No Sudden Move (2021, dir. Steven Soderbergh)

Two criminals are hired for a straightforward job: matters get complicated. Excellent period drama, using the tropes of noir to critique capitalism and corporate greed. Lots to relish, not least a cast in depth, plus slick, confident direction, writing, and design. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

You’re Next (2011, dir. Adam Wingard)

A family reunion is interrupted by home-invading masked killers. Superior horror flick with touches of black comedy. Knows precisely what it is and works to fulfil expectations well: a brisk, bloody job well done.

Here’s the trailer.

Under the Silver Lake (2018, dir. David Robert Mitchell)

An LA slacker investigates a neighbour’s disappearance: he soon spirals into a web of conspiracy. In the overlap of the Hitchcock / Pynchon / Paul Thomas Anderson Venn diagram, this 2011-set shaggy dog neo-noir is more a vibe than a movie: there’s indulgent pleasures along the way, but don’t expect a cohesive story.

Here’s the trailer.

The Sacrament (2013, dir. Ti West)

A documentary crew travels to a remote religious community to conduct an interview. Its found-footage approach to its riff on the Jim Jones/Jamestown cult mass suicide works, but the film doesn’t convince in the storyline logic of its sudden dark turn. A shame, as there’s talent involved, and Gene Jones is great as the messianic Father.

Pet Sematary (2019, dir. Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer)

A doctor and family settle in a New England community with a secret. Okay second adaptation of the Stephen King novel, itself an extended riff on WW Jacobs’ “The Monkey’s Paw”. Adds some folk horror moments and enough third act story alterations to differentiate it sufficiently from the serviceable 1989 movie version.

Pet Semetery (2019, Dir. Kevin Kölsch, Dennis Widmyer)

A family discover a mysterious burial ground with hidden powers of reanimation. A well adapted movie which ably captures the horrific nastiness from the novel and plays nothing for laughs. Grim enough for a classic ‘bleak-end’ and worth your time!