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Unwelcome (2023) Review

This is my review for the 2023 movie “Unwelcome”. There are all sorts of different fandoms on the internet – you have the obvious ones, like the Swifties, and then you have some weirder ones. If there is a goblin fandom out there, I need them to make me their queen. My qualifications are that 1986’s “Labyrinth” is my favourite movie of all time, I practically live my life in “goblin mode” and I may be the only person in the world who really, really loved 2023’s “Unwelcome”.

What is Unwelcome about?

After being attacked in their London home, Jamie and his pregnant wife Maya move to the Irish countryside for some peace. Instead, they find themselves dealing with some unpleasant locals… literally, the main antagonists of this movie are a family of builders, including Derry Girls’ Jamie Lee O’Donnell. However, something lurks in the woods outside of their new home and these little tricksters are looking to strike a deal.

The movie calls them lots of things: “red caps” being the main one. They’re goblins. Straight out of the likes of “Labyrinth” along with all of the silliness that comes with them. As you can imagine by the genre of this movie, the goblins get up to no good and blood is shed.

Why I love Unwelcome

It takes a little bit to get going. More than half of the movie is spent dealing with countryside drama. One of the major conflicts arises due to somebody stealing a chocolate hobnob. Boring, show us the goblins. There is some decent humour throughout, which lands more often than it doesn’t – but it is easy to forget that horror awaits. This doesn’t have the same level of tension building as a slow burner like Speak No Evil has. You’re watching a comedy drama about an English family moving to Ireland… until you’re not.

But mother of God, is it worth the wait. These goblins are downright rascals and a delight every moment they’re on screen. It feels wrong to class this as a horror as by the final scenes, they are treated with far more humour than terror. That’s not to say the kills aren’t brutal though, it’ll satisfy your itch for violence and bloodshed. In terms of recent horror movies, I would compare it to Orphan: First Kill in that the movie gets us to root for the monster of the story.

Is this even coherent? I feel like I’m just gushing about goblins. I love those cheeky little dudes!

The themes of Unwelcome

Look, if we stop and think about this movie for a while – it all falls apart a bit. There is some attempt at some themes within this movie, but they’re rarely followed through.

Jamie questions his manhood after he’s unable to defend his wife during a home invasion. He is absent for the final few scenes, as Maya saves the day (after saving them both in the previous scene). There’s no acknowledgement that his views on gender are a problem. There’s no growth and no punishment for the lack of growth. He’s just a misogynist.

There’s something explored regarding a mother’s relationship to their child. It’s difficult to say what, other than just “mothers love their kids”, because that’s really all the movie says.

The main theme of the movie? That goblins rule!! Themes aren’t important when you have silly little dudes stabbing people. Sit down, critics, it’s the year of the goblins.

Is this ironic? Should you actually watch Unwelcome?

Unwelcome is a modern camp masterpiece. I don’t think it’s the best movie in the world, I don’t think it’s an objectively good movie. I did find that it scratched the itch for camp horror that M3gan left me missing.

It is a surprise that this movie managed a theatrical release in the UK. It has big “#1 trending movie on Netflix” vibes, but in a good way. I think that when this releases on streaming – a lot of people are going to watch and enjoy it, because it is just perfect viewing to switch your brain off to.

This was my review for the 2023 movie “Unwelcome”. Did you enjoy this movie or are you a silly billy? Let us know in the comments below!

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