Irish folk-horror film with well-done creature effects, even if they don’t really show up until the climax.


Release Date: May 9, 2023
Runtime: 01:44
Married couple Maya and Jamie escape their urban nightmare to the tranquility of rural Ireland only to discover malevolent and murderous goblins lurking in the gnarled, ancient wood at the foot of their new garden.

A London couple moves to a rural Irish village and learns that malevolent goblins occupy the woods behind their garden in Unwelcome. After surviving an attack by thugs in their London apartment, pregnant Maya () and her husband Jamie () move to a rural Irish village, where Jamie has inherited the house of his recently deceased great aunt Maeve. While shown the grounds by a family friend and local bartender, Niamh (Niamh Cusack), Maya and Jamie are told that Maeve had a habit of leaving blood offerings for the far darrig or Redcaps, goblins occupying the nearby woods, who reportedly took Maeve's child.

With their new house in need of repairs, Maya and Jamie hire the only repair man in the area available for the job, “Daddy” Whelan () and his children Killian (), Aisling (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell), and Eoin (). However, the couple soon learns that the Whelans are not the most respectable people. When the interactions with the family turn violent, Maya desperately seeks the assistance of the Redcaps, even though the help will come at a price.


Unwelcome is an Irish folk horror film co-written and directed by Jon Wright (Grabbers). The film stars Hannah John-Kamen (Ant-Man and the Wasp, Ready Player One, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City) and Douglas Booth (Jupiter Ascending, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, The Dirt) as married couple Maya and Jamie, who move from London to Ireland after a vicious home invasion and attack that left both shaken and fearful. Upon arrival in a rural Irish village, the couple is advised to leave an offering for the fabled Redcaps in the nearby woods to satiate their hunger. However, the Redcaps are not the only threat that Maya and Jamie have to look out for, as they naively let the local Whelen family into their home, only to learn that they have a penchant for violent acts.

My Thoughts on Unwelcome

Unwelcome is a film that is best described as a mix of creature feature aspects of films like Gremlins and the home invasion horror of Straw Dogs. The design of the goblin-like Redcaps, created with a blend of stunt performers in costume and CGI head movements, reminds me greatly of the output of the Jim Henson Creature Workshop from the 1980s, particularly films such as The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Sadly, despite being referenced throughout the film, the Redcaps don't make their presence known until Unwelcome‘s final act.

The true antagonists of Unwelcome turn out to be the Whelan family, played by Colm Meaney (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Chris Walley (1917), Kristian Nairn (Games of Thrones), and Jamie-Lee O'Donnell. The family starts as merely a nuisance, such as arriving unannounced one morning to renovate Maya and Jamie's house or making confrontational comments about the couple being outsiders from England. However, relations with the family turn violent.

The tension built up throughout Unwelcome builds a quite bloody climax as the Redcaps demonstrate their ability to get quite stabby. However, it is a shame that most of the goblin action is relegated to the film's final half-hour. However, Unwelcome is still a folk horror film worth checking out.

Support Us

Lights, camera, support! 🎬 Join the Sean Kelly on Movies community and help keep the reels rolling! If you've enjoyed our cinematic insights and reviews, consider becoming a patron on our Patreon or making a one-time donation. Every contribution ensures we can keep delivering top-notch content. Join us on Patreon or donate today to fuel our passion for film! 🍿✨

Trailer for Unwelcome

This post was proofread by Grammarly 

How to Watch Unwelcome

Where to Stream Unwelcome

Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.