The First Purge (2018, dir. Gerard McMurray)

Staten Island is chosen as a Purge trial zone; residents have to fight to survive the night. Effective prequel (and fourth in the series), upping the social commentary and overtly satiric elements while drawing also on blaxploitation and action/horror tropes. Perhaps the best in the series yet.

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.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016, dir. Cedric Nicolas-Troyan)

Sidequel to 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman, minus the first film’s lead. Oddball attempt to craft a continuation; good casting in depth helps a bit, but the story’s a secondhand grab-bag of old tales that have been better retold by others.

Leatherface (2017, dir. Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo)

An origin story, tenuously linked to Chainsaw 3D. And not a very good one. Clumsy scripting, awkward directorial choices, continuity errors, and an inconsistent tone mar this prequel. Veterans Dorff and Taylor do what they can to add a little class.

Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016, dir. Mike Flanagan)

A fake medium find her daughter channeling real spirits. Much-improved 60s-set prequel to the 2014 original Ouija, with some lovely period detail and a sense of attention to the genre. No real surprises or outright horror, but a decentjob well done.

Want another 255Review opinion? Here’s Xussia on the movie.

Pan (2015, dir. Joe Wright)

A prequel of sorts to JM Barrie’s Peter Pan. And not a very good one either. Some interesting production design, but that’s about it. A poor script, misjudged performances, and evidence of a post-production salvage attempt. A disappointment.

Alien: Covenant (2017, dir. Ridley Scott)

A deep space colony vessel investigates a strange transmission from an Earth-like world. More Prometheus than Alien, this series entry unevenly balances monster horror and teenagery philosophical musings. Odd, but not uninteresting.