Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Unwelcome explores Irish folklore

Director Jon Wright dabbles in the world of Irish folklore for his latest feature film, Unwelcome Well Go USA. Married couple Maya (Hannah John-Kamen) and Jamie (Douglas Booth)escape their urban nightmare to the tranquility of rural Ireland only to discover malevolent and murderous goblins lurking in the gnarled, ancient wood at the foot of their new garden.

Jamie (Douglas Booth) and pregnant Maya (Hannah John-Kamen are shocked when they move to rural Ireland after having suffered a horrific home invasion in London. Jamie has inherited the house from his late Great Aunt, an old friend of Maeve’s (Niamh Cusack). Maeve has been taking care of it and warns them of the need to leave out an offering for the Redcaps. Unfortunately, Jamie and Maya enlist local builders, the Whelans, who end up being a violent criminal family. 

Though this film may have some humor, its tone is predominantly dark. When a local boozehound sings a song mocking the fairies, he is swiftly dealt with by the Redcaps, whose appearance brings about much fear. They look like nasty Hobbits wielding daggers. In one instance, they come to rescue Maya when she is attacked, but upon calling on them again to help, she learns of the consequences. Maya’s choice leads to very violent scenes with stabbings, sliced throats, and even severed heads wrapped in plastic bags.

Unwelcome is a deceptively complex film. Initially, it might seem like a light-hearted joke. However, as the narrative advances and unfolds, the viewer becomes more and more intrigued as the shocking climax nears with its impressive use of realistic gore to accompany its explosive scenes.

With a bigger budget and more A-LIST talent, Unwelcome would be a thrilling experience to bring out positive reactions from the audience. In contrast, I have a few nitpicks here and there; the film is worth a one-time watch in your home.


Final Grade: C

UNWELCOME is available to rent now on Streaming Platforms. For physical media and collectors, it debuts on Blu-ray™ & DVD on May 9th

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Unwelcome explores Irish folklore