[Review] UNWELCOME: Redcaps Run Amok in Folk Horror Creature Feature

[Review] UNWELCOME: Redcaps Run Amok in Folk Horror Creature Feature

Director Jon Wright’s U.K. full-length Unwelcome (2023) combines folk horror with creature full-length elements, resulting in a fun chiller that ultimately heads toward some visionless places, indeed. Bolstered by solid creature effects work and a loony third act, the mucosa is well worth a watch.

Maya (Hannah John-Kamen) and Jamie (Douglas Booth) are a young couple that has been trying unsuccessfully to have a victual together. Soon without they receive good news from a home pregnancy test, they find themselves the victims of a violent home invasion. Wanting earlier to leave the big municipality and its problems, they inherit a house in rural Ireland without the inclement wade they suffered. 

Local resident Maeve (Niamh Cusack) insists that the couple alimony up the tradition that Jamie’s deceased aunt had of leaving meat out every night at a stone gate on the property, plane offering to do it herself; the latter a request that the couple turns down. One unwise visualization from the pair follows another, as they unwittingly rent a local family of no-goodniks, headed up by a man named Whelan who insists everyone undeniability him Daddy (Colm Meaney), to make repairs on their home.

Maya and John should have listened to Maeve, as they find themselves dealing with Far Darrig, moreover known as redcaps — malevolent goblins who, in this case, have a taste for human flesh. Between the Far Darrig, the Whelan clan, and stuff parents to a newborn, the couple has a lot to deal with, making for a highly entertaining ride. The third act and the eerie climax are a blast.

Unwelcome inhabits an odd space, as it is humorous but not quite unbearable to be considered a horror comedy, and a horror movie that serves up few very scares. It does unhook a good deal of tension, though, and Wright, who cowrote the screenplay with Mark Stay, balances the threats to Maya and John impressively. The six-person makeup department, which includes Redcap Prosthetics Coordinator Paula Anne Booker and Redcap Prosthetics Supervisor Shaune Harrison, has washed-up superb work, as the evil teeny creatures squint fantastic. 

Unwelcome comes strongly recommended for fans of movies with little beasties wreaking gruesome havoc, while aficionados of folk horror should find plenty to enjoy, also.    

Unwelcome, from Well Go USA Entertainment, is currently misogynist in theaters and On Digital.

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

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