Gay Essential Horror Films To Watch, Unhappy Birthday (Amen Island)

Sadie (Christina De Vallee) is pregnant and wants to celebrate her birthday with an impromptu trip to Amen, a secluded tidal island. Taking her lover, Rick (David Paisley), and her easily-impressed friend, Jonny (Jonathan Keane), with her, the woman reaches her desired location and seems to be more and more interested in the locals. What her two friends do not know, however, is that Sadie is actually looking for her long-lost sister and that the island’s inhabitants are peculiar, brutal and do not take kindly to strangers or newcomers.

Although the residents of Amen Island seem to be alienated and hostile, one of their members named Corinne (Jill Ridiford) welcomes the outsiders and invites them to come amongst her people. Sadie is intrigued and plagued by her mother’s past and the questions surrounding it so she decides to ask Corinne for answers. It becomes apparent that the pregnant woman’s friend, Jonny, is gay and has strong feelings for her partner, Rick. We soon also learn that Sadie was abandoned as a child and her mother was in fact an outcast amongst the rest of the inhabitants. She was desperate to leave, to get her daughter off the island and keep her from ever returning there – and for good reason.

Unhappy Birthday

Critics

Unhappy Birthday is a bit of a slow burner that take it’s time to get going, but works pretty well once it does.”
   Big Gay Picture Show

“Queer and in not just the gay way, this broodingly atmospheric piece is guaranteed to delight fans of the genre, whatever their sexuality be.”
Gay Celluloid

“A gem waiting to be discovered, Unhappy Birthday is a marvelous little film that knows precisely what it wants to do and achieves it with real skill.”
MJ Simpson

Did You Know?

Filming began in the guest house of Mark Harriot’s sister in Northumberland, and also on the stunning tidal island of Lindisfarne.  Unhappy Birthday is the first feature film to be shot on Lindisfarne since Polanski’s Cul-de-Sac (1966). The film is also intended to wickedly entertain, and was made as a low-budget homage to classic British horrors. The film makers stated that “The last 30 minutes is an intentional adrenaline rush of false endings to maximize and play with the genre.” Review our Gay Themed Films Here

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Alexander Ryll
Launched in June 2014, Gay Essential is the world’s largest gay themed film blog promoting new and rare features. I am helped by some amazing writers and we also cover film festivals in the UK and USA. We are 100% independent, without advertising or funding by film distributors. Help to keep Gay Essential independent by purchasing our merchandise GET (Gay Essential Tees)
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Alexander Ryll
Alexander Ryll