The Circle (2017, dir. Peter Callow)

A university field trip to a remote Scottish island encounters a previously-unrecorded stone circle. Low-budget horror that starts well, and which looks great throughout, though which falls apart once multiple story complications are bundled in. A shame, as there’s promise here.

Here’s the trailer.

Big Legend (2018, dir. Justin Lee)

A bereaved veteran returns to the woods to hunt and kill the creature that killed his fiancé. Straightforward but solid low-budget Bigfoot feature, maximising decent locations and effective though sparse gore effects. A third act drawing on Predator and some fun cameos make this a decent, unpretentious flick.

Here’s the trailer.

Black Narcissus (1947, dir. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger)

Nuns newly-arrived in a remote Himalayan convent struggle with erotic impulses. While at best dated in some respects (brownface, some attitudes) this is a beautiful, technically-compelling and at times mesmerising movie. More a tone poem than overly concerned with narrative cause and effect, so may not be for all contemporary audiences.

Here’s the trailer.

The Manor (2021, dir. Axelle Carolyn)

A new resident in a nursing home believes the establishment has a horrifying secret. Brisk, unfussy supernatural horror with a Twilight Zone episode feel: maybe needs more meat on its bones, but it nevertheless tells a straightforward story with minimum fuss, while offering Barbara Hershey a welcome lead.

Here’s the trailer.

I Am A Hero (2015, Dir. Shinsuke Sato)

A gleefully gory and refreshing black comedy Japanese zombie film. Hideo the cowardly Manga artist needs to find his ‘hero’ mettle as a virus turns everyone into crazy killers. Refreshing, witty and sometimes poignant – this comes highly recommended.

I am A Hero (2015, Dir. Shinsuke Sato)

Don’t Tell A Soul (2020, dir. Alex McAulay)

Troubled brothers fleeing a robbery accidentally trap a security guard. Lean, effective thriller with a keen sense of autumn and of blue-collar lives. Works effectively in focusing on the implications of its set-up, and on impacts on its well-sketched characters. A fun, impressive little movie.

Here’s the trailer.

No Sudden Move (2021, dir. Steven Soderbergh)

Two criminals are hired for a straightforward job: matters get complicated. Excellent period drama, using the tropes of noir to critique capitalism and corporate greed. Lots to relish, not least a cast in depth, plus slick, confident direction, writing, and design. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

You’re Next (2011, dir. Adam Wingard)

A family reunion is interrupted by home-invading masked killers. Superior horror flick with touches of black comedy. Knows precisely what it is and works to fulfil expectations well: a brisk, bloody job well done.

Here’s the trailer.

Shorta (2021, dir. Frederik Louis Hviid & Anders Olholm)

Two officers – one trusted, one implicated in police violence – are caught up in a riot situation and cut off from support. This Danish drama mashes up the behind-enemy-lines likes of ’71 with a David Ayer-ish cop neo-noir. Somewhat schematic in its storytelling, but undeniably confident, and at least attempting – not always wholly successfully – to mix action with social commentary.

Here’s the trailer.