Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018, dir. David Yates)

After Grindelwald escapes, Newt Scamander is asked to track him and the still-alive Clarence down. Patchy Part II of the Harry Potter prequel series has too much set-up and not enough story, and some awkwardness with character and plot inconsistencies. For indulgent fans only.

Red Dragon (2002, dir. Brett Ratner)

An FBI agent comes out of early retirement to catch a serial killer. Competent adaptation of the Thomas Harris novel (already filmed as Manhunter), here styled as a prequel to The Silence of the Lambs. Over-familiar material means diminishing returns though, despite good work from cast and crew.

Prometheus (2012, dir. Ridley Scott)

A deep space mission to engage with humanity’s distant ancestors finds more than it bargained. Great-looking but ultimately dumb and pretentious Alien prequel, with a fine cast largely wasted on a grab-bag script of variable ideas. Alien: Covenant followed in 2017,

Insidious: The Last Key (2018, dir. Adam Robitel)

Elise Rainier returns to her childhood home to face her fears. The fourth in the Insidious franchise is a prequel which loops back to part one.  For series fans only, but well-enough handled in its jumpscares and creepy moments, plus one great idea, decently handled.

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.