14 April 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Irish films at the Overlook Film Festival
07 Mar 2024 : Luke Shanahan
Abigail, All You Need is Death, Oddity
Abigail, starring Alisha Weir, will close the 8th Overlook Film Festival in Oregon. Also screening at the festival are Paul Duane’s All You Need is Death, and Keeper Pictures’ Oddity. The festival takes place this year at the Prytania Theatres in New Orleans from April 4th – 7th.

Shot in Ireland and starring Alisha Weir (Matilda the Musical), Abigail has been announced as the closing film of the Overlook Film Festival. 

The Overlook Film Festival is an annual film festival that takes place in New Orleans in the US each May, showcasing American and international horror films. The inaugural festival in 2017 took place in Oregon, which served as the exterior of the Overlook Hotel in the 1980 film The Shining, hence the nod to the film in the festival’s name.

Abigail follows a group of criminals who kidnap the ballerina daughter of a powerful underworld figure. They retreat to an isolated mansion, unaware that they're locked inside with a little vampire girl (Weir). Abigail was written by Irish screenwriter Stephen Shields (The Hole in the Ground), and directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (Scream VI). 

Weir is joined in the Universal monster movie by Melissa Barrera (In the Heights), Dan Stevens (The Guest), Kevin Durand (I Am Number Four), Kathryn Newton (Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania), Angus Cloud (Euphoria), Will Catlett (A Thousand and One), and Giancarlo Esposito (Better Call Saul).

Also playing at the festival is Keeper Pictures’ Oddity, which recently had its World Premiere at SXSW 2024. The feature film is written and directed by Damian McCarthy (Caveat), and produced by Katie Holly (Extra Ordinary), Evan Horan (Caveat), Mette-Marie Kongsved (I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore), and Laura Tunstall (Come To Daddy). 

Oddity follows a blind medium who uncovers the truth behind her sister's death with the help of a frightening wooden mannequin. The cast includes Gwilym Lee (Bohemian Rhapsody), Carolyn Bracken (An Cailín Ciúin), Tadhg Murphy (The Northman), Caroline Menton (Altar Boys), Steve Wall (Dune: Part Two), Johnny French (The Rock in the Sea), Joe Rooney (Killinaskully), Shane Whisker (The Pope’s Exorcist), and Ivan de Wergifosse (The Last Duel).

All You Need is Death, written and directed by Paul Duane (While You Live Shine, Very Extremely Dangerous), is another Irish horror screening at the festival. The film follows young couple Anna and Aleks collecting folk ballads, the rarer the better. Following a tip from a fellow collector, they secretly record a song so ancient that it is in a forgotten dialect. But once they begin to translate the song, they discover the reason why it was never meant to be passed on.

The cast includes Simone Collins (Barber), Charlie Maher (Conversations with Friends), Olwen Fouéré (The Northman), Barry McKiernan (Vikings: Valhalla), Nigel O'Neill (Boys from County Hell), and Catherine Siggins (The Samuel Project). The film’s score come from Ian Lynch of Lankum fame. 

IFTN spoke with director Paul Duane about the making of the film ahead of its Irish premiere at the Cork International Film Festival last year.

The Overlook Film Festival takes place in New Orleans from April 4th – 7th.

IFTA Q&A Series: Patricia Kelly on Directing
IFTA Q&A Series: Damien Lynch on Sound Design
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