Color Out of Space (2019, dir. Richard Stanley)

A meteorite causes hallucinations and mutations to spread across a New England farm. Well-made adaptation of the HP Lovecraft short story. A slow burn that earns its weirdness well, accumulating details carefully, and playing properly with madness. Played commendably straight, though with many subtle genre nods for horror fans.

The Thing (2011, dir. Matthijs van Heijningen Jr)

Members of a Norwegian Antarctic research base find an alien specimen. Prequel/remake of the 1982 John Carpenter-directed movie. Okay as far as it goes, but perfunctory plotting and reliance on CG over practical effects mean this doesn’t really compare, despite good efforts from the cast.

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Zombieland: Double Tap (2019, dir. Ruben Fleischer)

Ten years after the events of Zombieland; tensions split the group, but new threats emerge.  Horror-comedy z-sequel that offers pretty much the same as before, though with inevitably diminished returns. Fine for those who liked the first one, though there’s little here for anyone else.

VFW (2020, dir. Joe Begos)

A group of veterans defend their bar from a violent drug gang. Gory, well-cast homage to early John Carpenter flicks (and by extension Rio Bravo). A game cast have fun, everyone’s in on the joke, and it’s good to see these vets have meaty roles. Doesn’t overstay its welcome, neither.

The House of the Devil (2009, dir. Ti West)

A student takes a babysitting job for an unusual couple. Stylish and well-acted autumnal horror film, with a well-designed 70s aesthetic and some great shock moments. Simple in story terms, but works well through a combination of quirky casting, sustained dread, and third act delivery on its promise.

The Invisible Man (2020, dir. Leigh Whannell)

A domestic abuse survivor believes her supposedly dead ex-partner is still tormenting her. Superior if contrived genre flick that uses its slightly awkward premise to make some relevant points before kicking into full-on gear late on. Not sure the climax plays wholly fair, but the movie works well, in no small part due to smart direction and its lead.

Brahms: The Boy II (2020, dir. William Brent Bell)

A family recovering from trauma rent a rural property on the grounds where a tragedy occurred. Predictable bloodless jumpscare sequel that struggles to reconfigure its villain, rules and premise from Part I. The dependable Ralph Ineson glowers in support as a gamekeeper.