‘Unwelcome’ Characters: Explained
Updated: Apr 17
“Unwelcome” begins as Jamie and Maya celebrate the departure of their aunt Maeve who has left them a house with a beautiful garden in rural Ireland. They escape from urban London’s anti-social elements and find themselves at peace in the green surroundings. But only later do they come to know of the blood offering that they have to make without fail every day to the mythical creatures, Far Darrig or the Redcaps. Initially, Maya ignores the responsibility but later carries it out.
The new abode needs some fixing, so they assign the task to the Irish Whelan family, who are highly unreliable and careless. Trouble ensues when Eion, one of the Whelans, attempts to sexually assault Maya in the woods. Maya calls out for help, and the Far Darrig creatures come to her rescue, dragging Eion and killing him and getting his head to Maya in a plastic bag. The Whelans search for Eion, and since they do not find him, they start a fight with Maya and Jamie. The rest is bloodshed and the process of Maya and her family becoming one of the Far Darrig to save themselves.
Although Aunt Maeve dies right at the beginning, throughout the movie, we are given hints to understand her character through Niahm and the villagers. Aunt Maeve was kind and generous, so Jamie and Maya were gifted the house after she passed away. Some considered her the murderer of her own child, but others knew that she did it for her husband. Aunt Maeve believed in the old ways, traditions, and superstitions. Therefore, she faithfully carried on the ritual of offering blood to Far Darrig. Keeping the monsters on the other side of the wall wasn’t an easy task, but Aunt Maeve never broke her promise to feed the hungry jolly little elves.
On one occasion, at a shop that Maya and Jamie visit, the goodness of Aunt Maeve makes the shopkeeper give them the groceries free of charge as he understands that Aunt Maeve is related to them. Niahm found Aunt Maeve a blessing who kept away the worst that could happen in the village. And therefore, after the death of Aunt Maeve, Niahm takes upon herself the task of informing Maya and Jamie about the availability of the house, so that the house remains within the family. She also doesn’t forget to inform the couple that the onus of fulfilling the ritual is now on them now that they are occupying Aunt Maeve’s little abode. Aunt Maeve had her own troubles to handle, but she lived her life decently well.
Jamie is a loving husband who wants to accompany his wife and support and safeguard her. He wants to protect her from all harm and therefore reiterates to Maya that he will not allow anything bad to happen to her. But every time an occasion strikes, he fails. Coward that he is, he gives up the ghost. When the goons bully him in London, he quietly walks away, not wanting to start a fight. But then, since they keep harassing and abusing him, he verbally responds to them. The criminals break into their houses and start assaulting both Jamie and Maya. And Jamie does nothing but receive the blows. Jamie is angered and frustrated by events, but his personality doesn’t push him to actively respond to the violence.
Jamie is a crybaby too, who gives up hope, considering that the battle has already been lost, especially when he is in a fight with Killian, one of the Whelans. In his mind, he wants to be a man who is strong and courageous, and therefore, he reads books on Israeli martial arts, Krav Maga. Jamie is a product of toxic masculinity and therefore finds it difficult to accept himself as he is: fragile and fearful. Jamie, unable to protect the family, tries to seclude himself, but it only makes matters worse.
Maya is ready to take on the responsibilities of motherhood. She excitedly accepts and announces her pregnancy to Jamie, who is at first unsure whether he will be capable of handling the responsibility. Even when the goons break into their house, Maya is able to drive them away by calling the police and defending herself with a knife. The fact that she just got the news of the pregnancy and the need to safeguard this child, combined with her past history of abortion, leaves her traumatized, but she braves it fairly well.
Maya is a product of modernity, and therefore, when Niahm speaks of the blood offering, she doesn’t take it seriously. She thinks that Aunt Maeve could have been going through some post-natal depression or some other psychological problem. She also reminds Niahm of the perspective of not perpetuating existing stereotypes. Although she tries to see and interpret the events in the village through the lenses of psychology and science, she agrees that Aunt Maeve, as a mother, could have gone to any extent to safeguard her family. She displays strong willpower and grit. When necessary, she doesn’t shy away from trying to understand the monsters in the woods or searching for Rory and Molly in a hut that she chances upon. She fights back against Eion, who attempts to sexually assault her. She never gives up and is, therefore, able to save the situation and her family towards the end from the bloody fight between them and the Whelans.
The Irish Whelan family is an unreliable and unwelcome family in the village. It’s a peculiar family that travels together to resolve issues related to housekeeping, etc. Colm, the father, authoritatively keeps demanding that he be referred to as ‘daddy.’ He abuses Eion and considers him useless, as his wife has died giving birth to the boy. Killian and Ash are the brother and sister found together, unbothered about the work they are assigned. Eion is messy and unpredictable.
Despite the villagers dropping a hint and advising Jamie and Maya not to employ the Whelans to repair their house, they go ahead. The Whelans, the villagers suggested, are destructive by nature, and one needs to be alert around them at all times. And for sure, they needed to be observed because the lives of Jamie and Maya turn topsy-turvy when the Whelans enter the scene. Eion attempts to abuse Maya and is dragged into the woods and killed by Far Darrig. The Whelans search for him, and when they see the head of Eion with Maya, they start to take revenge. Their end is tragic, as each of them becomes a victim of the Redcaps, except Colm, who is executed by Maya.
The thought of these monstrous creatures sets the mood for the horror in the movie. They give the eerie feeling and scarier moments for the villagers to remain with. They are the reason behind the violence and bloodshed that happened in the story. The Redcaps are terrifying creatures who are least worried and bothered about the violence they engage in. At one point, they ask each other, while surrounding Ash, whether they should cut her more. They execute the Whelans one by one, except for Colm, who scares them away with his gunshot.
All these characters in “Unwelcome,” when put together, make for not-so-rich and elegant but okayish horror experiences.
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