the small population of infected who didn’t respond to the cure and could spark another zombie plague, should they ever escape from government captivity. The Umbrella Academy’s Elliot Page leads a strong ensemble cast in a thought-provoking film that proves there’s still an original way to approach the zombie genre. Read our full review of The Cured here.

The Cured is streaming on Shudder.

A Dark Song (2016)

Another one for Steve Oram fans! From Irish-Welsh writer-director Liam Gavin, A Dark Song follows the bitter Sophia (Catherine Walker) as she convinces a sardonic occultist (Oram) to move into an isolated old mansion with her and conduct a gruelling, months-long ritual that’ll allow her to contact her murdered young son. Lovely production values (the cinematography and musical score are particularly noteworthy) couch a story that ventures into some impressively dark (and weird) places, further elevated by two utterly gripping lead performances. It’s a movie perfect for St Patrick’s Day.

A Dark Song isn’t streaming anywhere, but you can rent it on YouTube and Fetch for $3.99, and AppleTV for $6.99.

Gizmodo Movie Night is our fortnightly roundup of movie and TV recommendations for the weekend. If you’re ever stuck and looking for inspiration, check out our list and see what’s in store. 

Stay tuned for the next edition of the column and check out our last one: Feel WorldPride With These Unapologetically Queer Films.

This article has been updated since it was first published.