The Reel Review


Traumatized by a nightmarish home invasion, a couple expecting a baby flee London for a tranquil life in the Irish countryside. But they soon face two new horrors – a band of marauding, mythical redcap goblins, and some unlawful neighbors who want to destroy their new home, in this Irish horror.

Douglas Booth and Hannah John-Kamen in Unwelcome

We use the term horror very loosely, because everything about this strange, scare-free film is off – from an incredibly silly screenplay, some ill-timed (and unintended?) comedy, and jarring tonal shifts that feel more like a weird mashup of Straw Dogs and way more evil Muppets. How Hannah John-Kamen (Brave New World, SAS: Red Notice) and Douglas Booth (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Worried About the Boy) were able to remain committed as the extremely pregnant wife and her doofus of a hubby is itself a mystery, with popular Irish character actor Colm Meaney (Hell on Wheels, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) also wasted as the patriarch of a violent local crime family that includes Derry Girls’ Jamie-Lee O’Donnell.

From Unwelcome

The only good aspect of this otherwise awful and dull film that looks like it was filmed on a soundstage is the redcap goblins – their practical effects are actually very well done. It’s just a shame that, other than a couple of gnarly kills for gore aficionados, Unwelcome is otherwise completely unwatchable.


Drawing of a mythical redcap goblin

• Redcaps are an extremely evil and murderous type of mythical goblin frequently described in English folklore dating back to the 1300s.

Hannah John-Kamen in Game of Thrones

• Hannah John-Kamen also appeared in a couple of episodes in the sixth season of Game of Thrones as Ornela.

• Northern Irish director Jon Wright first made a name for himself with the 2012 horror/comedy Grabbers.


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