The boys are all too happy to take these simple marks to see the imposing stone cairn on top of the changeling’s resting place, which happens to be on land owned by William’s father. Even if the whole thing is nonsense, there’s a nagging concern: What if it’s true? It’s a fascinating theme that Baugh and his cast enjoy pursuing. We know the town is in deep trouble from the start, and while the reveal is a little too long for such a short film, the tease is still a lot of fun.
After a gruesome and bloody tragedy upends the BFFs’ lives, they realize the truth: Abhartach is true, and he has a vendetta against Six Mile Hill. Eugene, his abrasive father Francie (Nigel O’Neill of “Bad Day for the Cut”), William’s astute girlfriend Claire (Louisa Harland), and a motley crew of Francie’s building crew pals are the only ones standing between them and a serious plasma shortage. Should Baugh and Mullin’s characters try to bring Abhartach into the sun like in a typical horror movie? — as well as some genuine emotional turns — should they just cut off his head?
Baugh isn’t afraid of the icky and gross, but he also knows how to mix them in with genuine humor and a healthy dose of character development; a final-act injury that turns into a tool for Eugene is grotesque, amusing, and incredibly clever. By the time “Boys from County Hell” reaches its final confrontations, the film’s wit and concern for its characters are as appealing as the gore. Vampire hounds can scoff, but “Boys from County Hell” gets it right: this is a human tale, not a monster story.