Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 44m
Director(s): Jon Wright
Writer(s): Mark Stay, Jon Wright
Cast: Hannah John-Kamen, Douglas Booth, Colm Meaney, Jamie-Lee O'Donnell, Kristian Nairn, Chris Walley, Niamh Cusack, Finbar Lynch, Rick Warden
Where To Watch: in select theaters this Friday, March 10, as part of the AMC Thrills & Chills lineup, and on Digital Tuesday, March 14, 2023!
RAVING REVIEW: UNWELCOME, a horror flick directed by Jon Wright that mixes a home invasion thriller with a creature feature. Don't expect the same old horror tropes. UNWELCOME subverts audience expectations and provides a unique viewing experience. Experience a three-act film that gives you three different styles to the genre, one in each act.
The movie follows a young couple who relocates to rural Ireland. However, their peaceful escape turns into a nightmare when they discover their new home is near an ancient woodland inhabited by something that you don’t expect. As they unravel the secrets of the woods and the dark history of their home, they find themselves in a deadly game of survival.
UNWELCOME brings to life a haunting vision you would otherwise expect to see done with CGI in other films, a testament to the fantastic work of the film's makeup and visual effects departments. How many horror films can you genuinely say you felt sad for the “bad guys?”
In addition to the impressive practical effects, UNWELCOME also features strong performances from its cast. Hannah John-Kamen brings depth to her character that few could pull off, adding to the tension and emotional stakes of the story.
Although UNWELCOME is not without its flaws, such as the home invasion storyline and some genuinely annoying characters, the movie's strengths far outweigh its weaknesses. You’ve likely heard of a three-act film before; generally speaking, there’s an open, middle, and close to most stories. At the same time, that’s the case here; however, the look and feel of these three acts will likely stick with me the longest. The first act, a pretty standard intruder-type horror film, the second act kicks the movie into fifth gear with some crazy revelations that I most definitely wasn’t expecting. Then we hit the third act, where things piece together, and we get one of the most stunning ends of a horror film I remember seeing.
If you're looking for a horror movie that will surprise you and offer a unique viewing experience, UNWELCOME is a perfect choice. With Jon Wright's masterful direction, UNWELCOME is a horror movie that delivers the goods without relying on tired cliches. Take your chance to enter the terrifying world of the unknown and explore the dark history of this creepy woodland.
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[photo courtesy of WELL GO USA ENTERTAINMENT]