Freaky (2020, dir. Christopher Landon)

An awkward teenager and a serial killer swap bodies. Superior horror-comedy, maximising the potential of its Freaky Friday-meets-high school slasher conceit, along the lines of Landon’s earlier mashup Happy Death Day. Plenty of fun, a few straightforward though relevant points made, and zippy lead performances help no end.

Here’s the trailer.

Witch Hunt (2021, dir. Elle Carnahan)

In an alt-America where witchcraft is both real and outlawed by the Constitution, a family works to protect witches. Somewhat awkward allegory with some strong ideas that it doesn’t quite know what to do with. Worth your time, though not for everyone: not the genre pic it first appears.

Here’s the trailer.

47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019, dir. Johannes Roberts)

Four schoolfriends are trapped in an underwater ruin. Passable teen-oriented thematic sequel. Doesn’t have the singular purpose of its predecessor, and too much is demanded of an inexperienced cast. No great shakes in the scares department, either, though subgenre fans will have an at least passable time.

Here’s the trailer.

Chaos Walking (2021, dir. Doug Liman [and Fede Alvarez])

On a world where male thoughts are visualised, a young man helps a stranded female astronaut. Ham-fisted loose adaptation of Patrick Ness’s The Knife of Never Letting Go. OK performances help, but a cut-and-shut script and dangling subplots evidence the movie’s troubled production.

Here’s the trailer.

Fear Street: 1666 [AKA Fear Street Part Three: 1666] (2021, dir. Leigh Janiak)

The final part of the trilogy: events and characters between 1994 and 1666 are linked. A messy finale saddled with an offstage villain, variable accents, a weird lack of interest in its potentially-good ideas, and an hour of padding. Not great at all: precisely one interesting visual moment.

Here’s the trailer.

C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D. (1989, dir. David Irving)

Teenagers steal a cadaver, and unwittingly cause a zombie outbreak. Generally sprightly loose sequel, played squarely for laughs this time out. A surprising amount of it works, even if the loose plot is little more than a frame for gag sequences. Contains one of the few John Huston jokes in horror cinema.

Here’s the trailer.

Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (1998, dir. Steve Miner)

Two decades after the original killings Laurie Strode must face Michael again. Ignoring all but parts 1 and 2, this post-Scream series revival is a competent, well-produced (and brisk) entry with knowing touches, though it struggles to balance teen soap operatics with a more interesting story of survivor guilt, alcoholism and catharsis.

Here’s the trailer.

The New Mutants (2020, dir. Josh Boone)

A young woman finds herself in a secure institution with four other teens, each with mutant powers. Horror-infused X-Men spinoff with a young adult spin: OK as far as it goes, though it’s talky, unfocused, and doesn’t really have a plot. Feels more like a TV series pilot than a self-contained movie (two sequels were planned).

Here’s the trailer.

The Lost Boys (1987, Dir. Joel Schumacher)

A family moves to a new coastal town for a fresh start and discover it has a vampire gang running wild. Classic 80s in look, soundtrack and cast. There is much to like here in terms of style and pace and it never takes itself too seriously. A strong cast seals the deal. Watch it for old times sake!

The Lost Boys (1987, Dir. Joel Schumacher)