Nightshooters (2018, dir. Marc Price)

A low-budget film crew is trapped in a high-rise – due for demolition – by gangsters. Impressive micro-budget action comedy with some great gags, fine stuntwork and fight choreography. Lots to enjoy for genre fans; the film’s limitations work to its advantage.

Hugo (2011, dir. Martin Scorsese)

A boy lives in a railway station clock. Splendid family adventure, as well as a love letter to early cinema. Scorsese enjoying playing in a new genre and with some fresh cinematic toys, not least the remarkable use of 3D. Hugely recommended.

House (1986, dir. Steve Miner)

A blocked writer seeks refuge in his deceased aunt’s haunted house. Awkward comedy-horror with neither enough scares or laughs. Some weird moments linger, but the overly-busy screenplay (Vietnam trauma, childhood bereavement, etc) and flat TV-style lighting and direction don’t help.

Phantasm III: Lord Of The Dead (1994, dir. Don Coscarelli)

Reggie teams up with two fellow travellers to find Mike. Decent series continuation with some neat asides about middle America. For fans only by this stage, but a few striking moments for newbies as well.

Bad Times At The El Royale (2018, dir. Drew Goddard)

One night at a motel on the California/Nevada border, where no-one is who they appear to be. Twisty-turny self-conscious comedy-thriller; lots of fun if you go with it, though the movie’s stately pace may frustrate some.

Zone Troopers (1985, dir. Danny Bilson)

In 1944 Italy, a US army troop behind enemy lines find a crashed spaceship. Engaging-enough low-budget SF/horror/war hybrid, with a witty script and a keen sense of its modest production values.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation [AKA National Lampoon’s Winter Holiday] (1989, dir. Jeremiah Chechik)

The Griswolds invite their extended family for Christmas, triggering an escalating comedy of errors. The best of the Vacation movies, this balances slapstick and subversion, with enough dark moments to give the movie substance.