The Woman in the Window (2021, dir. Joe Wright)

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.

Here’s the trailer.

Awake (2021, dir. Mark Raso)

A dysfunctional mother tries to protect her unique child after a freak event which prevents people from sleeping. Patchy Bird Box/Children of Men variant that struggles to tell its miniseries story within a movie running time. A decent (if not always well-used) cast and a few nicely weird moments help, tho.

Here’s the trailer.

Amityville: The Awakening (2017, dir. Franck Khalfoun)

A dysfunctional family including a young man in a persistent vegetative state moves into a house with a past. Odd franchise reboot (plus a touch of Patrick) with an interesting meta approach and a strong cast. Some competent jump scares and one neat story idea make this worthwhile for genre fans.

Here’s the trailer. And another viewpoint.

Possessor (2020, dir. Brandon Cronenberg)

An assassin able to take over others’ bodies to complete her mission struggles with reality and control. Cold but impressive arthouse thriller with SF/horror elements, updating themes familiar from Cronenberg senior’s work. Great performances, though not a movie for a relaxing Friday night.

Here’s the trailer.

White Boy Rick (2018, dir. Yann Demange)

The true story of Rick Wershe, drug dealer and teen FBI informant. Intriguing spin on the rise-and-fall story, focusing on the latter; good performances, and director Demange again shows he can handle drama, action, genre, character actors and period detail.

LBJ (2017, dir. Rob Reiner)

A modest biopic of Lyndon Johnson, focusing on his succession from Kennedy. Straightforward and sympathetic to its protagonist, with good performances from a quality cast – Richard Jenkins comes off best – and only marginally-distracting (though excellent) prosthetics.

Annihilation (2018, dir. Alex Garland)

An alien invasion provokes an investigation led by a biologist. Sombre SF/horror with whiffs of Arrival and Solaris in its makeup. Genre thrills are underplayed in favour of introspection and aftermath; interesting rather than good, with a perhaps divisive ending.