A group of small town Irish friends enjoy tormenting tourists, thanks to a local vamp legend. However things quickly take a frightening turn when they unknowingly awaken the blood thirsty fiend. Directed and written by Chris Baugh, Boys From County Hell is a horror-comedy with a uniquely fun take on vampires and the legend of Dracula—creating something fresh for the familiar tale.
There’s not much for Eugene (Jack Rowan) and his friends to do in the small blue-collar town they live in. They find simple joys in playing pranks on tourists passing through, thanks to their town claiming to have inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Some harmless hijinks here and there don’t do much aside from providing them a few laughs, however they won’t be laughing for too long.
After Eugene’s father (Nigel O’Neill) is hired to clear land, they realize it’ll mean destroying the supposed resting place of their “Dracula”, known as Abhartach. Eugene, not fearful of the legend per se, takes the lead on wracking the spot. Soon the gang will discover the legend is very, very real. Completely befuddled as to what to do, they will use their collective wits, and luck, to take on the awaken monster.
Part of the NIGHTSTREAM Film Festival, Boys From County Hell is a hilarious reinvention of the vampire legend. It’s well balanced in its comedy and frights, starting off with a bloody bang, while then taking us on a nicely paced journey through some solid character development. When things begin to pick up, in the more supernatural realm, it continues to keep that lighthearted fun, without things feeling overdone.
One of its standouts is for sure the exceptional SFX makeup. The practical effects are top notch and I absolutely loved the design of Abhartach. It’s nothing over-the-top in the gore department, but it’s a film about vampires, so expect quite a few bloody scenes. I also felt like they did a great job of keeping it familiar to what we’re used to with vampires, but also developing and following the films own mythos and rules.
I’m really looking forward to this film having a wider US release, as I really think it’ll be a big crowd-pleaser. It’s witty and emotional (at time), while being a hell of a fun ride. And I certainly hope to see more horror-comedy creature flicks from Baugh in the future.
UPDATE: The film will premiere on SHUDDER on April 22nd
NIGHTSTREAM is a virtual film festival comprised of the Boston Underground Film Festival (MA), Brooklyn Horror Film Festival (NY), North Bend Film Festival (WA), the Overlook Film Festival (LA), and Popcorn Frights Film Festival (FL), showcasing a variety of genre films the weekend of Oct. 8-11. Proceeds from the festival will go to the filmmakers and artists, as well as various charities from the respective festivals towns.
More from 31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN
After witnessing a traumatic patient death, a therapist begins to experience unexplained horrors, the same horrors that patient claimed to have seen. Written and directed by Parker Finn, Smile is a wicked film full of nonstop frights while speaking to the impactContinue Reading
After discovering a mysterious puzzle box, a young woman and her friends discover it unlocks another dimension, releasing demonic beings inclined to collect sacrifices. More of a new adaptation than a straight-up remake of the classic 1987 film by CliveContinue Reading
While spending the summer with his father, a teen fears a supernatural entity may be next door. Written and directed by The Pierce Brothers, The Wretched has all the elements of crafting a solid folk horror. But its bland teen angst angleContinue Reading