Gatlopp: Hell Of A Game (2022, dir. Alberto Belli)

Four old friends play a mysterious drinking game: matters soon get out of hand. Fun little riff on Zathura / Jumanji with a little escape room stuff thrown in. At its strongest when focused on the game itself (its weakest in engineering soapy issues to be addressed), but there’s talent and some confidence on display here.

Here’s the trailer.

Werewolves Within (2021, dir. Josh Ruben)

A small snowbound town comes under attack: a siege develops. Sprightly comedy-horror with a whodunnit element. A strong cast of comic performers helps, as does a deft script. Based on a video game: maybe the best adaptation of a game yet.

Here’s the trailer.

Saturday the 14th (1981, dir. Howard R Cohen)

A family inherits a house containing a grimoire: others want the book too. Anaemic cheapskate horror spoof, focusing on classic Universal monsters, but with occasional almost-contemporary reference points like Jaws. There’s a funny running gag about owls, but that’s about it. A sequel somehow followed in 1988.

Here’s the trailer.

C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D. (1989, dir. David Irving)

Teenagers steal a cadaver, and unwittingly cause a zombie outbreak. Generally sprightly loose sequel, played squarely for laughs this time out. A surprising amount of it works, even if the loose plot is little more than a frame for gag sequences. Contains one of the few John Huston jokes in horror cinema.

Here’s the trailer.

Hubie Halloween (2020, dir. Steven Brill)

Salem’s self-appointed guardian of Halloween tries to protect the holiday despite his many bullies. A messy but fun comedy-horror from the Sandler production line. Won’t win many converts, but sly movie jokes, some heart, and a few WTF moments from a game cast all help.

Here’s the trailer.

The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020, dir. McG [Joseph McGinty])

Two years after the traumatic events of the first film, Judah finds himself still struggling to be believed. Zippy sequel that expands on, rather than rehashes, its predecessor (which it’d be useful to see immediately prior). More gore slapstick than horror flick, this is a fun and pleasantly inconsequential ride.

Here’s the trailer.

Aquaslash (2019, dir. Renaud Gauthier)

High school graduates partying at a run-down waterpark are targeted for murder. This 80s throwback horror gets a lot of its incidentals right, but takes an age to deliver on its single promise, and ultimately makes little sense. Still, there’s some good work here, even if this is a solitary idea for a short stretched to feature-length.

Two Heads Creek (2019, dir. Jesse O’Brien)

Adopted twins flee Brexit Britain searching for their birth mother, apparently living in a remote Australian township. Scattershot horror-comedy in need of a second script-editing opinion. Competently made, and with glimmers of focus and satire, making the film all the more frustrating to sit through.

Sky Sharks (2020, dir. Mark Fehse)

Zombie Nazis riding jet-powered sharks terrorize the skies. Alternating between good-looking and tatty, this mashup of the likes of Dead Snow, Iron Sky and the Sharknado franchise is clearly a labour of love. However, there’s neither a story or any characters to care about, and swathes are clumsy, puerile, and tedious.

Cut (2000, dir. Kimble Rendall)

Murders recommence when film students attempt to complete a supposedly cursed unfinished horror movie. Passable low-budget Aussie mashup of Scream and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, with a few quirky kills and a fun Molly Ringwald performance.