The Acid House (film)

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The Acid House
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPaul McGuigan
Written byIrvine Welsh
Produced by
  • David Muir
  • Alex Usborne
CinematographyAlasdair Walker
Edited byAndrew Hulme
Music byDan Muir
Distributed byFilmFour Distributors
Release date
  • 2 July 1998 (1998-07-02)
Running time
111 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Acid House is a 1998 Scottish film adaptation of Irvine Welsh's short story collection The Acid House directed by Paul McGuigan. Welsh himself wrote the screenplay, and appears as a minor character in the film.


The film dramatises three stories from the book:

  • "The Granton Star Cause": A comedy, in which Boab (Stephen McCole) is having a rotten day. His parents throw him out so they can indulge in sado-masochism and he is sacked from his job, dumped by his girlfriend, and dropped from his football team. It has elements of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis. One of the characters is a pitiless, profane God who transforms him into a fly as punishment for wasting his life. Named after an Edinburgh housing district, "The Granton Star Cause" was filmed on location in Muirhouse and Pilton, including Ferry Road Drive.
  • "A Soft Touch": Kevin McKidd plays Johnny, a man who is cuckolded by Larry (Garry McCormack), the ruthless upstairs neighbour who steals his electricity and his wife (Michelle Gomez). Filmed on location in Niddrie.
  • "The Acid House": An acid trip and a bolt of lightning result in amiable schemie Coco Brice (Ewen Bremner) exchanging bodies with the baby of a middle-class couple (Martin Clunes and Jemma Redgrave).

All three sections are independent, but are linked by setting and the reappearance of incidental characters, in particular Maurice Roëves who appears variously as an inebriated wedding guest, a figure in a dream, and a pub patron. All three of his parts symbolise a human manifestation of God.

The film offended elements of the UK tabloid press with a depiction of a cynical, jaded, foul-mouthed God. In some English-speaking countries such as Canada and the United States it has been screened with subtitles because of the Scots vernacular and heavy Edinburgh accents.


"The Granton Star Cause"
"A Soft Touch"
"The Acid House"


External links[edit]