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Blog Posts from the Irish Club of Alaska
President of the Irish Club of Alaska and Horror-Comedy Enthusiast
Most Halloween traditions have their roots in the Irish celebration of Samhain, a Gaelic festival that marked the beginning of the dark half of the year. We have the Irish to thank for Jack-o-lanterns, but instead of carving pumpkins, the Irish carved scary faces on turnips to keep evil spirits away. Dressing up in costumes for Halloween also comes from Ireland, but the Irish didn’t dress up to get candy. Instead, they were disguising themselves from spirits roaming the night because the door to the Otherworld flew open on Samhain Eve.
To get you in the October mood, Irish-style, try an Irish film that will both scare you and make you laugh. Here are the top five Irish comedy-horror films from the Irish Club of Alaska:
Honorable Mention: HIGH SPIRITS (1988)
In the “so bad it’s good” category is our Honorable Mention choice, “High Spirits!” It’s a cheesy, silly, over-the-top 1980s slapstick film set in a real Irish castle. It was written and directed by Academy Award winning Irish filmmaker Neil Jordan, but the only award this film was nominated for was a Razzie for Darryl Hannah’s abysmal performance. However, it is worth a watch for the wit and antics of Peter O’Toole and Liam Neeson.
#5: BOY EATS GIRL (2005)
At # 5 is the angsty Irish teen romance “Boy Eats Girl.” Boy falls in love, girls likes him back, boy dies, boy’s mother reanimates him with an ancient book she stole from a crypt, boy turns into zombie, and zombie epidemic erupts at high school. And boy tries not to eat the brains of the girl of his dreams.
#4: EXTRA ORDINARY (2019)
In our #4 film, “Extra Ordinary,” a driving instructor who ignores her talent of seeing ghosts decides save a possessed girl who happens to have a cute single father. Part horror and part rom-com, the only reason this film doesn’t rate higher is the same-in-every-role performance of “Saturday Night Live” veteran Will Forte playing a one-hit-wonder singer/satanist-wannabe. What makes this movie a great Irish film for Halloween, however, are the lovely, nuanced performances of Irish actors Maeve Higgins and Barry Ward as unlikely romantic leads.
#3: LET THE WRONG ONE IT (2021)
Our #3 choice, “Let the Wrong One In,” is absolutely nothing like the haunting and classy 2008 Swedish horror film, “Let the Right One In.” Instead, it’s silly and goofy and full of classic Dublin wit. I’d like to say it’s the best Irish vampire comedy i’ve ever seen, but that leads us to #2…
#2: BOYS FROM COUNTY HELL (2020)
This one was a strong contender for the #1 position of best horror comedy. In “Boys from County Hell," a father and son building a government highway through their sleepy little town in Northern Ireland are forced to demolish the burial mound of a legendary Irish vampire called Abhartach. The vampire wakes up, of course, and father, son, and a likable cast of characters fight to survive the night and make things right. Warning: This one’s a bit scarier than the others on this list and the dry humor hits after the scares wear off.
#1: GRABBERS (2012)
So… In the #1 spot for best Irish horror comedy is… Grabbers! Bloodsucking aliens arrive on an island off the coast of Ireland, where the locals discover that rain is their enemy in the fight against the aliens, but staying drunk will keep them alive. More squishy and icky than gory and scare factors aren’t too high, so those who don’t love horror might make it through this one because the Irish humor and special effects are on point. Best of all, the hilarious all-Irish cast makes this a horror comedy classic not to be missed!
Celebrating Irish culture and traditions and sharing with the world all that is uniquely Irish-Alaskan.
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