Unwelcome – Movie Review
Director: Jon Wright
Writer: Mark Stay, Jon Wright (Screenplay)
- Hannah John-Kamen (Ant-Man and the Wasp)
- Douglas Booth (Jupiter Ascending)
- Colm Meaney (Con-Air)
- Kristian Nairn (Game of Thrones)
- Chris Walley (1917)
Plot: Married couple Maya and Jamie escape their urban nightmare to the tranquillity of rural Ireland only to discover malevolent and murderous goblins lurking in the gnarled, ancient wood at the foot of their new garden.
Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Unwelcome starts an urban couple Maya (John-Kamen) and Jamie (Booth) see their perfect moment ruined by a violent act. A few months later they discover Jamie has inherited a rural Irish house. The pair jump at the opportunity to start a fresh life before their first child is born.
After moving into the home, they get a warning from a local Naeve (Cusack) to leave a blood offering every night. They also find a rough family led by Daddy Whelan (Meaney) to fix up their home, creating another nightmare for them. However, as things start getting difficult Maya learns that the legends of goblins might actually be true.
Verdict on Unwelcome
Maya learns she is pregnant and is preparing for the next chapter of her life before the attack in their home. She is looking forward to the new start offered to them and promises to complete the blood offerings. However, the home isn’t as prepared as she was expecting and finds moving home a lot more stressful than expected. She doesn’t believe in the myths until she sees them first-hand.
Jamie wants to celebrate the news of his first child, but unfortunately for him, he clashes with local thugs. He gets attacked in his apartment, leading him to spend most of the baby cycle questioning his own masculinity. Jamie shows plenty of stress and trauma in the aftermath of the attack. This only escalates as things become more difficult.
Daddy Whelan and his children are hired to help the couple set up their new home. He lets them run riot, being known as the troublemakers in the town. Daddy and his family create added problems for the couple.
When it comes to the rest of the characters, Daddy’s children are troublemakers in different ways. Maeve is a local trying to warn and help the couple adapt to life, filling in the legends they need to be worried about.
Hannah John-Kamen diving into the mythology of her character is great. She gets to play into more of the horror involved in the movie. Douglas Booth must bring a more realistic traumatic experience to his character. This is done well, as we see how it has been tearing him up. The supporting cast is excellent too, getting to play into the stereotypes for added tension in the movie.
The story follows a married couple who look to escape their urban nightmare when they inherit a rural home. However, they learn that the home is covered in mystery and they must follow tradition to keep themselves safe. As they learn more about the myth, they learn more is true and they could use them to help them.
This story gets to mix a couple of big horror movies. First, Straw Dogs, with a new couple dealing with aggressive locals. Second, Gremlins, the creatures that are lurking in the woods. They are kept secret for a large part of the film, so don’t expect cute little teddy bears. Outside of those two themes in the story, we get to explore dealing with lasting traumatic events.
Unwelcome is a horror mystery that gets to use two completely different locations to show the same problems for a couple. This comes from the home invasion side of the story. Elsewhere, in the horror we get the creatures in the woods, they are kept secret and bring a mild sense of comedy to the chaos.
One of the biggest standout inclusions in the movie is the use of colour. The countryside has such a beautiful bright vibrant colour pallet. While entering the woodland area maintains the darkness on the ground level, but has glimpses of the vibrant colours on the outskirts.
Final Thoughts – Unwelcome is a visually beautiful and vibrant horror movie.