Day Shift (2022, dir. JJ Perry)

A down-on-his-luck LA vampire hunter races against time to save his family. Splashy hybrid of horror-comedy and buddy thriller: From Dusk Till Dawn and John Wick are key influences: the plot is an excuse to hang a series of fun fight sequences on. Scott Adkins and Snoop Dogg (it’s that kinda film) pop up for good measure, and there’s even a Hellzapoppin gag.

Here’s the trailer.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022, dir. Sam Raimi)

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.

Here’s the trailer

Black Friday (2021, dir. Casey Tebo)

Workers at a big box toy store come under siege from alien-infested zombie-ish shoppers. Sprightly modest 80s horror-comedy homage to The Thing and The Blob via Romero. Doesn’t quite hang together, but there’s some decent jokes plus game playing from DTV legends Bruce Campbell and Michael Jai White.

Here’s the trailer.

Freaky (2020, dir. Christopher Landon)

An awkward teenager and a serial killer swap bodies. Superior horror-comedy, maximising the potential of its Freaky Friday-meets-high school slasher conceit, along the lines of Landon’s earlier mashup Happy Death Day. Plenty of fun, a few straightforward though relevant points made, and zippy lead performances help no end.

Here’s the trailer.

The Evil Dead (1982, dir. Sam Raimi)

Five students spend the weekend in a remote shack: demons are unwittingly raised. Gleeful no-holds-barred horror. What’s most striking is the sheer confidence on display, plus Raimi’s grasp of camerawork and the spectrum of lo-fi practical effects possibilities. Sequels, a remake, and a TV series followed, each taking a more comic route through the core material.

Here’s the trailer.

Tales From The Lodge (2019, dir. Abigail Blackmore and others)

Three couples reunite to scatter the ashes of a friend from their university days. The horror anthology meets a Big Chill/Return of the Secaucus Seven/Peter’s Friends-style relationships flick. A strong cast of UK TV comic faces helps, though the movie falls apart when the framing narrative plays its awkward, clumsy hand.

Here’s the trailer.

C.H.U.D. (1984, dir. Douglas Cheek)

A cop, a photographer, and a charity worker each investigate the disappearances of New York street people. Quirky horror-comedy with an anti-authoritarian streak. Benefits from location shooting and a solid cast in depth, even if the story is slight. A sequel followed.

Here’s the trailer.

Willy’s Wonderland (2021, dir. Kevin Lewis)

A laconic drifter battles possessed animatronics in a children’s amusement attraction. While not quite as much fun as its Five Nights at Freddy’s-ish premise indicates, this mashup of The Banana Splits Movie and Cabin In The Woods just about earns its keep. Cage is Cage as ever, and here that’s a good thing.

Here’s the trailer.

The Monster Squad (1987, dir. Fred Dekker)

A group of monster-obsessed pre-teens have to face off against a gallery of Universal Studios villains. Straightforward and very contrived sub-Spielbergian kid adventure post-ET/The Goonies. Some of it works well, and the creature effects evidence love, but too much is perfunctory tick-box stuff that’s being rushed through.

Here’s the trailer.

Hellbenders [AKA Hellbenders 3D] (2012, dir. JT Petty)

Unorthodox priests, who sin to make themselves attractive to demons, come up against a powerful foe. Scrappy horror-comedy that isn’t as shocking as it wants to be. Game playing from a talented cast helps, but this is a grab-bag of other, better movies.

Here’s the trailer.