The Silencing (2020, dir. Robin Pront)

An alcoholic bereaved father is suspected of being the serial killer who might have taken his own child. Autumnal thriller with a downbeat tone and some good ideas. Perhaps a touch brisk in its storytelling, but unusual moments and interesting details make it worth your time.

Here’s the trailer.

Death Ship (1980, dir. Alvin Rakoff)

A cruise vessel sinks after a collision: survivors find shelter on a ship that may be haunted by Nazi ghosts. Clumsy, dull, and poorly-directed horror/disaster hybrid. A couple of strong ideas lurk, but this is lumpen stuff that doesn’t have much in the way of focus or story.

Here’s the trailer.

Hindle Wakes (1952, dir. Arthur Crabtree)

A young millworker exercises her independence during a week’s holiday to Blackpool. Slightly prim adaptation of a once-groundbreaking play exploring sex and class. Chiefly of interest as a social document, but the location-shot material is great, and captures a lost version of the resort well.

Here’s the trailer.

Promising Young Woman (2020, dir. Emerald Fennell)

A med school dropout seeks revenge on those who failed her best friend. Uneven black comedy with plenty to address about consent, bystanders, and those who pretend that they’re good guys. It doesn’t all work, but it’s worth your time, plus Mulligan is great.

Here’s the trailer.

Love and Monsters (2020, dir. Michael Matthews)

A young man journeys across giant creature-infested territory to reunite with his former girlfriend. Derivative but fun post-apocalyptic survival flick with a little heart. It borrows from everything from A Boy and his Dog to Mad Max 2 via Tremors, but still works. Michael Rooker offers serio-comic grizzle in support.

Here’s the trailer.

Palm Springs (2020, dir. Max Barbakow)

A man is resigned to being stuck in a temporal loop at a wedding. Solid SF/fantasy comedy with sharp edges. Smart playing, a find soundtrack, and enough diversion from the Groundhog Day template all helps, as does a pleasingly amoral streak. JK Simmons and Dale Dickey are along for the ride.

Here’s the trailer.

Thunder Force (2021, dir. Ben Falcone)

Mismatched former best friends become superheroes after a laboratory mishap. Perhaps the most perfunctorily-plotted movie in recent history. McCarthy reprises her brash/embarrassed working class schtick, and there’s a few decent song-based jokes. A strong cast helps: Jason Bateman’s enjoying himself.

Here’s the trailer.

Terror Train (1980, dir. Roger Spottiswoode)

A chartered train hosting a student fancy dress party has a vengeful killer on board. Okay though somewhat tepid slasher pic, enlivened by excellent photography, a decent Jamie Lee Curtis performance, and a sense of production value. A young David Copperfield performs tricks in support.

Here’s the trailer.

Possessor (2020, dir. Brandon Cronenberg)

An assassin able to take over others’ bodies to complete her mission struggles with reality and control. Cold but impressive arthouse thriller with SF/horror elements, updating themes familiar from Cronenberg senior’s work. Great performances, though not a movie for a relaxing Friday night.

Here’s the trailer.

Carry On Up The Khyber (1968, dir. Gerald Thomas)

British rule in 1895 India is threatened when an embarrassing military secret leaks. Despite awkwardness (blackface used for repertory cast villains) this is the high-point of the Carry Ons, a sharp satire drawing on Kipling and siege actioners like Zulu. Still works as a comedy and as an acute portrait of the arrogance of the English, the class system, and of Empire. Of, er, ‘its time’, but recommended nevertheless.

Here’s the trailer.