Wish Upon (2017, dir. John R. Leonetti)

A misfit teen finds a Chinese puzzle box which can grant seven wishes. Pedestrian rehash of The Monkey’s Paw (plus shades of Hellraiser and Final Destination) which struggles to find new things to say, or novel ways to kill people. Weak sauce.

It [AKA It: Chapter One](2017, dir. Andy Muschietti)

A gang of misfit teens battle a supernatural beast which feasts on their hometown once a generation. Excellent version of the ‘then’ portion of the Stephen King novel (1950s in the book, now 1989), with good performances and effective scares all round. Recommended.

Want another perspective? Here’s Xussia’s take.

Family Blood (2018, dir. Sonny Mallhi)

A mother with addiction issues is turned into a vampire. Low-key vampirism-as-addiction drama which looks great, but too often mistakes sullenness for seriousness, and which doesn’t invest its characters with much depth or motivation.

The Relic (1996, dir. Peter Hyams)

An ancient creature is let loose in a Chicago museum. Fun SF/horror monster movie with its tongue in its cheek, supported by good casting and by director Hyams’ great cinematography. No classic, but a good job well done.

Camera Obscura (2017, dir. Aaron B Koontz)

A Gulf War veteran with PSTD returns to photography, but soon starts to doubt reality. Arty horror, initially with something interesting to say about PTSD, but which soon gets lost in reality/illusion and in awkward, overly-complex and slow storytelling.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016, dir. André Øvredal)

A father and son pair of coroners investigate a mysterious body found at a crime scene. The third act doesn’t quite deliver on the promise of the first two, but for the most part this is a terrific claustrophobic two-hander balancing gore and intrigue throughout.

Want another review? Here’s Lemonsquirtle’s tuppence-worth.

 

Annabelle: Creation (2017, dir. David F. Sandberg)

A group of orphaned girls find a possessed doll in their new home. Superior prequel to Annabelle; this jump-scare offshoot from The Conjuring has some flaws in its script, but delivers in both period setting, design and some neat boo moments.