Godzilla (2014, dir. Gareth Edwards)

Earth is threatened by MUTOs (massive unidentified terrestrial organisms), awoken by human nuclear activity. Superior monster mayhem anchored by a fabulous visual sensibility, and by a genuine feeling of otherness between the creatures and us. Story-light, and a touch serious, but properly spectacular, nevertheless. Sequels ensued.

Deepstar Six (1988, dir. Sean S. Cunningham)

An undersea naval facility disturbs a monstrous sea creature. Slightly tatty Alien clone trying to steal The Abyss‘s thunder at the late 80s box office. A cast of TV faces and some fun-though-budget model and creature effects help pass the time. One great jumpscare, mind you, and some interesting character details in passing.

Leviathan (1989, dir. George Pan Cosmatos)

A deep-sea mining team encounters a sunken Soviet ship harbouring a mutant organism. Cheesy Alien/The Thing hybrid/ripoff, made to piggyback the release of The Abyss. Perfunctory direction and script, but a couple of neat Stan Winston-designed monster moments and a fine cast of character actors offer some entertainment.

Krull (1983, dir. Peter Yates)

A prince has to rescue a princess to save their world. Oddball SF/fantasy hybrid, riffing on a hundred different fairy tales and genre tropes. Its quest narrative/road movie structure means that it’s inevitably patchy; some dark ideas intrude, though the imagination and budget available are ill-matched, and it’s tonally all over the place.

Arthur Christmas (2011, dir. Sarah Smith)

Santa’s awkward younger son has to deliver an overlooked gift so that Christmas can be saved. Excellent, quirky and gently-subversive animation with heart and brains, delivering slapstick, pathos and some flashes of dark humour. Lots to enjoy, including shout-outs to other Aardman characters.

Matrix Revolutions [AKA The Matrix: Revolutions] (2003, dir. The Wachowskis)

Neo’s battle against Smith and The Machines comes to a head. Third and final part of the Matrix trilogy (a part four is on its way). For series completists only by this stage, though the finale delivers in terms of slightly-humourless comic-book spectacle and epic battles aplenty.

Scrooge (1935, dir. Henry Edwards)

A miser is haunted by a series of ghosts, so he may rethink his approach to Christmas and life. A charming adaptation of the oft-filmed Dickens novella A Christmas Carol, capturing a famous stage portrayal. Some lovely model effects and a keen visual sensibility; a touch of expressionism and a feel for the period on display here.