Wrong Turn (2021, dir. Mike P Nelson)

Six friends hiking in West Virginia come up against a self-isolating pre-Civil War community. The backwoods franchise takes a folk horror turn away from cannibal shenanigans towards something that’s uneven but interesting in a Midsommar/Welp kinda way. All this plus old hands Matthew Modine and Bill Sage in support.

Here’s the trailer.

I Care a Lot (2020, Dir. J. Blakeson)

A shark like con artist tricks an OAP out of her home and savings only to discover her victim has hidden criminal connections. Deliciously black comedy, with great casting and well written script. Everyone is having a great time here and the result is watchable, thrilling and at times infuriating!

I Care a Lot (2020, Dir. J. Blakeson)

Skyfire (2019, dir. Simon West)

A luxury resort is threatened by an active volcano. Updating When Time Ran Out via bits of the Jurassic Park franchise, this hubris-tastic disaster movie is a gleeful treat, embracing the all character tropes and situations you’d expect. It’s something of a masterclass in pacing and jeopardy: huge amounts of unpretentious fun. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

The Monster Squad (1987, dir. Fred Dekker)

A group of monster-obsessed pre-teens have to face off against a gallery of Universal Studios villains. Straightforward and very contrived sub-Spielbergian kid adventure post-ET/The Goonies. Some of it works well, and the creature effects evidence love, but too much is perfunctory tick-box stuff that’s being rushed through.

Here’s the trailer.

Rogue (2020, dir. MJ Bassett)

A hostage extraction team is hunted across the East African savannah by vengeful kidnappers, and by a lion escaped from illegal breeders. Efficient DTV actioner with horror elements maximising location shooting production values while cheerfully stealing bits of business from all over: plus a Backstreet Boys running gag.

Here’s the trailer.

The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud [AKA Max Cloud] (2020, dir. Martin Owen)

1990: a Brooklyn teenager is transported inside the 2D platform scrolling game she’s playing. Fun little space-based riff on the Jumanji movies, made with care and with an eye to maximising limited resources. A decent script and performances help, not least DTV action star Adkins enjoying spoofing himself.

Here’s the trailer.

The Dig (2021, dir. Simon Stone)

1939. With England on the cusp of war, an excavator is hired for a private archaeological dig. Good-looking and well-acted though slight reimagining of the Sutton Hoo site discovery, hampered by a busy script that doesn’t care to fillet the source novel to make a film-shaped story.

Here’s the trailer.

Next (2007, dir. Lee Tamahori)

A Las Vegas stage magician with the ability to see into the near future is hunted by both the FBI and terrorists. High concept SF fantasy loosely based on a Philip K Dick story. The plot doesn’t really hang together, but as a series of chases, bluffs, and timey-wimey tricks, this is more than passable escapism.

Here’s the trailer.

Becky (2020, dir. Jonathan Milott & Cary Murnion)

A disaffected teenager takes revenge on the neo-Nazi prison escapees who take over her family’s holiday property. Slightly too clever for its own good, the movie nevertheless gets going once its plot is clear, and delivers in terms of splattery grue, even if it’s unsure what to do with loose ends.

Here’s the trailer.

Seized (2020, dir. Isaac Florentine)

A former agent’s son is kidnapped: a series of assassinations is the price of his freedom. It starts shakily, but this DTV spin on the Taken template soon gets motoring, with plenty of well-staged lo-fi fisticuffs and shootouts, good location work, and Mario Van Peebles charismatic in his villainy.

Here’s the trailer.