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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Monday, October 9, 2023

Unwelcome (2022)

Time for me to dive into Shudder and see what they have to watch. I had been hearing about Unwelcome and have an interest in Irish Folklore, so it seemed like something I’d dig. The movie follows our leads Jamie and his wife Maya. After a traumatic attack in their apartment, which really does a wonderful job of setting up how they react to what happens later, they head off to a small rural town. Jamie’s aunt has passed away and has left them a small cottage bordering a beautiful forest.

They wander around meeting the locals and learning from a friend of the aunt that there is a tradition involving leaving nightly offerings to the fey of the forest. Think fairies and leprechauns but a much more violent and dangerous kind. The Redcaps are evil little bastards that you don’t want to mess with. The pair also meet up with a local family and hires them to do some repairs around the house. Unfortunately, these are the Irish version of violent rednecks who go from weirdly friendly to murderous rather quickly. By then though Maya has already made friends with the Redcaps and goes for help. While they do defend them in rather bloody ways there is also a cost. Nothing is free with the fey you see.

I really liked this movie. The story kicks off with the home invasion and beating of both Jamie and the pregnant Maya. This is shocking and sets the tone for the rest of the movie. I don’t want to give the impression that Unwelcome is an overly violent movie, because it isn’t. But there are some scenes that get really nasty and they are used to punctuate scenes while simultaneously shocking the audience. Sometimes you can become numb to on unrelentingly violent flick to the point that it looses it’s effectiveness. That doesn’t happen with this one and it makes it all the much better.

I didn’t recognize most of the cast but was pleased to see Colm Meany as the patriarch of the crazy handyman family. He is very creepy and made my skin crawl everytime he insisted on folks calling him Daddy. Really what the hell was up with that. The rest of the cast is solid and does well in their roles. I sort of disliked the actor playing Jamie, Douglas Booth, as he was a bit of a coward and ineffective wimp. But then I think that was the point so good job. I also have seen other folks complaining that the actress playing Maya, Hannah John-Kamen, wasn’t up to it. I disagree completely and think she did a great job.

The creatures look great
This isn’t a gorefest but we do gets some fun kills. Some highlights are a severed head in plastic (the Redcaps make deliveries I suppose…), a neck stabbing, and a woman getting gutted. The best part though is when Daddy takes two barrels of birdshot to the face. That got rather messy. The Redcaps are brought to screen with actors in rubber suits and oversized sets which are blended with the rest of the cast perfectly. For a lower budgeted flick they use old school movie tricks like forced perspective to bring the monsters to life and it works well. I love stuff like this and was very happy to see it. This goes to show that you don’t have to use CGI for everything folks.

I had a blast with Unwelcome and am going to highly recommend everyone check it out. Oh and when you watch make sure to pay close attention towards the ending when Daddy is trying to bust his way thru a door. The actor playing Jamie accidentally calls him Colm, which is the actor’s name and not the character. All in all this is a fun flick that I don’t have a single bad thing to say about.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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