Bringing my Nighstream coverage to a close is the delightfully bloody Boys from County Hell. Written and directed by Chris Baugh (Tin Star, Bad Day for the Cut), this film injects the audience with a hearty dose of gore, laughs, and suspense. We watch as a young man joins his father’s construction company. When they demolish an ancient cairn rumored to hold an ancient Irish vampire, they discover the legend is all too real.
The filmmakers waste no time in educating viewers on the legend of Abhartach in a way that is as informative as it is hilarious. Once the context is established, it’s time for the bloodshed. Boys from County Hell is a standout vampire flick because it establishes new rules. It also finds ways to create truly disturbing means for the vampire to attack and kill his prey. On top of this, the filmmakers moved away from the typical attractive, sexy, sultry vampire look horror fans see all time time in favor of a dark, gnarly, decrepit creature. The practical effects and creature design are stunning and terrifying all at once. There is a bit of CGI that is not quite as well done, but what it is used for would be nearly impossible to achieve with practical effects.
While the entire cast delivers strong performances, Jack Rowan (Born to Kill, Benjamin) is the clear standout as Eugene. He brings a perfect balance of laughs and heart to the character, making him endearing and lovable despite his flaws. The film takes care to always have balance; humor vs gore, terror vs sentimentality, etc. For the most part, the filmmakers strike the perfect balance between all these elements. Boys from County Hell is a devilishly good time delivering equal parts laughs, bloodshed, and heart.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5/10