Evolution (2001, dir. Ivan Reitman)

A pair of misfit science teachers find an Arizona meteor strike hiding an alien invasion. OK SF comedy modelled on Reitman’s earlier Ghostbusters, down to a gunge/giant monster/Dan Ackroyd finale. Julianne Moore on sprightly pratfall form.

Red Planet (2000, dir. Antony Hoffman)

The first manned mission to Mars goes awry. Straightforward SF disaster/bodycount movie with the usual nods (astronaut called Bowman etc), though more contrivances than usual. Seriously, guys, don’t take a robot with its “military” mode enabled.

Red Heat (1988, dir. Walter Hill)

A Soviet cop comes to Chicago to extradite a prisoner. Dated but effective and brutal mismatched buddies thriller with comic touches, this doesn’t recapture the magic of Hill’s 48 Hrs, but makes great use of Arnie and of Chicago locations.

Lone Survivor (2013, dir. Peter Berg)

A covert US incursion in Afghanistan goes awry. Effective mission-gone-bad thriller which sensibly avoids close scrutiny of politics, focusing on Hawksian camaraderie and on delivering a sensational sustained action set-piece.

Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word (2016, dir. Simon Rumley)

A framed prisoner curses those responsible for his execution. Generally effective descent-into-madness horror flick, somewhat uncomfortably adapted from a documentary account of a true story. Some ingenious moments though.

The Cabin in the Woods (2012, dir. Drew Goddard)

Five students have a weekend away, but nothing is at it seems. Hugely entertaining horror deconstruction, as much about storytelling and the power of myth as it is about pulling apart old tropes for the sake of it. Absolutely recommended.

Eloise (2017, dir. Robert Legato)

A young man and accomplices break into an abandoned asylum trying to find a death certificate worth millions. An oddly-complex story is buried in this otherwise ordinary jumpscare thriller. Naturally, the asylum is haunted and worse.