Antebellum (2020, dir. Gerard Bush & Christopher Renz)

A US Civil War-era plantation is not as it first appears. Clumsy attempt to mash together the likes of Westworld and The Village. Unfortunately, any good intentions are masked by a fetishised approach to depicting slavery, and by not thinking through either the premise or its implications. A shame, as Janelle Monae and – especially – Gabourey Sidibe are good here.

Here’s the trailer.

The Empty Man (2020, dir. David Prior)

An ex-cop investigates the disappearance of a friend’s teen daughter. Dazzling in parts, this long, uneven but ambitious and compelling horror-ish movie is well worth your time and patience. Genre fans will know where it’s going, but there’s great stuff throughout, and James Badge Dale is as terrific as ever.

Here’s the trailer.

Galveston (2018, dir. Mélanie Laurent)

A dying criminal finds himself on the run with a young woman. Smart, low key hardscrabble crime drama from the Nic Pizzalatto novel. Can’t quite decide to go for arthouse or for jailhouse, but worth your time nevertheless.

Here’s the trailer.

The Standoff at Sparrow Creek (2018, dir. Henry Dunham)

Seven members of a Texas militia meet at their headquarters in the aftermath of a mass shooting. Excellent and absorbing single-location thriller, which wears its touches of Pinter lightly. A hugely impressive debut feature; highly recommended.