An adolescent girl finds she carries an ancient curse. Parts are great, but the central idea – a form of lycanthropy as metaphor for puberty – is bungled, and there’s a sense we should focus on the mother, not on protagonist Mei. That said, there’s some fun Backstreet Boys parodies and an ending riffing on Ghostbusters II.
A veteran FBI agent becomes embroiled in a conspiracy involving the murder of a politician. Straightforward thriller with a couple of minor plot wrinkles and some decent lo-fi action and stuntwork. No game-changer, but works well enough within its self-imposed limitations.
AKA Eight for Silver. Revenge flick sees bloody mayhem ensue after a curse from very wronged Gypsies in this period horror. Beautifully shot, this is a solid and dark rural horror tale with great performances from Holbrook, Reilly and Petrie. Recommended.
A dysfunctional family is menaced in their new suburb by a carnivorous folkloric creature. Perfunctory semi-professional monster flick, stretching what The Twilight Zone or Alfred Hitchcock Presents might have done in 25 minutes to bare-bones feature length. For subgenre completists only.
A young pool shark struggles to find himself in the world. Still-effective if slightly stagey drama from the Walter Tevis novel, balancing a faltering love story (perhaps too prominent in the mix) with pool hall and backroom dive bar action. Looks great, and the performances are fun throughout, not least George C Scott’s sly fixer. A sequel followed a generation later.
A boy being raised by an abusive brother conjures a witch. Patchily-effective horror that doesn’t quite pull together its supernatural and abuse drama strands. Nevertheless, it looks good, maximises its resources, and has an effective central child performance. Plus the great Dan Hedaya pops up in support.
A bullied 12-year-old is visited by his older self, now a time fugitive. Cheerful if overstuffed SF comedy, brazen in its lifts from everything 80s from ET to Firefox via Return of the Jedi. A decent cast play to their strengths and the movie gets by on its own through having its heart more or less on its sleeve throughout.
An adopted documentarian traces her birth family to an Amish community: she makes a film. Otherwise-unrelated reboot of the long-running found-footage horror series. Takes its time, but there’s some okay supernatural stuff among the usual jumpscares and format contrivances (a Christopher Landon script helps). An unfamiliar cast helps.
Eddie Brock unwittingly infects a condemned killer with a symbiote. Shouty sequel which is at least brief, splashy, and has a committed central performance. Plus, it feels like a comic. Unfortunately, it’s also unfunny, nigh plotless, and wastes some considerable onscreen (mostly Brit) talent.
An isolated rural home-schooled teen discovers she is from a line of witches. Smart, austere Catskills-set horror that looks good, is well-contained, and riffs engagingly on Carrie in doing so. An impressive, minimalist feature: recommended.