Sunday, April 25, 2021

Boys from County Hell - Movie Review

The Movie: Boys from County Hell

The Director: Chris Baugh

The Cast: Jack Rowan, Nigel O’Neill, Louisa Harland, Fra Fee, John Lynch, Michael Hough

The Story: A crew of hardy road workers, led by a bickering Father and Son, must survive the night when they accidentally awaken an ancient Irish vampire.

The Review:
I can pretty much guarantee that you've never seen a vampire movie quite like this and probably not one as funny as this one is either. The first and easy comparison people are likely to make is Shaun of the Dead since that movie pretty much sets the standard for UK horror comedies and this film does have a similar tone and style although it definitely lives in its own space as well. The small Irish town that the movie is set in was supposedly visited by Bram Stoker himself so the mythos and legend grows out of that fact and is realized by the unearthing of Abhartach, the legendary Irish vampire that supposedly inspired Count Dracula, the most famous of all the undead, immortal blood drinkers.

The story centers around a group of young men whose past time seems to be drinking as much as possible while trying to get by living in the small town they grew up in and director Chris Baugh smartly keeps his focus on their antics which kick off the whole adventure in the first place. The run time is slightly less than 90 minutes which is about perfect for this type of films as the laughs don't become stale and the story doesn't suffer from too much exposition or backstory. We really don't need to spend a lot of time learning the ins and outs of the characters lives and Baugh seems to know that as he just gets on with it and straight into the bloody good stuff.

While this is a horror movie at it's core, there isn't a ton of blood and gore which actually works to the film's advantage as the focus is more on comedy and crazy antics. The director seemed to know exactly when to not push things into over the top action sequences or unrealistic scenarios that would have otherwise gone too far into the absurd. The focus stays relatively small and focused on the core group of characters so you're not going to see hordes of monsters chasing around mobs of human fodder or special effects sequences that might make things too cartoonish.

The Verdict:
Boys from County Hell is a fun new twist on the classic vampire story with plenty of laughs to be had and lots of alcohol to be drank. This is writer/director Chris Baugh's second feature film and I look forward to seeing what he might have in store next.

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