An American diplomat discovers his adopted son is the Antichrist. Influential if over-serious post-The Exorcist studio horror pic, balancing classy casting and widescreen production values with setpiece deaths. Three sequels (one for TV), a TV series, and two remakes (one US, one Tamil) followed.
An ambitious woman marries into a struggling fashion house. Loosely based on real events, this lacks narrative drive but is pleasant enough if one focuses on production design and on performances ranging from vivid to camp. It wants to be both The Godfather and The Wolf of Wall Street but falls between the two.
A suburban home is invaded by supernatural entities: an investigation begins. Tonally-awkward mashup of Hooper‘s satiric horror sensibilities and (involved co-writer and producer) Spielberg‘s everyday wonder. There’s charm in the now-period 80s setting and effects work, and a couple of great moments. Two sequels and a remake followed.
A teenager and her brother are stalked by an internet meme made flesh. Straightforward Slenderman-ish digital fears/viral challenge/ASMR jumpscare horror. Doesn’t add much to the subgenre (and the Big Bad looks a bit too like Despicable Me‘s Gru to be properly scary), but competent enough.
Assassin Fallon is lying low in Malta, but trouble follows from London. A superior sequel, its simple story a set-up for an escalating series of well-shot and choreographed fight sequences balanced with slapstick violence. Deliberately cartoony, foregrounding a keen stunt team and solid location work throughout. Recommended.
A former rodeo rider goes to Mexico to find his boss’s son. Minor road movie variant on Eastwood’s ongoing exploration of masculinity and aging. The star is the weak link, being two decades too old for the clunky script. That said, it looks and sounds great, and there’s pleasures along the well-worn way.
A boy magician quests with a warrior to retrieve a magic ring and avenge his father’s murder. Family-oriented sword and sorcery on a budget: sets, footage, and music recycled from other Corman productions, plus half an eye on wider 80s fantasy tropes. Dayglo and unabashed, mind, so tolerable for the undemanding. A sequel followed in 1989.
A family inherits a house containing a grimoire: others want the book too. Anaemic cheapskate horror spoof, focusing on classic Universal monsters, but with occasional almost-contemporary reference points like Jaws. There’s a funny running gag about owls, but that’s about it. A sequel somehow followed in 1988.
A troubled young man becomes involved with the Strodes and Michael Myers. This works better as the trilogy conclusion than as a film in its own right, though its borrowings (Christine, IT) are interesting, as is the detail given to blue-collar lives and environments. The slasher stuff feels tacked on, mind.
A psychiatrist believes she is being targeted by a curse passed chain letter-style from person to person. Sombre and slightly overlong Ring-ish horror flick, which spends too much time conflating the lead character’s own issues with the external ooga-booga. Jumpscares aplenty, though, and a strong lead performance helps no end.