When you think of a horror film you think blood, gore, monsters, suspense and for me that usually means hiding behind my fingers or diving into my hoodie. Never have I ever thought sitting in a cinema screen watching a vampire flick would make me howl with laughter and almost choke on my popcorn.
Boys from County Hell did just that and so much more. My initial reaction was this is the culchiest film I have ever watched but I mean that in the most positive light. It brings out the fun and banter of our little country and how matter of a fact we can be. It was both relatable and farcical.
The film was written by Chris Baugh and Brendan Mullin, who previously made the acclaimed Belfast-set revenge thriller Bad Day For The Cut.
Not since the infamous western that came out of Castlederg Co.Tyrone have I seen such a buzz around a local production and I’m sure the locals will be proud of the homage to small town life, the beautiful shots of rolling hills and forests. However don’t forget this is a horror film but not your normal slasher think a Northern Irish Shaun of the dead with fabulous local actors, a sprinkle of CGI and a whole host of fantastic one liners!
Six Mile Hill is a sleepy village which attracts tourists to find out more about the supposed inspiration of Bram Stokers Dracula, the Irish mythological figure Abhartach. The locals wind up the tourists and no one really believes the myth but when the supposed burial spot of the local vampire is in danger of being disturbed everyone is up in arms quite literally!
Our heroes are estranged father and son Eugene and Francie Moffat (played by Jack Rowan and Nigel O’Neill) who squabble their way through the death and reincarnation of Eugene’s best friend (played by Fra Fee), the management of a zombie infested worksite and the subsequent killing of Abhartach. The suspense and jumps are there but they are always quickly followed by a laugh.
The final sequence is actually quite heartwarming when the father and son finally resolve their differences but of course a real Tyrone man with his CAT boots and check shirt wouldn’t admit such a thing.
With starring roles from Jack Rowan (Peaky Blinders, Noughts and Crosses), Nigel O’Neill (from Baugh’s debut), Louisa Harland (Derry Girls), Fra Fee (Les Misérables) and John Lynch (The Banishing, Isolation) as well as well known local actors, the magnificent Marty Maguire, Conor Grimes and Stella McCusker to name just a few this is one film not to be missed this summer.
Boys from County Hell is released in selected cinemas today Friday 6 August. Enjoy!
Cinema locations: Omniplex Antrim, Omniplex Banbridge, Omniplex Bangor, Omniplex Belfast Kennedy Centre, Omniplex Craigavon, Omniplex Derry Strand, Omniplex Downpatrick, Omniplex Dundonald, Omniplex Larne, Omniplex Lisburn, Omniplex Omagh, Omniplex Newry, Movie House Coleraine, Movie House City Side, Movie House Glengormley and Queens Film Theatre Belfast.
Emer D xx