Page last updated at 05:57 GMT, Friday, 24 July 2009 06:57 UK

Irish horror will not be a Hammer

By Johnny Caldwell
BBC News

Promotional poster for The Wake Wood
The Wake Wood will not be an official Hammer Films release

A horror film shot on location in a picturesque Irish village last year will not get an official Hammer Films release, BBC News can reveal.

The Wake Wood, which was part-financed by the legendary British film company, was to herald its much anticipated return to the big screen.

However, the bigger budget The Resident, starring two-time Oscar winner Hillary Swank and Sir Christopher Lee, now looks set to be chosen as Hammer's first official feature-length release in almost 30 years.

The Wake Wood will still be released by Dublin-based Fantastic Films later this year, but without full Hammer backing.

This would have no doubt assured a blaze of publicity and presumably resulted in die-hard Hammer fans putting Pettigoe, County Donegal, on their must-visit list.

Hammer Films, whose back catalogue includes Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein and The Plague of the Zombies was not directly involved in The Wake Wood's production, but has had a more hands-on role in relation to The Resident.

Hilary Swank plays doctor Juliet Dermer who is settling into a new life and a new loft apartment in New York when mysterious occurrences lead her to suspect that she is not alone in her new home.

Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee played the lead in The Curse of Frankenstein

The Resident was recently shot over six weeks in both New York and New Mexico. Its release date is scheduled for sometime next year.

The Wake Wood's plot centres around attempts by a vet and his pharmacist wife, using a pagan ritual, to bring their only daughter back to life after she is ravaged by a dog.

Its cast includes Harry Potter and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet star Timothy Spall and Aiden Gillen, whose credits includes Queer As Folk and more recently, US crime drama, The Wire.

Pettigoe is one of only a handful of places which is bisected by the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, but is mostly in County Donegal.

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