House of the Witch (2017, dir. Alex Merkin)

A group of teens spend Halloween in a deserted mansion with a reputation for being haunted. Modest horror pic with some invention within the limitations of the set-up. Some gooey practical effects work and an ending that pays off well, even if the middle hour is largely plotless.

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.

Trick (2019, dir. Patrick Lussier)

A Fed and a cop become obsessed over a mass murderer who reappears each Halloween. The movie starts well, though gets bogged down by Act 3 because it can’t finesse its tricky reveal while still staging multiple splattery deaths and referencing all the horror films it can think of. Over-edited, flawed, but not uninteresting.

Haunt (2019, dir. Scott Beck & Bryan Woods)

Six students visit a pop-up Halloween haunted house attraction. Straightforward series-of-traps body count flick, riffing on Saw sequels, escape room popularity, and a bunch of other influences. Some agreeably nasty ideas, and a cast of relative unknowns (to me, anyway) that help make matters unpredictable.

31 (2016, dir. Rob Zombie)

A travelling vanload of carnival workers find themselves kidnapped and forced to play a sadistic Halloween game. Zombie’s love of sideshow freaks and 70s road movies pays dividends here, in a Saw meets Funhouse kinda way. Doesn’t quite gel, but some striking moments and imagery, plus in Richard Brake, the movies find their next Joker.

Terror of All Hallow’s Eve (2017, dir. Todd Tucker)

A bullied horror-obsessed teen conjures a trickster demon who promises to grant him his revenge wishes. By-the-numbers Halloween-set teen-oriented flick that’s keen to pay homage in different ways to early John Carpenter movies. Well-enough done within its limitations, even if it offers nothing new.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019, dir. Andre Ovredal)

One Halloween, a gang of geeky teens disturb a fabled local ghost. Starts well, but soon gets bogged down in undernourished anthology stories and a pedestrian puzzle seen a hundred times before. Interesting late 60s setting, though never made relevant to the narrative.

Halloween (2018, dir. David Gordon Green)

40 years later, Michael Myers escapes to track down Laurie Strode again. Decent-enough and respectful series reboot (ignoring all the sequels), albeit one which feels too restrained. Some awkward storytelling doesn’t help either, one lovely moment and one great child actor aside.

Boys in the Trees (2016, dir. Nicholas Verso)

A teen struggles with his past and future one Halloween. Excellent little coming-of-age drama with a supernatural edge. Slight, but beautifully shot and performed, and it doesn’t do the things lesser movies might have.