The Last House on the Left (2009, dir. Dennis Iliadis)

A holidaying young woman is raped by an escaped prisoner; later, he and his crew happen across her parents. Overlong horror remake with handsome production values which problematise the movie; prurient direction doesn’t help, so confused messages abound, impacting on the potential for the movie to be, you know, entertaining.

Prom Night (2008, dir. Nelson McCormick)

A murderous obsessive escapes his facility on the night of his target’s senior prom. Keeping only the geography and one of the storylines of the 1980 original, this is a perfunctory slasher, startling only in its plot simplicity. Some depth in casting featuring The Wire alumni adds interest, but that’s about it.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010, dir. Samuel Bayer)

A group of teenagers are stalked by a vengeful dream demon. A well-resourced series reboot – remaking the 1984 genre classic – that works well enough on its own terms, but which doesn’t add enough (a voguish focus on the villain’s backstory aside) to make it distinctive. Fine in itself, though, if hardly memorable.

Black Christmas [AKA Black X-Mas] (2006, dir. Glen Morgan)

One Christmas, an escaped killer returns to his home, now a sorority house. This first (loose) remake of the 1974 genre outlier is somewhat confusingly-organised and doesn’t hit the same gleeful stride as the same team’s Final Destination movies, but at least commits with some confident direction, gore, and a couple of weird moments.

Black Christmas (2019, dir. Sophia Takal)

Sorority members are attacked over Charistmas break. This second remake of the 1974 giallo/slasher classic takes only its setting, adding a new story. Unfortunately, it’s really not a good one. A shame, as the film wants to say something, but can’t find a way to. The cast – especially the reliable Poots – do what they can.

The Thing (2011, dir. Matthijs van Heijningen Jr)

Members of a Norwegian Antarctic research base find an alien specimen. Prequel/remake of the 1982 John Carpenter-directed movie. Okay as far as it goes, but perfunctory plotting and reliance on CG over practical effects mean this doesn’t really compare, despite good efforts from the cast.

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Rabid (2019, dir. Jen Soska & Sylvia Soska [AKA The Soska Sisters])

A struggling fashion designer receives an experimental skin graft; she becomes patient zero of a rabies-like epidemic. Uneven but watchable remake of the 1977 David Cronenberg movie (with nods to others). Lots of ideas and directions tried, though not all are followed through; some pleasingly weird moments tho.

Child’s Play (2019, dir. Lars Klevberg)

A smart-tech doll is reprogrammed to malfunction; it develops homicidal tendencies. Generally solid update/reboot of the series with a sense of the daftness of the premise. Works better in the moment than in retrospect, but nasty fun nevertheless, plus a couple of satirical touches.

Aladdin (2019, dir. Guy Ritchie)

A street thief falls for a princess; a magic lamp offers the opportunity to win her hand. Okay-as-far-as-it-goes live-action/CG remake of the 1992 Disney animation. A couple of new songs, Will Smith brings some pizazz as the genie, and a nice magic carpet gag; otherwise this is a product rather than a movie, and feels it at times too.

Dumbo (2019, dir. Tim Burton)

A failing circus buys a pregnant elephant; her baby has huge ears, allowing it to fly. Ambitious but mostly soulless attempt to make a non-musical live-action/CG remake of the 1941 original. Some heart, but this is mostly anodyne and clean, lacking the dark inventive touch of early Burton.