A young stepmother-to-be is isolated one Christmas with her partner’s children. Well-sustained psychological horror, strong on atmosphere. Kinda goes where you’d expect, and there’s some clunky exposition initially, but gets credit for pushing its core idea to an agreeably nasty limit.
An accordion-playing musical parodist finds that fame has its price. A solid comedy made with affection, effectively satirising the pop biopic genre while both lauding and appreciating the specific pleasures associated with its subject. Strength in depth in cameos too, plus some niche gags along the way.
A year after Lost Bullet, Lino has a chance to get justice for the deaths of his mentor and brother. Amped-up sequel delivering as before in close combat, chases, reversals, and vehicular mayhem. A slightly lighter touch this time: sterling genre (SF and western touches in the mix) entertainment all the same.
A decade after Jackass 3D, Johnny Knoxville and friends old and new assemble for more lo-fi stunt stupidity. More of the same, though with the added pleasure of age playing its part. The commitment to slapstick male genital abuse throughout is kinda impressive. Jackass 4.5 soon followed.
A boy with autism is stalked by a digital demon. Well-sustained low-key horror pic, deliberately mashing up early (CE3K, E.T., Poltergeist) Amblin/Spielberg and the likes of The Babadook. Finds plenty of ways to make phones and TVs menacing without labouring allegories about screen time. Recommended.
A rundown cinema’s staff and patrons are targeted by an eyeball-obsessed killer. Fun Montevideo-set love letter to 70s giallo and 80s slasher pics, as well as a paean to the fleapit. Doesn’t do much more than pay homage, but it’s nevertheless a brisk and stylish ride once it gets going.
An American tourist in Greece goes on the run after he becomes embroiled in a conspiracy. Somewhat baggy old-school (think Frantic) Euro-thriller mixing up kidnapping, corrupt cops, and political protests. The location work is great, but there’s a lack of urgency and – Boyd Holbrook aside – no sense that this is a genre movie.
Detectives struggle with a series of murders. Based very loosely on real-world unsolved crimes, this noir-ish thriller can’t decide whether to go for procedural or for obsessive cop angst. It tries both, and so doesn’t gel. Decent performances from an up-and-coming cast and an OK look make this a not-uninteresting curio though.
A horror anthology, linked by the contents of a video tape. Overlong (there’s a short movie too much) and at times repetitive, this is nevertheless a generally solid found-footage horror compilation, even if the dudebro-ness on display doesn’t always translate into critique. Two standout stories and the interesting credits (acting and direction) make it worth your while. Sequels followed.
A documentary about now-veteran stuntmen from the UK. Straightforward but fascinating tribune to the likes of Ray Austin, Vic Armstrong, Jim Dowdall, Rocky Taylor, Nosher Powell and Paul Weston: familiar names – if not faces – from TV and movies. A niche and worthwhile, backed with plenty of clips and a a geezerish Ray Winstone narration.