"Wake Wood" begins new wave of Irish horror movies
When a young Irish couple loses their 9-year-old daughter Alice to a terrifying attack, they discover a way to bring her back to life that ends up putting all their lives at risk.
Thus begins "Wake Wood," the tense psychological horror film from Dublin-based writer and producer Brendan McCarthy and John McDonnall. Starring "The Wire’s" Aidan Gillen and up and comer Eva Birthistle, the film is a genuinely atmospheric spooky triumph for the Irish film company.
When vet Patrick (Gillen) and pharmacist Louise (Birthistle) relocate to the remote village of Wake Woodin Donegal, they soon learn of a pagan ritual the locals perform that will allow them three more days with their deceased daughter. The couple find the idea disturbing and exciting in equal measure, but once they agree to the terms with Arthur, the village’s leader, a far bigger question looms -- what will they do when it's time for Alice to go back?
“The people of the village have maintained an ancient ritual that allows them to bring the dead back to life for three days a year after they’ve died,” McCarthy, who co-wrote the script, tells the Irish Voice.
“It’s their opportunity to say a final farewell to their loved ones. When Patrick and Louise arrive in the village to reinvent their lives after the tragic death of their daughter, they ask the people of the village if they will bring their daughter back. But when she’s brought back to life they try and keep her. All the laws of nature are being broken.”
For centuries the Irish have been known for crafting unforgettable tales of the supernatural -- Dracula, after all, was created by an Irishman -- and both McCarthy and McDonnall have obviously been inspired by that heritage.
But horror is also a niche market in the film world, and there’s no harm in creating your own unique expertise in a crowded market.
“John and I are very interested in that area and that became our take off point. These are the kind of movies we like, and it does fit very naturally with the traditions and profile of the country,” McCarthy says.
“We also took a look at what other companies were doing and said lets try and specialize in our own kind of thing, that we know a bit more about. So it was a practical decision.”
Finding the village of Pettigo, which they loved for what they call its otherworldly eeriness, took quite a while.
“We searched the entire country for a village with the right sort of menacing atmosphere and we did a huge tour of the country. What we wanted most of all was a place that had an oppressive feel, where the trees surrounded and sort of pressed in upon the village. Pettigo is surrounded by tress and it’s in a kind of dip, so it worked very well from that perspective,” says McCarthy
The eeriness of the scene must have inspired the actors, who deliver remarkable performances. Gillen in particular turns in a powerhouse interpretation of his character that draws you into the film from the first frame.
- Gay wedding cakes latest target of anti-gay...
- Racist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent...
- An open letter in strong defence of capitalism.
- A Magdalene Laundry US adoptee who holds...
- Irish radio presenter suspended after anti-Isra
- Nelson Mandela was against IRA decommissioning.
- Families as well as Catholic Church and governm
- Baby dies in horror birth at Belfast hospital...
- Gay teacher fired from Catholic school after...
- Sarah Palin is saving Christmas