An orphan seeks revenge on the fashion maven who killed her mother. Confident, stylish, though thin and overlong prequel to 101 Dalmatians. Basically a supervillain origin story (Cruella is Tim Burton-era Batman, plus Joker and Catwoman here) though borrowing from all-sorts, including The Terminator. MVP is Paul Walter Hauser, though everyone is in on the joke.
A continuation of the documentary exploration of 1980s-made (mostly) US horror. Much more (4.5 hours) of the same, though with some deeper cuts this time around. Depth is sacrificed for breadth, and the pattern of trailer clip plus talking head per movie gets repetitive, but there’s affection on display for the genre throughout.
An expedition to Earth’s hollow centre searches for a power source critical to fight the Titans. Following Godzilla: King of the Monsters, this series continuation pillages everything from At The Earth’s Core to, er, The Core. Some neat moments aside, though, this is uninvolving CG monster city battle gubbins with a decent cast stranded.
An aged hotelier recounts his life story. If Keaton and Kubrick ever teamed up to make a deadpan farce prequel to The Shining, then this’d be it. Beautiful to look it, gorgeously designed and presented, with a cast in depth happy to help out. Lots of fun, basically, with Ralph Fiennes on fine form.
A detective is assigned a new partner in the aftermath of a Jigsaw copycat beginning to target dirty cops. Okay series reinvention: the procedural approach is a neat shift, and Rock is having fun, but the predictable villain and unlikable victims mean that we tend to side with the antagonist, if we invest at all.
When New York is truck by a rat-borne rage virus, the occupants of a soon-to-be-developed apartment building fight to survive. Zesty low-budget horror with a social conscience, benefitting from a Larry Cohen-ish approach to the city, and to its strong mix of genre savvy and believable characters.
Five students spend the weekend in a remote shack: demons are unwittingly raised. Gleeful no-holds-barred horror. What’s most striking is the sheer confidence on display, plus Raimi’s grasp of camerawork and the spectrum of lo-fi practical effects possibilities. Sequels, a remake, and a TV series followed, each taking a more comic route through the core material.
A dying physicist attempts to get a message to a returning spacecraft. Lop-sided though well-meant SF drama, an adaptation of Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton. The story’s wafer-thin, so has to resort to tickbox genre jeopardy done better elsewhere. A shame, as there’s a fine, quiet drama here somewhere.
Three stories each set during and in the aftermath of the same extra-terrestrial invasion event. A very mixed bag, this: moments of interest compete with awkward linking, a reliance on stock footage to give scale, and a terrible second story. Still, it’s only 80 minutes long in human time.
Evelyn and her family flee their farm and soon encounter new problems, human and alien. Direct continuation (with some prequel material) of the first movie. Generally solid, even if there’s some awkwardness with an episodic plot and story geography. Nevertheless, the playing is strong, and Krasinski is adept at both suspense and shock moments.