• Name: Boys from County Hell
• Year: 2020
• Country: UK, Ireland
• Director: Chris Baugh
• Main cast: Jack Rowan, Nigel O’Neill, Louisa Harland, Michael Hough
• Runtime: 90 minutes
• Production company: Six Mile Hill Productions, Blinder Films, Endeavor Content
Despite being an independent low-budget film, young filmmaker Chris Baugh managed to get his debut awards-nominated feature film Bad Day for the Cut (2017) in a popular streaming service as is Netflix. Since then, many viewers have enjoyed the film praising the natural simplicity of the story and the determination of a group of very well-written characters. It is a fictitious violent revenge film, but everyone could see himself in the shoes of that former farmer man seeking revenge for the murderers of his mother.
For his second feature film, Chris Baugh has changed a little bit his formula, but the spirit remains the same. Rural Ireland with its roughness and wonderful landscapes is still the frame where the story happens, the genre of action-thriller has been changed for horror, and the coldness of the characters populating the first film are now a bunch of low-lifes that are not sure how to play this game of living, which brings often to comedic situations. Yes, several key things change but the global feeling remains the same.
Chris Baugh repeats behind the cameras with a screenplay he has written together with his frequent collaborator and the producer of the film Brendan Mullin. And it is clear the tandem has learned how to imprint their personal style in the movies. And, as it happened with the first film, Boys from County Hell (2020) seems to have more potential than it ends up displaying on the screen. The whole pot of Dracula perhaps being Irish, so delicious by definition, gets deluded alongside the running time, when the movie takes the form of a vampire horror-survival and comedy, leaving aside the construction of a solid story in favor of funny and gory acts.
With a length of an hour and a half, the movie never gets boring. That’s a fact. But, one can’t help to think all those situations are something we have seen many times before. Still, the acting is accurate and the chemistry between the characters flows easily, which is one big benefit of the humor side of the final product.
In a personal appreciation, I was never a big fan of the cold and dark cinematography that populates the movie, both in the final parts of the film when the main characters are fighting against the vampire creatures in the pale night, nor during the growing of the story in every-day bright-light situations. But that is a very personal opinion since it is obvious the filmmakers made that choice by their own decision, but that constant feeling of darkness doesn’t help much to the audience to connect with the situations placed in front of our eyes.
In global aspects, Boys from County Hell (2020) is a correct movie, with resolutive filmmaking and unflinching acting performances. The story flows easily and entertaining to watch, although with the constant feeling of a waste of potential and missed originality. It will never become a must-see classic, but it is an entertaining addition to the Shudder catalog, without a doubt.
IMDB URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt10262380
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