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Ireland of the Horrors

Tuesday, 30 October 2018, 9:30am – 5:30pm

Ireland of the Horrors

A one-day symposium on the contemporary Irish horror film organised by Trinity’s School of Creative Arts in association with DCU and the Irish Film Institute. 

Irish culture, notably Irish writing, enjoys long associations with the Gothic as a genre, and few people need any introduction to names such as Maria Edgeworth, Joseph Le Fanu, or Bram Stoker. Irish cinema has its own Gothic antecedents - from Orson Welles’ Return to Glennascaul of 1951 through Dementia 13 (Francis Coppola, 1963) to Neil Jordan’s ill-fated High Spirits of 1988.

However, in the early years of the twenty-first century, the Irish horror film came into its own. Conor McMahon’s 2004 rural eco-horror, Dead Meat was an early forerunner and the forthcoming Magdalene laundry-set, found-footage release, The Devil’s Doorway (Aislinn Clarke, 2018) looks set to bring new attention to Irish horror cinema. These low-budget releases have found innovative ways of exploring the underside of twenty-first century Ireland and revisiting its historical injustices. With its tentacles reaching into eco-Gothic (Isolation, Billy O’Brien 2005), the zombie film (Boy Eats Girl, Stephen Bradley, 2005), to monstrous invasions in the West of Ireland (Grabbers, Jon Wright, 2012) and other unholy terrors, the Irish horror film is in vibrant, subversive form. Yet it is also the most global of genres, speaking as much to viewers of midnight festivals in small town America as to an Irish audience, borrowing from recognisable horror classics, and featuring unfamiliar actors and locations. It is also part of an intense engagement with the Gothic that pervades contemporary popular culture.

Speakers include: Ruth Barton (TCD), Roddy Flynn (DCU), Loretta Goff (UCC), Caitlin Harrigan (MU), Jacob Martin (TCD), Harvey O’Brien (UCD), Emma Radley (UCD). The symposium will also feature an industry panel and will conclude with a special screening of The Devil’s Doorway (Aislinn Clarke, 2018) at the Irish Film Institute.
Register here 


9.30 opening address: Ruth Barton, Roddy Flynn
10.00 – 11.30 Panel one:

Loretta Goff, (UCC) ‘Consuming’ Nature: Environments of Contemporary Irish Horror
Jacob Martin, (TCD) ‘From the Vaults: The Influence of the Anti-Catholic ‘’Fallen Priest’’ of the Irish Gothic on Contemporary Irish Horror Film’
Emma Radley, (UCD) Recession, Recovery and Futurity in David Freyne's The Cured (2017).

11.30 – coffee break
11.50 – 1.10 –  industry panel:
Aislinn Clarke (Director “The Devil’s Doorway”), Brendan McCarthy (Producer, Fantastic Films), Ruth Treacy (Producer, Tailored Films), Dearbhla Regan (Project Manager, Screen Ireland) & Conor McMahon (Director “Stitches”, “Dead Meat” and others).

1.10-2.10 – lunch break
2.10-3.40 –  Panel two
Cait Harrigan (MU), Ridiculous Gore, the Grotesque, and the Terrible Clown in Conor McMahon’s Horror-Comedy Stitches (2012)
Harvey O’Brien (and colleagues) (UCD), What are you afraid of? An interdisciplinary approach to affect
Brendan Rooney(UCD) and John Francis Leader(UCD)

3.40: Concluding remarks, Ruth Barton, Roddy Flynn
4.30 Screening The Devil’s Doorway, Irish Film Institute, introduced by Aislinn Clarke and followed by Q & A.

Campus LocationTrinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute
Accessibility: Yes
Room: Neill Lecture Theatre
Research Theme: Creative Arts Practice, Making Ireland
Event Category: Alumni, Arts and Culture, Conferences, Lectures and Seminars, Public, Special events
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public
Cost: Free (but registration is required)
Contact Name: Ruth Barton

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