Sunshine (2007, dir. Danny Boyle)

A last-ditch effort to restart the Sun through deploying a nuclear device goes awry. Handsome though derivative SF that can’t decide if it’s an arthouse piece or a mainstream thriller. In trying to be both, and in quoting from Alien, 2001, 2010, Silent Running, Event Horizon, Dark Star and others along the way, it struggles for clarity and distinctiveness.

El hoyo (The Platform) (2019, Dir. Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia)

A man locked in a multi-level vertical prison has limited food and time before he randomly changes floors. Brilliantly sinister and satirical, this fantastic looking film is tightly scripted, well acted and amazingly well shot. A definite must see on Netflix.

Birth of the Living Dead [AKA Year of the Living Dead] (2013, dir. Rob Kuhns)

The making and impact of George A Romero’s 1968 horror film Night of the Living Dead. Genial documentary, focused on an interview with Romero himself plus genre stalwarts such as Larry Fessenden, making some straightforward though nevertheless valid points about the film’s counterculture origins and its social commentary, as well as on its genre status.

The Thing (2011, dir. Matthijs van Heijningen Jr)

Members of a Norwegian Antarctic research base find an alien specimen. Prequel/remake of the 1982 John Carpenter-directed movie. Okay as far as it goes, but perfunctory plotting and reliance on CG over practical effects mean this doesn’t really compare, despite good efforts from the cast.

Another viewpoint wanted? We got you.

Feats First: The Life and Music of Lowell George (2015, dir. Eliot Riddle)

A documentary exploration of the life and music of Little Feat frontman Lowell George. Overlong and reverent but still engrossing overview of the career and life of George, linking him and Little Feat to the LA of the 60s and 70s. Niche, inevitably, but well-researched and with plenty of input from the likes of Van Dyke Parks.

Doctor Sleep (2019, dir. Mike Flanagan)

Danny Torrance, now an adult, is compelled to help a teenage girl hunted by a vampiric clan. Episodic but smart balancing of the Stephen King novel, its predecessor and the Kubrick movie, in a 2001/2010 style. Few concessions to newbies, but this is clever, respectful filmmaking with great performances and nods to Near Dark along the way.

Haunt (2019, dir. Scott Beck & Bryan Woods)

Six students visit a pop-up Halloween haunted house attraction. Straightforward series-of-traps body count flick, riffing on Saw sequels, escape room popularity, and a bunch of other influences. Some agreeably nasty ideas, and a cast of relative unknowns (to me, anyway) that help make matters unpredictable.