Unwelcome (2022)
June 24, 2023 3:31 PM - Subscribe

Londoners Maya and Jamie move to the Irish countryside after surviving a violent attack only to confront a new violent threat.

Featuring Colm Meaney and Kristian Nairn.
posted by miss-lapin (7 comments total)
This felt to me like two different movies uncomfortably shoved together. The first 2/3rds of the movie is about a couple who moved from the city after being traumatized by violence to find themselves being menaced in the country by the same violence. That to me is a great premise and was believably done.

But then the red caps actually show up in the last act, and it becomes silly, bloody, and fun.

Now I would have enjoyed the movie if it had fully committed to either of those full heartedly. But it was extremely unsatisfying to have to suddenly shift gear in the last act where I was expecting some sort of dramatic resolution and instead got gory red cap madness.

Also her husband was the worst. OK maybe not the worst, but certainly laughably bad.
posted by miss-lapin at 3:34 PM on June 24, 2023 [1 favorite]

Totally agree with you. The tonal whiplash I got while watching this put me in the hospital. I also hated the husband, and was uninterested in a crummy remake of Straw Dogs when killer faeries were advertised. I couldn't tell if they were trying to play the serious scenes as comic, and eventually decided that the filmmakers themselves didn't know.

Everyone had the worst dialogue and every scene went on minutes longer than necessary. I think I could've excised an easy 20 minutes of this thing. And then it finally decides to be the goofy comedy at the end, but manages to play that straight somehow, and ends to quickly.

Also, yes, the husband is horrible. And had to look up the wife because I couldn't remember why she looked familiar, and she was in Ant Man #2.

And was that house exterior shot on a soundstage? The lighting in this movie was bizarre. I get that they were going for surreal and magical, but everything just looked fake all the time, and not in a fun way, but a cheap way.
posted by mrphancy at 8:43 PM on June 25, 2023 [2 favorites]

Now I would have enjoyed the movie if it had fully committed to either of those full heartedly. But it was extremely unsatisfying to have to suddenly shift gear in the last act

I thought of it as an Irish folklore version of From Dusk Til Dawn. I'd guess that budgetary constraints led them to containing the most visibly fantastical elements to the very end, but I was here for it when A) the ludicrous massacre began, and B) Maya decides to take charge of the situation and become the new Redcap Queen. Sure it took a skosh longer to get there than would have been optimal, but I wasn't mad at it. And yes the husband is definitely a turd.

We also sought this film out specifically because the party in our weekly DnD game has been dealing with a raucous and violent Redcap community with some frequency lately, and it was keen to see them represented pretty close to how I've been portraying them (all that was missing was their tremendous iron boots used for kicking people to pieces).
posted by FatherDagon at 6:52 AM on June 26, 2023 [1 favorite]

we have a Darby O'Gill and the Little People tradition every St. Paddy's Day, this one looks like a companion piece I'll have to try
posted by elkevelvet at 7:09 AM on June 26, 2023

(aren't redcaps Scottish?)
posted by praemunire at 10:16 AM on June 26, 2023 [1 favorite]

Straw Dogs + Leprechaun is a bananas-ass premise.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:02 PM on July 12, 2023 [1 favorite]

I kind of liked this, even while recognizing that it is, in many ways, a bad movie. The Straw Dogs parallels were so spot on through most of it, right down to the menacing builders, that it almost reads like a parody at times, just without the humor. At least this version is told from the woman's perspective.

The villains in this are so cartoonishly evil that they need to make the everyday Irish villagers cartoonishly kind to make up for it (in fairness, the few Irish villagers I've met in real life have been cartoonishly kind). The Redcaps wound up seeming more cute than menacing most of the time, they're like ugly little Ewoks.

One thing I did get out of this movie is a sense that the execrable husband is kind of a comment on the Dustin Hoffman character in Straw Dogs, maybe seen as a kind of folk hero in the original, but ultimately suffused with the same toxic masculinity he opposes.
posted by whir at 12:38 AM on October 7, 2023

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