Beyond The Gates (2016, dir. Jackson Stewart)

Chalk-and-cheese brothers encounter a mysterious VHS board game that may be linked to their father’s disappearance. Jumanji meets From Beyond, kinda, in this modest 80s-throwback fantasy-horror. Starts slow, and doesn’t have the resources to realise its premise, but fun for genre fans nevertheless.

Here’s the trailer.

The Mortuary Collection (2020, Dir. Ryan Spindell)

Horror anthology with plenty of gory antics. Very well realised, with a firm nod to its 80s and 90s contemporaries and featuring an older, though still glowering, Clancy Brown – who chomps his way through with some quirky dialogue. Not too serious, but so well made its worth a watch!

The Mortuary Collection, 2020

As Above, So Below (2014, dir. John Erick Dowdle)

A driven archaeologist and crew investigate the Paris catacombs for a sacred alchemical relic. Decent location work, a photogenic cast, and a couple of unsettling early moments make promises that the movie can’t quite sustain, setting for straightforward face-your-demons stuff but no real story answers.

Here’s the trailer.

The Void (2016, dir. Steven Kostanski & Jeremy Gillespie)

A closing-down hospital comes under siege from cultists outside, and from monsters within. 80s-tastic lo-fi splattery horror, riffing on multiple John Carpenter movies and others, not least Phantasm. Plenty of fun in its own right, even if it tends to go for striking images over consistency in character and story terms.

Here’s the trailer.

And here’s Lemonsquirtle’s review.

Final Exam (1981, dir. Jimmy Huston)

A motiveless killer attacks a campus at end of semester. Curious character-focused Halloween-derived slasher pic with strong elements (it’s well-shot, builds to a decent climax, the baddie is great) but which struggles to fill its running time, substituting frat boy hijinks for a genre plot. Not uninteresting though.

Here’s the trailer.

Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005, dir. Mary Lambert)

Students inadvertently conjure the spirit of a murdered alumnus: deaths ensue. DTV threequel taking a supernatural revenge rather than a whodunnit route. While thieving from multiple genre properties (including a kill lifted from Final Destination 2) there’s some agreeably gruesome moments, plus early appearances from Kate and Rooney Mara.

Here’s the trailer.

After Midnight [AKA Something Else] (2019, dir. Jeremy Gardner & Christian Stella)

Struggling with the breakup of a long-term relationship, a man is visited nightly by a monster. Smart romantic drama/horror hybrid, with lots going for it in a lo-fi indie kinda way. Makes you wonder what Gardner and Co will come up with next. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

Alien Parasite [AKA The Dustwalker] (2020, dir. Sandra Sciberras)

A remote Australian desert township is attacked by extraterrestrial parasitic organisms. SF/horror that has a pleasing Outback Western feel and which starts well, but soon descends into badly-scripted and underpowered wholescale genre theft. A shame, as there’s glimmers of a much better film here.

Here’s the trailer.

Followed (2020, Dir. Antoine Le)

A YouTuber spends Halloween in a haunted hotel to boost his subscriber numbers. A good found footage premise that gradually falls into predictable handheld horror territory. The actors struggle with the dialogue and film logic, leaving it to meander into nonsense. Waste of an idea.

Host (2020, Dir. Rob Savage)

Six friends hold a seance via an online Zoom meeting during Covid lockdown and things go badly wrong. Hints of ‘Unfriended’ here, but a very well executed and jumpy film. Lots of great ideas and some familiar genre tropes, but also much to recommend. Well worth your time.