Dracula seeks revenge on the modern-day Van Helsings. This series reboot revisits plot elements from Taste The Blood Of… and … Has Risen but sets them in then-contemporary Chelsea. The swinging London stuff was dated in ’72, but this is still a brisk romp with a time-capsule attraction and some grittier asides.
A revived Count seeks revenge on the priest whose exorcism has barred him from his castle. Continuing from Dracula: Prince of Darkness, this series entry doesn’t offer much that’s new, but Francis’s direction is fun, and a dull second act leads to a lively climax.
A woman taking a first anniversary break with her wife discovers she is psychopathic. While some of the story beats are a little off, this is nevertheless a well-sustained and confident variation on the backwoods survival thriller. Decent performances, solid direction and some quirky moments all help.
Vampire hunters tackle an ancient evil. Innovative, brisk and for-its-time revolutionary version of the gothic horror classic, here telescoped admirably into a pacy visual thriller. Played straight, fluidly directed and still influential. Recommended. Eight sequels followed.
A remote village is beset by a series of unexplained deaths. Part Brazilian political allegory, part weird western, part body-count horror with SF touches, Bacarau is tremendous throughout, looks great, makes you think, and has Udo Kier on fine form. Recommended.
The final part of the trilogy: events and characters between 1994 and 1666 are linked. A messy finale saddled with an offstage villain, variable accents, a weird lack of interest in its potentially-good ideas, and an hour of padding. Not great at all: precisely one interesting visual moment.
A horror anthology, linked by the contents of a video tape. Overlong (there’s a short movie too much) and at times repetitive, this is nevertheless a generally solid found-footage horror compilation, even if the dudebro-ness on display doesn’t always translate into critique. Two standout stories and the interesting credits (acting and direction) make it worth your while. Sequels followed.
Young adult counsellors at a summer camp are targeted by one of their number who becomes possessed by a vengeful witch. Patchy middle instalment of the horror trilogy, awkwardly juxtaposing slasher pastiche with larger-scale storytelling. Makes the mistake of not grounding its horrors: good playing can’t disguise structural issues and some stupid ideas.
Teens in a rundown community are attacked by the latest incarnation of a cyclic horror. The first of a linked trilogy, this feels like a feature-length series opener, though settles after lumpen exposition into an OK riff on Scream via IT, while promising a more involved story. A fresh cast helps, though there’s nothing particularly new here.
An agoraphobic and alcoholic psychiatrist believes she witnesses a murder. A strong cast and at-times confident direction can’t save this attempt to emulate a De Palma-ish emulation in turn of Hitchcock. A silly script is the main issue: good actors have little to do, though Amy Adams clearly relishes the chance to play vulnerable. Copycat did this better.