HILLWALKERS (2022) Reviews of Irish backwoods thriller

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Hillwalkers is a 2022 Irish backwoods horror thriller film about a group of hikers that trespass onto private land leading to intense violence at the hands of the owners.

Written, directed and edited by Tom Cosgrove (shorts: Haunted; Haunted II; Dead of Night 2001), making his feature directorial debut. Produced by Ama Fosua Addo, Caoillte Cahill and Niall Reynolds.

The Fatal Flaw Films production stars Mark Agar, Elise Brennan (Monster 2019), Michael Cloke (Cu Chulainn), Shane Connellan (Spa Weekend), Áine Flanagan, Aoife Honohan, Elena Kelly (Red Room), Gerry O’Brien (From the Dark) and Eoin O’Sullivan.


“Agar’s Steevy is a twitchy, leery psycho and like his uncle Neil, a master of doublespeak. These characters are not charming but they win us over because they chew the scenery to sawdust. Now and then the feeling is that the hillwalkers and the farmers are from two different films. This creates a profound unease in the film, the dissonance acting as an extension of the Us vs. Them conflict that emerges.” Dublin Inquirer

“The acting performances are also generally convincing, particularly Mark Agar as the leery and demented psychopath Steevy. As a work that emerged from the forced necessities of lockdown and was perhaps also partly informed by the broader anxieties of that period, Hillwalkers succeeds in delivering a genuinely unsettling experience that horror enthusiasts, in particular, are likely to appreciate.” Film Ireland

” …a consequence of the global ubiquity of Hollywood is that Ireland, following decades’ ingestion of pop-cultural junk food, instead imitates a condescending American model of self-presentation. In Hillwalkers, writer-director-producer Tom Cosgrove transplants the hackneyed psychotic hillbillies genre to a boggy countryside with the expected results. In short, this is a movie viewers will have seen several times before…” Ideological Content Analysis Reviews

“In terms of horror, the film is also absolutely ineffective. It never manages to create a good atmosphere, there is never any good tension and no, in terms of blood and violence, there is little in the film to appeal to fans of the genre. Not recommended.” 4/10 Seal_Team1138 [translated from Dutch]

“The bad guys enjoy psychological torture more than pain, but one of them seems unstable and is more on the rapey side of the mental illness spectrum […] It’s a horror film that makes you feel helpless, as most should. Hillwalkers is mild and realistic. It’s both a gateway into horror and comfort food for horror fans.” Tales of Terror

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Hillwalkers is available to rent or buy online via Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

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Cast and characters:
Mark Agar … Steevy
Elise Brennan … Lisa
Michael Cloke … Tadhg
Shane Connellan … Ben
Áine Flanagan … Susan
Aoife Honohan … Miriam
Elena Kelly … Girl in red dress
Gerry O’Brien … Neil
Eoin O’Sullivan … Ray

Filming locations:
Near Dublin, Ireland

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