New Irish horror series Shudder Street to premier next week

Shudder Street, a new horror webseries, is coming to a screen near you next week. Erica Carter talked through the inspirations behind the new series with writer and director Seán Donohoe and producer Orlagh Doherty.

Still from episode ‘Exorcism’. Image courtesy of Shudder Street.

Shudder Street is a new anthology-horror series set in Dublin, due to premiere next week. There will be four different episodes, each set in a different house on the same street. As the series goes on, we’ll soon see each different plot connect to one another. Donohoe revealed where he got the idea for Shudder Street from:

“I took a little inspiration from the British anthology series Inside No. 9, that tells a different standalone story every week, each set in their own singular location,” he said. “That gave me the idea to confine each segment of Shudder Street to its own individual house.

Donohoe wanted to tell different, standalone stories due to the freedom to explore different subgenres and ideas, but liked the idea of connecting them all with one overarching narrative. “It made location scouting a breeze as we were working with virtually no money, but also presented us with certain limitations that we had to work around. It was a learning curve for all of us, but I think it worked out well for the most part!”

Doherty came on board after the original script was written, and really enjoys the idea of an Ireland-based horror series. “It’s a different type of horror than a lot of series I’ve seen, the colloquial, everyday language used really makes it,” she said. “I think that having Irish slang in this really brings a different element to it. Definitely a great success!”

“We are a country with such a morbid history and folklore, sure we’re the birthplace of Dracula, Carmilla, and Dorian Grey for God’s sake!”

The idea of an Irish series in particular was incredibly important to Donohoe too: “I wanted to make a horror project that was distinctly Irish,” he said. “Not so much in the sense that there’s faeries and banshees running around the place, but more so in a colloquial sense.

“I wanted to take these common horror conventions and tropes but set them in a world that was familiar and close to home, in this case suburban Dublin. I wanted these characters to speak in a way similar to how myself and the people around me speak. I feel like some Irish media can feel very Americanised and I wanted to avoid that with Shudder Street. For the most part I think we succeeded!”

“I feel like Ireland has never really took off in the world of horror cinema the way that the UK or The States have,” he explained. “It’s unusual because we are a country with such a morbid history and folklore, sure we’re the birthplace of Dracula, Carmilla, and Dorian Grey for God’s sake!”

Image courtesy of Shudder Street.

Doherty is delighted that Shudder Street has now come together and is finally ready to be shown to the public, after almost two years in the making. “Seeing a vision on paper and getting it on screen is something I find so exciting to be honest,” she gushed. “It involved a lot of planning, we got a great casting director to come on board and we just set goals each week to get little things accomplished, such as locations and crew.

“We just dealt with things as they came, and it all worked out. Seán and I originally started editing the script in January 2019, started filming around April that year and finished filming in May 2019. Post production has been the longest process though. Because it was a zero budget production we had to try to adapt to our cast and crew’s availability and time table so we didn’t have a set deadline for anything.”

Due to filming taking place last year, Shudder Street luckily didn’t run into any Covid-19 related production issues, although the crew are sad that they can’t celebrate. “In an alternate covid-free world, there would definitely be a Halloween Shudder Street Spookapalooza!” laughed Donohoe.

Shudder Street will be available to view on YouTube from Tuesday the 20th of October.

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