It's Friday the 13th!
And to celebrate the launch of the annual (and utterly essential) Horrorthon festival at Dublin's Irish Film Institute, celebrating the finest in horror cinema, not to mention the Halloween season soon to be in it, we proudly present a choice selection of the finest Irish-made scary movies for your delectation.
This year's Horrorthon programme features an array of shockers from across the globe, mixing new horror cinema with screenings of cult classics from Masters Of Horror John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper and George A. Romero. Warning: It's safe to say that the following clips are NOT for the faint of heart.
Dementia 13 (1963)
Howth Castle features prominently in this gothic and ever-so slightly bonkers b-movie (UK title: The Haunted and the Hunted) was written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, a future Oscar winner for The Godfather, and produced by legendary Roger Corman. The film has long been in public domain, meaning that it can be watched in full below.
Rawhead Rex (1986)
This adaptation of an early story by Clive Barker (later the creator of Hellraiser) is a forgotten relic of the VHS era, featuring a number of renowned Irish thespians, among them Donal McCann, Niall Toibin and a young Hugh O'Conor. Truth be told, it's an unintentionally hilarious pile of nigh-upon-total rubbish, but great for a giggle. What's more, the film inspired this loving tribute.
Dead Meat (2004)
In this Leitrim-shot zombie epic, a cult fave amongst Irish horror movie connoisseurs, a mad cow disease outbreak triggers a zombie apocalypse. Handily enough, it transpires that a hurley stick is an effective zombie deterrent. Director Conor MacMahon also gave us RTÉ Storyland winner Zombie Bashers.
Irish-made creature features are still thin on the ground, but this superb Donegal-shot horror-comedy is an absolute delight. When an island off the coast of Donegal is invaded by bloodsucking alien parasites, two brave Gardaí discover that the only way to survive is to get as drunk as possible. We still want a sequel!
There's been a serious upsurge in quality Irish horror cinema in recent years, with movies like Let Us Prey, Wake Wood and The Hallow making a splash globally. This psychological shocker from director Ciaran Foy deservedly won raves, scoring Dubliner Foy an invitation to Hollywood to direct the sequel to Sinister.
Midnight Man (2012)
Over the years, Horrorthon has offered a platform to a new-wave of low to no-budget homegrown horror entries, embracing the likes of this atmospheric gem. What's more, it's the first Irish movie ever to be given the Hollywood remake treatment, with Freddy Kruger himself, AKA actor Robert Englund taking the lead.
The Canal (2014)
Another smart psychological chiller deserving a wider audience, this slow-burning J-Horror inspired ghost story from director Ivan Kavanagh, starring Rupert Evans (Hellboy) and Antonia Campbell Hughes, makes inspired use of Dublin's waterways, and features what might be the capital's most disgusting public toilet.
While we're at it, here's a chilling bonus - award-winning (and rather creepy) Irish short film The Ten Steps:
The 2017 Horrorthon Festival kicks off on Thursday 26th October - view the programme in full here.