Boys From County Hell
Directed By: Chris Baugh
Starring: Michael Lavery, Nigel O’Neill, Andrew Porter & Chris Robinson
Running Time: 15mins
This is a new short film from more brilliant local talent. Going into it I wondered could they maintain a vampire movie in 15 minutes. The expectancy seemed high as the auditorium at the Queen’s Film Theatre was bunged. Down went the lights and the screen lit up.
And it was one of the best fifteen minutes I have ever spent. It’s a vampire film filmed on the Divis Mountain here in Belfast, but this ain’t no Twilight!
This is a full-on Nosferatu and 30 Days of Night vampire that your daughter will definitely not be bringing home to meet the parents.
It all takes place at night in the vast empty mountains where a couple of maintenance men have to fix a barbed wire fence under the glare of their headlights and torches. But little do they know that the night before a lone man with car trouble was gobbled up by the creature just a few feet away from them; nice subliminal message here about drunk driving.
To say anything more would spoil it but I will say this.:I don’t scare easily. I love horror movies and I love vampires – although not in the Rob Pattison way – and the last movie that gave me a heart attack was Darkness Falls and before that Salem’s Lot. I closed my curtains and locked the doors when watching Blair Witch so I could be frightened out of my wits. But I wasn’t. That’s hype for you.
But these guys freaked me out three times in fifteen minutes. There are elements of Jurassic Park, American Werewolf in London, Lost Boys even Salem’s Lot and it all comes together beautifully. You will not forget the vampire silhouette in the van, the smash of a bottle hurled from the darkness by something unseen and that terrible screech as the vampire makes itself known.
I also loved the characterisation here. The trio of characters talk like us – unlike the recent Whole Lotta Sole.
I could picture some of my family members interacting like this, and that makes it even more real. Michael Lavery plays Eugene, a young man ready to fly to pastures new once he gets paid and his relationship with his dad (O’Neill) is spot on. Sp (Porter) is their long suffering work mate and together you feel the history between the three which is all down to the sharp, inventive script. Even the weather on the shoot helped out by throwing a dense fog over Divis while they were filming and it evokes an eerie atmosphere.
I cannot recommend this highly enough and there is talk of a full length feature to come. I for one will be at the top of the queue.
Please Note: Our full interview with the cast, producer and director will be on FTN next week