The Acid House (film)

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The Acid House
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPaul McGuigan
Written byIrvine Welsh
Distributed byFilmFour Distributors
Release date
  • 2 July 1998 (1998-07-02)
Running time
111 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

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


The film dramatises three stories from the book:

  • "The Granton Star Cause": A comedy, in which Boab is having a very bad day indeed. 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 and 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 the area as well as nearby West Pilton, including Ferry Road Drive.
  • "A Soft Touch": Kevin McKidd plays a cuckolded husband while Gary McCormack is Larry, the ruthless upstairs neighbour who steals his electricity and his wife, played by Michelle Gomez.
  • "The Acid House": An acid trip and a bolt of lightning result in amiable schemie Coco Brice exchanging bodies with the baby of a middle-class couple.

All three sections are independent, but are linked by setting and by 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 and 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 heavy Edinburgh accents.


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


External links[edit]