House on Haunted Hill (1999, dir. William Malone)

A theme park owner hosts a birthday party in a supposedly-haunted ex-asylum. Remake of the Vincent Price flick. More a premise than a movie, though there’s some fun to be had before it kinda falls apart, not least in Geoffrey Rush and Famke Janssen out-camping each other, and in some neat FX touches. A DTV sequel followed.

Here’s the trailer

Freejack (1992, dir. Geoff Murphy)

A race driver is time-jumped to near-future 2009, where his body has been requisitioned for transplant purposes. Ramshackle chase thriller with SF trappings. Some fun in the casting and in odd moments, but this is nevertheless tatty and derivative: a troubled production, as this was, can leave scar tissue.

Here’s the trailer.

What Keeps You Alive (2018, dir. Colin Minihan)

A woman taking a first anniversary break with her wife discovers she is psychopathic. While some of the story beats are a little off, this is nevertheless a well-sustained and confident variation on the backwoods survival thriller. Decent performances, solid direction and some quirky moments all help.

Here’s the trailer.

The Little Things (2021, dir. John Lee Hancock)

A veteran cop and an ambitious detective collaborate to catch a serial killer. Well-made and acted if slightly over-familiar neo-noir with procedural aspects. Its deliberate pace and quiet style may not be for everyone, but Denzel Washington is as good as ever and LA is made to feel unfamiliar: no easy feat.

Here’s the trailer.

Jolt (2021, dir. Tanya Wexler)

A woman who controls her extreme anger issues via a high-tech electrical device investigates a murder. Poor sub-Crank action-comedy: a decent cast helps (several in one-set cameos), but (some OK) quips, poor action, over-direction, the world’s most guessable villain, and stagey visuals don’t. Feels like a TV pilot: has that Nu Boyana aesthetic.

Here’s the trailer.

Dracula [AKA Horror of Dracula] (1958, dir. Terence Fisher)

Vampire hunters tackle an ancient evil. Innovative, brisk and for-its-time revolutionary version of the gothic horror classic, here telescoped admirably into a pacy visual thriller. Played straight, fluidly directed and still influential. Recommended. Eight sequels followed.

Here’s the trailer.

Rust Creek (2018, dir. Jen McGowan)

A young woman takes a wrong turn and ends up on the run from a pair of backwoods Kentucky meth dealers. An interesting take on a well-worn premise, spending as much time on character and relationships as on in-peril thriller/horror melodramatics. Lots of promise here from all involved.

Here’s the trailer.

A Quiet Place Part II (2020, Dir. John Krasinski)

A worthwhile sequel that follows the events of A Quiet Place. A tad more fleshed out and confident, this film eventually borrows too many tropes from other movies and video games – particularly the latter – and lacks the plot to deliver on them. Still a great central premise – worth watching.

The Woman in the Window (2021, dir. Joe Wright)

An agoraphobic and alcoholic psychiatrist believes she witnesses a murder. A strong cast and at-times confident direction can’t save this attempt to emulate a De Palma-ish emulation in turn of Hitchcock. A silly script is the main issue: good actors have little to do, though Amy Adams clearly relishes the chance to play vulnerable. Copycat did this better.

Here’s the trailer.

Big Sky (2015, dir. Jorge Michel Grau)

A young woman with an agoraphobic condition is forced to get help in the desert when her vehicle is attacked. Muddled little thriller with some trippy elements. It can’t focus on the core story: the result is scattershot where it should be direct.

Here’s the trailer.