When New York is truck by a rat-borne rage virus, the occupants of a soon-to-be-developed apartment building fight to survive. Zesty low-budget horror with a social conscience, benefitting from a Larry Cohen-ish approach to the city, and to its strong mix of genre savvy and believable characters.
A cop, a photographer, and a charity worker each investigate the disappearances of New York street people. Quirky horror-comedy with an anti-authoritarian streak. Benefits from location shooting and a solid cast in depth, even if the story is slight. A sequel followed.
An extraterrestrial ambassador arrives on Earth to determine humanity’s fate. Awkward remake of the 1950s SF classic which struggles to update Cold War paranoia with contemporary environmental threats. An over-reliance on CG spectacle and contrived family drama doesn’t help. Star Reeves is good, though.
Unorthodox priests, who sin to make themselves attractive to demons, come up against a powerful foe. Scrappy horror-comedy that isn’t as shocking as it wants to be. Game playing from a talented cast helps, but this is a grab-bag of other, better movies.
A struggling ex-soldier holds Central Park hostage to gain attention for veterans’ issues. Odd mix of post-First Blood action and issues-based drama, this talky oddball siege flick has a lot going for it, even if it feels compromised in its execution.
A New Yorker’s pet dog has to cope with a new arrival, and then getting lost in the city. Okay animation that dispenses with its potentially-subversive title in the first few minutes for something more linear and straightforward. Bright, though, with some good gags. Fun while it’s on. A sequel soon followed.
Camp counsellors in upstate New York invoke an urban legend: an axe-wielding maniac who killed his family, and who’ll come for anyone who calls his name. Riffing on the same source material as The Burningand others, Madman is a perfunctory entry in the slasher subgenre, though with a couple of interesting visual moments, and an odd downbeat ending.
A motorcycle courier foils an assassination attempt on a key witness. Genuinely terrible action thriller, shot around limited guest star availability and locations, padded with stock footage and nonsensical city-at-night driving shots of the Thames. Saddled with an abject script, Kurylenko does what she can.
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.
Three New York women take over their imprisoned husbands’ protection racket. Lovingly-designed but superficial 70s-set crime drama based on a graphic novel, with strong performances and a great cast in depth. The tick-box script is the issue; a poorly-handled FBI subplot doesn’t help either.