A detective investigates a missing film star, leading him to enquire into a house’s tragic history. Brisk Amicusanthology horror based on Robert Bloch short stories (with one standout yarn) – four twisty tales plus a wraparound story – delivering value for money and some genre-friendly faces.
A now-disaffected Giselle and family have to work together when a magical accident means Andalasia overlaps with upstate New York. Patchy, padded belated sequel stuffed with duff songs and no real reason to exist. Maya Rudolph has fun as a baddie this time out, and that’s about it.
A suburban home is invaded by supernatural entities: an investigation begins. Tonally-awkward mashup of Hooper‘s satiric horror sensibilities and (involved co-writer and producer) Spielberg‘s everyday wonder. There’s charm in the now-period 80s setting and effects work, and a couple of great moments. Two sequels and a remake followed.
A boy magician quests with a warrior to retrieve a magic ring and avenge his father’s murder. Family-oriented sword and sorcery on a budget: sets, footage, and music recycled from other Corman productions, plus half an eye on wider 80s fantasy tropes. Dayglo and unabashed, mind, so tolerable for the undemanding. A sequel followed in 1989.
An orphaned prince, now a mercenary, battles the usurper who murdered his parents. Okay sword and sorcery flick with some ripe performances, daft ideas, and a commitment to rubbery gore and sweaty flesh throughout. The promised sequel – Tales of an Ancient Empire – emerged in 2010.
An outlaw warrior helps a princess regain her throne from an evil sorcerer. This self-aware sequel is an improvement from its predecessor, going for swashbuckling laughs and camp in equal measure. No classic, but it’s clear that there is a joke and that the cast and crew are all in on it.
An outlaw warrior quests to reunite three fabled artefacts also sought by an evil magician. Tatty and at times po-faced sword and sorcery exploitation piece, albeit with intermittent amusing asides and a couple of fun lo-fi John Buechler monster effects. Three sequels followed.
Strange and America Chavez travel the multiverse, trying to stop Scarlet Witch attaining a grimoire. Raimi brings superheroic and horror-comedy skillsets to bear on a confident slice of Marvel shenanigans: the format and aesthetics are as restricting as ever, but there’s gleeful moments nevertheless.
With Grindelwald rising, Newt Scamander and friends try to stop a war between magicals and muggles. Plot-tastic third instalment of the inconsistent Harry Potterverse prequel series. More fan service this time around, plus a focus on getting the series wrapped up in case the projected Parts 4 and 5 disapparate. Zippy, but for diehards only really.
An adolescent girl finds she carries an ancient curse. Parts are great, but the central idea – a form of lycanthropy as metaphor for puberty – is bungled, and there’s a sense we should focus on the mother, not on protagonist Mei. That said, there’s some fun Backstreet Boys parodies and an ending riffing on Ghostbusters II.