Slumber Party Massacre II (1987, dir. Deborah Brock)

A survivor of a mass murder hallucinates during a break with bandmate friends. Shifting from the slasher template to ape now-voguish Elm St-derived dream logic (and Trick or Treat‘s rock focus), this semi-spoof sequel takes forever to get going, and isn’t good when it does, one great stunt aside. The fourth-wall-breaking villain gets a song, though.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019, dir. Chris Renaud & Jonathan del Val)

Dog Max’s family gains a child; elsewhere, there’s a zoo tiger to rescue. Episodic and somewhat contrived sequel that delivers in some scenes, but which doesn’t hang together as a movie. Some sharper jokes this time out though, and both a lovely chase climax and a lesson learned for our protagonist.

Ralph Breaks The Internet (2018, dir. Rich Moore & Phil Johnston)

Ralph and Vanellope quest online to find a spare part for a games console. Overlong sequel that uses its premise to support an extended (though fun) riff on existing Disney properties. Some sly jokes get through, but this is a product placement-tastic, overstuffed continuation that exposes the limits of its setup and its nominal lead character.

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Batman Returns (1992, dir. Tim Burton)

Batman encounters Catwoman and The Penguin, who is being manipulated to become mayor of Gotham City. Darker, confident sequel, with a pervy streak a mile wide running right through it. Pushing the limits of weirdness for a tentpole release, Batman Returns is both a franchise and genre high point.

Unfriended: Dark Web (2018, dir. Stephen Susco)

A secondhand laptop brings danger to a group of friends. An OK sequel which adopts the same all-on-one-computer-screen real-time thriller approach as the 2014 original, though is otherwise separate. A more complicated story this time around, and effective enough, fully exploring the limitations of its premise.

The Grudge (2020, dir. Nicolas Pesce)

A widowed detective investigates deaths linked to the same house. Well-made series reboot (set between the first two of the 00s US J-horror remakes) that delivers with scares, splatter, icky imagery, fine cast and direction, plus some interesting script work. More a series of vignettes than an actual story, but this is superior genre fare.

Jumanji: The Next Level (2019, dir. Jake Kasdan)

Spencer and friends – and others – return to Jumanji. Okay threequel (part 4 if you count Zathura) that focuses on action-comedy and on bodyswap gags rather than plot. Oldsters De Vito and Glover add some kvetchy class, and series newcomer Awkwafina is a standout. CG is variable, but interesting design elements and some affection for the characters helps things along.

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Bad Boys for Life (2020, dir. Adil & Bilall)

A veteran detective is targeted for assassination by a face from the past. Slick threequel which, despite having few new ideas of its own (borrowing from Silence of the Lambs, Temple of Doom and John Woo‘s love of trails-bike gangs), delivers in terms of shouty, shooty buddy-cop fun. Don’t be surprised if a Part 4 rolls around soon.

The Jesus Rolls (2019, dir. John Turturro)

Two petty criminals and a hairdresser go on a road trip/crime spree. An odd project – a US remake of Bertrand Blier’s Les Valseuses/Going Places retooled for Turturro’s Quintana character from the Coens’ The Big Lebowski – that inevitably feels like fan fiction. Some minor pleasures along the way; the actors seem to be having fun.

Charlie’s Angels (2019, dir. Elizabeth Banks)

A young programmer teams up with an elite security agency to retrieve a valuable energy device. OK series continuation that does precisely what you’d expect with no surprises whatsoever. Passable while it’s on; its best jokes are in the end credits, though.