The Postcard Killings (2020, dir. Danis Tanović)

A detective crosses Europe on the trail of serial killers responsible for his daughter’s death. Tickbox post-Lecter thriller (from a James Patterson novel) held together by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and – initially – some strong moments. It collapses, though, under the weight of ho-hum twists and a throwaway ending.

Here’s the trailer.

Is That Black Enough for You?!? (2022, dir. Elvis Mitchell)

A history of Black representation in US cinema, with a focus on the 1970s. An excellent and detailed chronological overview. Lots to think about here, and fresh light on relative obscurities offered. Clips and interviews galore. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

Poker Face (2022, dir. Russell Crowe)

A high-stakes poker game among old friends gets out of hand. It’s messy (takes an age to get going) and both sweaty but not quite sleazy enough. At 80 minutes plus credits, it’s only just a movie too. There’s a solid half hour in the middle though: Benedict Hardie is especially fun.

Here’s the trailer.

Lost Bullet 2 [AKA Balle Perdue 2] (2022, dir. Guillaume Pierret)

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.

Here’s the trailer.

Morbius (2022, dir. Daniel Espinosa)

After experiments backfire, a scientist develops vampiric abilities. Ho-hum second-tier Marvel adaptation, halfway between Blade and Venom, and much less fun than either. A decent cast struggles to make much of the material, which is standard antihero origin story stuff.

Here’s the trailer.

See How They Run (2022, dir. Tom George)

A murder occurs during a performance of The Mousetrap: an investigation begins. Ever-so-slightly pleased with itself mashup of allsorts – The Real Inspector Hound, Noises Off, Agatha Christie, even a Brian de Palma moment or two – that’s nevertheless brisk, funny, well-played, and looks great.

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.

Holocaust 2000 [AKA Rain Of Fire / The Chosen] (1977, dir. Alberto De Martino)

An industrialist leading a nuclear power initiative believes that there are satanic forces supporting his plan. Gleeful The Omen ripoff, complete with a rich cast of second-string familiar faces, Kirk Douglas naked, fun though variable effects work, a Morricone score, and no shame at all.

Here’s the trailer.

The Final Conflict [AKA The Omen III: The Final Conflict] (1981, dir. Graham Baker)

The now-adult Thorn is targeted for assassination. Muted conclusion to the trilogy (a reboot for TV was later attempted), with lots of pulpy elements (a massacre of the innocents, a monk hit-squad, the second coming) not really coming together. Some sly moments, though, and it’s well shot.

Here’s the trailer.

Damien: Omen II (1978, dir. Don Taylor [and Mike Hodges])

The now-adolescent Damien Thorn discovers who he is: and so do others. The others, inevitably, die. More of the same, though with conspiracy and related angles added, if not altogether cohesively integrated. Still, there’s a death every few minutes, and a great Jerry Goldsmith score. The Final Conflict soon followed.

Here’s the trailer.