Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972, dir. Alan Gibson)

Dracula seeks revenge on the modern-day Van Helsings. This series reboot revisits plot elements from Taste The Blood Of and … Has Risen but sets them in then-contemporary Chelsea. The swinging London stuff was dated in ’72, but this is still a brisk romp with a time-capsule attraction and some grittier asides.

Here’s the trailer.

Texas Killing Fields (2011, dir. Amy Canaan Mann)

Detectives struggle with a series of murders. Based very loosely on real-world unsolved crimes, this noir-ish thriller can’t decide whether to go for procedural or for obsessive cop angst. It tries both, and so doesn’t gel. Decent performances from an up-and-coming cast and an OK look make this a not-uninteresting curio though.

Here’s the trailer.

Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1968, dir. Freddie Francis)

A revived Count seeks revenge on the priest whose exorcism has barred him from his castle. Continuing from Dracula: Prince of Darkness, this series entry doesn’t offer much that’s new, but Francis’s direction is fun, and a dull second act leads to a lively climax.

Here’s the trailer.

What Keeps You Alive (2018, dir. Colin Minihan)

A woman taking a first anniversary break with her wife discovers she is psychopathic. While some of the story beats are a little off, this is nevertheless a well-sustained and confident variation on the backwoods survival thriller. Decent performances, solid direction and some quirky moments all help.

Here’s the trailer.

The Little Things (2021, dir. John Lee Hancock)

A veteran cop and an ambitious detective collaborate to catch a serial killer. Well-made and acted if slightly over-familiar neo-noir with procedural aspects. Its deliberate pace and quiet style may not be for everyone, but Denzel Washington is as good as ever and LA is made to feel unfamiliar: no easy feat.

Here’s the trailer.

Jolt (2021, dir. Tanya Wexler)

A woman who controls her extreme anger issues via a high-tech electrical device investigates a murder. Poor sub-Crank action-comedy: a decent cast helps (several in one-set cameos), but (some OK) quips, poor action, over-direction, the world’s most guessable villain, and stagey visuals don’t. Feels like a TV pilot: has that Nu Boyana aesthetic.

Here’s the trailer.

Dracula [AKA Horror of Dracula] (1958, dir. Terence Fisher)

Vampire hunters tackle an ancient evil. Innovative, brisk and for-its-time revolutionary version of the gothic horror classic, here telescoped admirably into a pacy visual thriller. Played straight, fluidly directed and still influential. Recommended. Eight sequels followed.

Here’s the trailer.

Bacarau (2019, dir. Kleber Mendonça Filho & Juliano Dornelles)

A remote village is beset by a series of unexplained deaths. Part Brazilian political allegory, part weird western, part body-count horror with SF touches, Bacarau is tremendous throughout, looks great, makes you think, and has Udo Kier on fine form. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

Rams (2020, dir. Jeremy Sims)

Long-feuding sheep-farming brothers are impacted by a virus threatening their rare breed flocks. Very pleasurable comedy-drama – a remake of the 2015 Icelandic film of the same name – which transposes its story well, and which does pretty much what you’d expect, but with confident ease. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

Guns Akimbo (2019, dir. Jason Lei Howden)

A loser programmer find himself in a real-world socially-mediated assassination video game. Frenetic but patchy slapstick action-comedy. Little sense of tone, stakes, internal logic or of pacing, so the energy is misplaced and the excellent cast work against the movie, not with it. Gamer meets Shoot Em Up-ish, though much less ultimately than either.

Here’s the trailer.