Willow (1988, dir. Ron Howard)

An apprentice sorcerer has to protect a prophecied infant saviour from an evil witch. A patchy grab-bag of fantasy tropes enlivened by some spirited playing, a keen visual sense, and some then-groundbreaking effects work. No classic, but OK for undemanding genre fans.

I Kill Giants (2017, dir. Anders Walter)

A misfit teen may or may not be protecting her town from marauding giants. Quirky but generally effective fantasy drama that neatly balances difference and magic. Unusual design and a great central performance, plus unsentimental handling all help.

Apostle (2018, dir. Gareth Evans)

A vengeful brother tries to rescue his kidnapped sister from an island cult. Splendid British Western/The Wicker Man hybrid, parts folk horror and grand guignol. Not for everyone, that’s for sure, but great if you go with it.

Want a second opinion? Here’s Lemonsquirtle’s point of view.

 

The House With a Clock in its Walls (2018, dir. Eli Roth)

An orphaned boy comes to live with his warlock uncle. Generally sprightly horror flick for children with good central performances and neat jumpscares from genre stalwart Roth. A bit busy, storywise; could have used some time to breathe. Fun tho.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018, dir. David Yates)

After Grindelwald escapes, Newt Scamander is asked to track him and the still-alive Clarence down. Patchy Part II of the Harry Potter prequel series has too much set-up and not enough story, and some awkwardness with character and plot inconsistencies. For indulgent fans only.

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 IV: Oblivion (1998, dir. Don Coscarelli)

Reggie tracks down Mike, after the events of part III. Low-budget series continuation – reliant on re-used footage from earlier instalments – which tries to freshen things up by adding a prequel element, though the mix is pretty much the same as before. Nothing for newbies here.