Jaws (1975, dir. Steven Spielberg)

A coastal resort is threatened by a predatory great white shark. Peerless proto-blockbuster and inventor of the summer event movie, Jaws retains its ability to thrill and impress. Character, action, location shooting, direction and a semi-improvised approach to dialogue are counterpointed by a terrific score. Sequels of diminishing quality followed.

Here’s the trailer.

Alien vs. Predator [AKA AvP: Alien vs. Predator] (2004, dir. Paul WS Anderson)

A mysterious Antarctic pyramid structure is linked to ancient alien hunting rites. Comic book-style franchise mashup with the focus on action and startling images rather than on SF horror. Not for purists, but well-resourced entertainment nevertheless with a stirring lead and great casting in depth.

Here’s the trailer.

Don’t Let Go (2019, dir. Jacob Aaron Estes)

A detective races to save the life again of his niece, who is contacting him through time from before her recent murder. Odd timeslip procedural (a cousin to Deja Vu) that succeeds if you go with its premise. Excellent performances and committed direction help no end.

Here’s the trailer.

Demon Seed (1977, Dir. Donald Cammell)

Strange yet compelling sci-fi/horror film based on the Dean R Koontz novel, where a computer AI has designs on its designers wife. Directed with peculiar attention to detail and a uncomfortable tone, rough around the edges but still watchable.

The Trailer:

Demon Seed Trailer 1977

The Mummy (1959, dir. Terence Fisher)

A group of English archaeologists are targeted for revenge killings by an Egyptian priest. Dated, stage-bound, though still enjoyable minor Hammer horror movie, assembling its script from across the Universal flicks. Interestingly, the villain’s motives now appear perfectly reasonable, even if his methods are extreme.

Project Power (2020, dir. Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman)

Multiple parties search for the source of a New Orleans street drug, which grants a superpower for five minutes. Flashy and confident if superficial mashup of Limitless and the 70s TV show Gemini Man. Plenty of incidental fun tho, especially in the first two acts.

The Wind (2018, dir. Emma Tammi)

A remote homestead may be plagued by a demon. Good-looking and well-played psychological horror, making effective use of location shooting and its Western genre context. Tricksiness with time and character motivations limit its impact, but there’s more than enough here to want more from writer and director.

The Final Wish (2018, dir. Timothy Woodward, Jr)

A bereaved young man finds his luck has changed for the better, but at a cost. Patchy The Monkey’s Paw variant, its magpie script lifting business from all over including, oddly, The Omen. Some of it works, but we’ve seen this done more confidently before. Old hands Lin Shaye and Tony Todd help though.

The Debt Collector 2 [AKA Debt Collectors] (2020, dir. Jesse V Johnson)

French and Sue go to Las Vegas on the promise of a payday. DTV martial arts comedy-thriller sequel that’s a cut above. The mix of bickering and bar fights as before, though there’s some panache in the direction, the action choreography, and the chemistry between the leads. Recommended for genre fans.

The Banana Splits Movie (2019, dir. Danishka Esterhazy)

Animatronic children’s TV characters from a long-running series come to murderous life during a show recording. A couple of plot niggles aside, this is generally a fun revisiting of the 60s show, updated a la Fantasy Island via Westworld. Could be darker in places, but matters are set up well for sequels.