The Innkeepers (2011, dir. Ti West)

Two workers stave off boredom listening for ghosts over their supposedly-haunted hotel’s last weekend of business. Slow-burn riff on The Shining, anchored by great central performances and a mounting sense of dread that pays off in straightforward but nevertheless-effective ways. Excellent sound design supports the visuals and script.

I See You (2019, dir. Adam Randall)

A cop’s dysfunctional family life takes a sinister twist during a missing child investigation. Excellent horror-thriller with a confident script and direction, relishing the ways it subverts expectations during a dazzling second half. It starts slow, but stick with it. Recommended.

Wrinkles the Clown (2019, dir. Michael Beach Nichols)

The story of an online sensation: a clown you can pay to scare your children. Solid documentary (which flirts with the extent to which it might be fictional, an art project, or something else) that explores memes, contemporary media folk devils, coulrophobia, parenting, “behavioural services”, and more.

The Hunt (2020, dir. Craig Zobel)

A group of strangers find themselves being hunted. Okay The Most Dangerous Game variant with a few plot wrinkles, not all of which work. Stronger on splatter gore moments than as the intended satire, but there’s some fun to be had, and Betty Gilpin is great in badass mode.

Unfriended: Dark Web (2018, dir. Stephen Susco)

A secondhand laptop brings danger to a group of friends. An OK sequel which adopts the same all-on-one-computer-screen real-time thriller approach as the 2014 original, though is otherwise separate. A more complicated story this time around, and effective enough, fully exploring the limitations of its premise.

Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011, dir. Sean Durkin)

A young woman struggles with memories of her recent cult commune experience. Excellent austere thriller with horror elements, with a storming cental performance and lots of interesting detail. It’s left to the viewer how much is real, which makes for tense and sometimes unsettling viewing. Recommended.

Unfriended (2014, dir. Leo Gabriadze)

Teen friends are terrorised by someone assuming the online identity of a dead classmate. Effective real-time horror-thriller, told via a single laptop screen. Plays straight with its material. Some sly subversion of teenage neuroses, but there’s some commentary here about cyberbullying, and about revenge fantasies in the digital age.

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.

Body Cam (2020, dir. Malik Vitthal)

A bereaved patrol officer investigates the cover-up of a child’s death, and the police killings that ensue. Flawed but fascinating horror/procedural that explores cop-on-black murder and the need for justice through genre-heavy allegory, drawing on J-horror and found-footage elements as well as from Candyman. Worth your 90 minutes.

Prey (2019, dir. Franck Khalfoun)

A bereaved teen, left alone on an island as part of a rehabilitation exercise, finds that he is not alone. The film goes to absurd lengths to contrive its location and scenario, and then has little productive to make of the results. Thin stuff with some debts to the TV show Lost. For Blumhouse completists only.