Terror Train (1980, dir. Roger Spottiswoode)

A chartered train hosting a student fancy dress party has a vengeful killer on board. Okay though somewhat tepid slasher pic, enlivened by excellent photography, a decent Jamie Lee Curtis performance, and a sense of production value. A young David Copperfield performs tricks in support.

Here’s the trailer.

Halloween: Resurrection (2002, dir. Rick Rosenthal)

Students spend Halloween night in the Myers house as part of a live-streamed event. None-more-early-00s direct sequel to H20. While the early internet/surveillance stuff is now interesting/nostalgic, this is poor even by franchise standards: one kill, though, references Peeping Tom.

Here’s the trailer.

Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (1998, dir. Steve Miner)

Two decades after the original killings Laurie Strode must face Michael again. Ignoring all but parts 1 and 2, this post-Scream series revival is a competent, well-produced (and brisk) entry with knowing touches, though it struggles to balance teen soap operatics with a more interesting story of survivor guilt, alcoholism and catharsis.

Here’s the trailer.

Halloween II (1981, dir. Rick Rosenthal)

A young woman continues to be stalked by an implacable killer. Straightforward slasher sequel (albeit with some very effective moments) continuing directly from the superior 1978 original. Has to work hard to justify itself: soap and mythic elements intrude in lieu of story/that much for Jamie Lee Curtis to do.

Here’s the trailer.

Prom Night (1980, dir. Paul Lynch)

A masked killer stalks teens at their high school prom. Early entrant in the slasher subgenre, this mixes elements of whodunnit and giallo, an escaped psycho, plus a childhood tragedy to be avenged. Some arty moments in its direction; the film spawned four sequels and a remake.

Knives Out (2019, dir. Rian Johnson)

A famed mystery writer is killed; an unconventional detective arrives. Sharp, witty and well-constructed comedy-thriller, a love letter to Agatha Christie and to the likes of Deathtrap and Sleuth. Bags of fun, with a game cast of character actors all enjoying themselves. Recommended.

Halloween (2018, dir. David Gordon Green)

40 years later, Michael Myers escapes to track down Laurie Strode again. Decent-enough and respectful series reboot (ignoring all the sequels), albeit one which feels too restrained. Some awkward storytelling doesn’t help either, one lovely moment and one great child actor aside.