Back to some great Irish direction – Neil Jordan had a great pseudo-horror film back in 1984 called “The Company of Wolves.”
In the movie, which is made up of several Gothic tales, Jordan tackles werewolves and their sexual connotation.
Angela Lansbury stars as Granny, who tells her granddaughter Rosaleen stories about innocent girls falling for handsome strangers with heavy brows, and then suddenly disappearing when the moon is full. Naturally, Little Red Riding Hood pops up in one of the stories, with Granny being eaten by the wolf.
Nobody tells folkloric tales better than the Irish!
“Darby O’Gill and the Little People”
No, this classic Irish Disney film isn’t traditionally classified as “horror,” but its banshee scenes make it a contender in the Irish scary movie contest!
The 1959 adventure film set in Ireland starred Sean Connery (and his awful Irish accent) as the hero Michael McBride.
Darby O’Gill is an elderly storyteller who tells tales about leprechauns and banshees to locals at the pub.
The Ireland of this film is actually enchanced, so Darby has many a run-in with leprechauns like the 21-inch King Brian.
The horror comes into play when the banshee shows up, heralding the death of Darby’s daughter (and Michael McBride’s love interest), Katie.
But this is a Disney Irish horror movie, so naturally, all turns out right in the end.
Obviously, you can’t talk about Irish scary movies without mentioning “Leprechaun.”
The 1993 film, which starred a young Jennifer Aniston, is admittedly ridiculous, but it certainly offered up a brand new (twisted) view of leprechauns!
Dan O’Grady steals a leprechaun’s pot of gold from Ireland and brings it back to the U.S.
Little did O’Grady know the angry leprechaun would follow him back. O’Grady barely escapes the deadly leprechaun, but manages to lock the little Irish lunatic in his basement.
Fast forward to 10 years later, when J.D. and his spoiled daughter Tory (Aniston) move into the house.
The leprechaun is accidentally released, and wreaks havoc on the town, killing anyone who goes near his gold.
Quality Irish horror film? Definitely not. A good Irish gore fest to watch for a laugh? Absolutely!
"Leprechaun 2, 3, 4 and 5"
Yes. Believe it or not, “Leprechaun” was a big enough success that they decided to make four sequels between 1994 and 2000.
Here’s a quick rundown of these Irish horror gems:
“Leprechaun 2”: The evil Leprechaun comes to claim the bride of his dreams (or nightmares?) on his 2000th birthday.
“Leprechaun 3”: The Leprechaun, now a statue, travels to a Vegas pawn shop, where the owner mistakenly sets him free. Tagline: “Welcome To Vegas... The Odds Are You Won't Leave Alive!”
“Leprechaun 4: In Space”: On a distant planet, everybody’s favorite deadly Leprechaun kidnaps a Princess Zarina, and plans to make himself king, but not if a group of U.S. Marines can stop him!
“Leprechaun in the Hood (a.k.a. “Leprechaun 5”): The Leprechaun is back – but this time, he goes on a killing spree in Compton, Los Angeles. Naturally.
Also in the horror-comedy drama is a film that stars an Irish acting heavyweight.
“Lake Placid” features veteran actor Brendan Gleeson as the local sheriff.
The 1999 film, about a man-eating crocodile that picks off tourists in beautiful Lake Placid, also stars Bridget Fonda, Bill Pullman and Oliver Platt.
Great actors, not so great film. But in IrishCentral’s opinion, the beloved Irishman Gleeson can save any movie!
Last but not least is another thriller starring a popular Irish actor.
Early in his career, Irishman Gabriel Byrne played a World War II Nazi major in “The Keep.”
The movie, made in 1983 and co-starring acting great Ian McKellen, tells the story of a group of Nazi’s who guard a Romanian citadel, or “keep,” that the locals fear is haunted. One by one the soldiers are killed by an evil force in the Keep, and the Nazis have no choice but to seek the help of a Jewish father and daughter to translate manuscripts and help stop the murders.
“The Keep” was once voted one of the most underrated films of all time, so it’d be a perfect Irish scary movie to rent this Halloween.
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