Hellbenders [AKA Hellbenders 3D] (2012, dir. JT Petty)

Unorthodox priests, who sin to make themselves attractive to demons, come up against a powerful foe. Scrappy horror-comedy that isn’t as shocking as it wants to be. Game playing from a talented cast helps, but this is a grab-bag of other, better movies.

Here’s the trailer.

The Island (1980, dir. Michael Ritchie)

A journalist investigating vessel disappearances in the Caribbean finds the modern-day descendants of 18th-century pirates are responsible. While the movie (adapted from a post-Jaws Peter Benchley book) doesn’t do its premise justice, there’s some fun to be had, not least in the gleeful supporting cast of Brit character actors.

Here’s the trailer.

John Henry (2020, dir. Will Forbes)

A middle-aged former gang member is forced to confront his past. Slow-burn, stylised LA gangland movie that riffs on John Wick, Tarantino, westerns, folk stories and a lot more. Patchy but with impressive elements, and a fine central performance plus great Ken Foree support.

Here’s the trailer.

Urban Legends: Final Cut [AKA Urban Legend 2; Urban Legends: The Final Cut] (2000, dir. John Ottman)

A serial killer stalks a group of film students. Tenuous (and only vaguely urban legend-ish) sequel that has fun moments and a couple of neat movie shout-outs, but which is unscary, not gory, is illogical, and has few characters to root for. The whodunnit angle gets lost in the process. A third movie followed.

Here’s the trailer.

Urban Legend (1998, dir. Jamie Blanks)

A serial killer stalks a campus, the killings inspired by urban legends. Generally satisfactory self-aware post-Scream whodunnit/slasher hybrid with pretensions to John Carpenter, though light on scares and grue, and clumsy in terms of representation. Fun support from stalwarts Robert Englund, Brad Dourif and Julian Ritchings helps. Two sequels followed.

Here’s the trailer.

The Park Is Mine (1985, dir. Steven Hilliard Stern)

A struggling ex-soldier holds Central Park hostage to gain attention for veterans’ issues. Odd mix of post-First Blood action and issues-based drama, this talky oddball siege flick has a lot going for it, even if it feels compromised in its execution.

Here’s the trailer.

Hollow Man (2000, dir. Paul Verhoeven)

An arrogant scientist unleashes his dark side when invisibility experiments go wrong. While lacking the satiric edge of Verhoeven’s best US SF-infused work, this is still a fun, well-resourced and knowingly sleazy horror flick, with all involved operating effectively, showcasing still-impressive effects work..

Here’s the trailer.

You Should Have Left (2020, dir. David Koepp)

A wealthy family stay in a remote Welsh vacation rental; the house has secrets. Slight, austere, though generally effective psychological thriller, adapted from the Daniel Kehlmann novel. No real surprises, but the movie’s well-played and directed, and succeeds within the strictures of the Twilight Zone-ish story.

Here’s the trailer.

Ava (2020, dir. Tate Taylor)

A troubled assassin returns to her home city, but complications arise. Neither full-on action thriller or character-led drama, Ava works best simply as a star vehicle for its producer Chastain. A decent if typecast set of supporting players helps, but there’s little fresh brought to the table here.

Here’s the trailer.

House of the Witch (2017, dir. Alex Merkin)

A group of teens spend Halloween in a deserted mansion with a reputation for being haunted. Modest horror pic with some invention within the limitations of the set-up. Some gooey practical effects work and an ending that pays off well, even if the middle hour is largely plotless.

Here’s the trailer.