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‘Layers of Fear’ PREVIEW – A Hands-Off Look at What’s New in the Reimagined Horror Experience

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and SYFY’s celebrating accordingly with a marathon of the Leprechaun movies. But if you’re looking for horror inspiration beyond the pint-sized killer’s holiday-appropriate franchise, a vast world of worthy Irish horror movies is available at your fingertips.

If you’re feeling lucky, here are ten Irish horror movies you can stream today.

Grabbers – AMC+

irish horror movies grabbers

If you’re in the mood for a horror-comedy creature feature, this movie is the answer. A small island off the coast of Ireland becomes ground zero to an alien invasion. These tentacled monsters, dubbed Grabbers by the locals, have an affinity for human blood. That’s terrible news for the locals until they discover alcohol is highly toxic to the spaced invaders. Naturally, they deduce the only way to survive the attack is to get hammered. Drunk villagers versus man-eating aliens make for an entertaining way to spend St. Patrick’s Day. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina actor Richard Coyle stars.

Caveat – AMC+, Shudder, Vudu

Loner Isaac (Jonathan French) needs money after an extended stay at the hospital due to an injury that left him with partial memory loss. It prompts him to accept a job offer from his old landlord Barrett (Ben Caplan), to look after his psychologically disturbed niece Olga (Leila Sykes). Once left alone with Olga and shackled in place, he realizes it’s not just his ward that brings conflict but another presence within the dilapidated home. There’s an indie DIY spirit to the production design that lends itself well to the creepy, claustrophobic atmosphere in writer/director Damian Mc Carthy’s feature debut. The filmmaker establishes a knack for delivering potent scares come the third act.

The Hallow – AMC+, Tubi

irish horror movies hallow

This dark fairytale is part creature feature, part body horror, and all Irish folktale. Corin Hardy’s feature debut follows a British plant conservationist and his family as they discover the hard way what it means to ignore warning signs and invade the territory of fairies, banshees, and changelings. There’s nothing sweet or cute about these deadly creatures. As the beings descend upon his home and attempt to steal the baby, it becomes evident that one of the most significant assets in this fight for survival is light; the light repels them.  

The Canal – Crackle, Kanopy, Tubi

Written and directed by Ivan Kavanagh, this Dublin production sees a film archivist’s sanity crumbling after his work colleague gives him a 16mm reel depicting a horrific murder that once occurred in the very same house where he lives. When his wife goes missing and is later found dead, it sends him on a downward spiral. The question becomes whether the man is losing his mind or is haunted by the remnants of the old murder. The Canal is atmospheric and unsettling, and the final thirty minutes make for some bleak and shocking stuff.

Isolation – AMC+, Crackle, freevee, Shudder, Tubi

Essie Davis and Ruth Negga star in Billy O’Brien’s quiet creeper that sees a handful of people who find themselves unwitting participants in an experiment on a rural farm. Animal lovers beware: this eerie Irish creature feature isn’t gentle toward cows. A bio-genetics firm’s ploy to grow cattle fast reveals something more repulsive and inhuman. A farm-set distant cousin of Alien or PrometheusIsolation isn’t afraid to get a bit bloody and gruesome, and this one deserves more attention.

A Dark Song – AMC+, Plex, Tubi

irish horror movies dark song

Writer/Director Liam Gavin’s feature debut follows a woman determined to complete an 18-month magical ceremony to have her wish granted. Hidden motives and an arduous ritual pose a grave danger, though. Black magic and witchcraft are rarely, if ever, depicted like they are in A Dark Song. That alone makes it a breath of fresh air. But Gavin also demonstrates a knack for crafting an eerie atmosphere and some spine-tingling moments of horror. It’s a suspenseful slow-burn with an ending that might prove polarizing, but the devil is in the details of this moody horror movie.

The Hole in the Ground – Kanopy, Showtime

If you’re anticipating Evil Dead Rise, then be sure to check out writer/director Lee Cronin’s feature debut, which showcases the director’s ability to instill dread. After moving to the countryside, a single mother begins to worry her son might not be her son anymore after he disappears into the forest with a mysterious sinkhole and returns hours later. Featuring one of the creepier kids in modern horror, Cronin gives a unique spin on familiar Irish folklore. Beyond fascinating lore, The Hole in the Ground delivers unnerving atmosphere.

High Spirits – Pluto TV, Prime Video, Tubi

If you need something fun and irreverent to keep you in high spirits, this ’80s supernatural comedy by Irish filmmaker Neil Jordan should do the trick. Peter O’Toole leads a stacked cast as a dilapidated castle owner that converts it into a haunted bed and breakfast for cash. The only problem is that the castle is genuinely haunted, making for a fun mashup of human and ghostly-created shenanigans to torment guests. Daryl Hannah, Steve Guttenberg, Beverly D’Angelo, Liam Neeson, and Jennifer Tilly also star. If you’re looking for something that takes itself far more seriously, look for Jordan’s werewolf fairy tale, The Company of Wolves, on Shudder.

Let Us Prey – freevee, Peacock, Tubi, Vudu

Best Netflix Horror

A rookie cop’s night shift descends into a nightmare when she books a mysterious stranger, who then begins to take over the minds and souls of everyone trapped at the police station. Irish filmmaker Brian O’Malley injects mystery and paranoia into his Scottish set horror thriller, eventually building into action horror. Game of Thrones actor Liam Cunningham plays stranger Six with devilish glee, while horror stalwart Pollyanna McIntosh makes for a formidable protagonist attempting to stop him.

You Are Not My Mother – Hulu

irish horror movies hulu

Writer/Director Kate Dolan’s Irish folkloric horror takes place around Halloween. It follows a teen whose mother goes missing, returning home later without explanation and with altered behavior. What came home might not be her mother but a Changeling. Dolan’s folk horror movie favors psychological chills with a fraught mother/daughter relationship and atmospheric dread over jump scares. Carolyn Bracken delivers an unsettling performance, and Dolan embraces the Halloween setting.