Scream [AKA Scream 5] (2022, dir. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett)

25 years after the original Woodsboro killings, a new series of murders. Cheerily meta sequel / reboot / remake, better with the self-aware jokes than with real suspense, despite a couple of inventive moments. Hard to care about the new cast or the murder-mystery element though, which robs the movie of impetus.

Here’s the trailer.

The Last Matinee [Al morir la matinée] (2020, dir. Maximiliano Contenti)

A rundown cinema’s staff and patrons are targeted by an eyeball-obsessed killer. Fun Montevideo-set love letter to 70s giallo and 80s slasher pics, as well as a paean to the fleapit. Doesn’t do much more than pay homage, but it’s nevertheless a brisk and stylish ride once it gets going.

Here’s the trailer.

Fear Street: 1978 [AKA Fear Street Part Two: 1978] (2021, dir. Leigh Janiak)

Young adult counsellors at a summer camp are targeted by one of their number who becomes possessed by a vengeful witch. Patchy middle instalment of the horror trilogy, awkwardly juxtaposing slasher pastiche with larger-scale storytelling. Makes the mistake of not grounding its horrors: good playing can’t disguise structural issues and some stupid ideas.

Here’s the trailer.

Terror Train (1980, dir. Roger Spottiswoode)

A chartered train hosting a student fancy dress party has a vengeful killer on board. Okay though somewhat tepid slasher pic, enlivened by excellent photography, a decent Jamie Lee Curtis performance, and a sense of production value. A young David Copperfield performs tricks in support.

Here’s the trailer.

Halloween: Resurrection (2002, dir. Rick Rosenthal)

Students spend Halloween night in the Myers house as part of a live-streamed event. None-more-early-00s direct sequel to H20. While the early internet/surveillance stuff is now interesting/nostalgic, this is poor even by franchise standards: one kill, though, references Peeping Tom.

Here’s the trailer.

Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (1998, dir. Steve Miner)

Two decades after the original killings Laurie Strode must face Michael again. Ignoring all but parts 1 and 2, this post-Scream series revival is a competent, well-produced (and brisk) entry with knowing touches, though it struggles to balance teen soap operatics with a more interesting story of survivor guilt, alcoholism and catharsis.

Here’s the trailer.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988, dir. Dwight H Little)

A decade after the events of Parts 1 and 2, Michael Myers escapes again, and returns to Haddonfield once more. Contrived series continuation that, despite some good moments and stunt work, has to rely on soap operatics for a story engine. Still, fun for fans, plus the ending has some verve.

Here’s the trailer.

Halloween II (1981, dir. Rick Rosenthal)

A young woman continues to be stalked by an implacable killer. Straightforward slasher sequel (albeit with some very effective moments) continuing directly from the superior 1978 original. Has to work hard to justify itself: soap and mythic elements intrude in lieu of story/that much for Jamie Lee Curtis to do.

Here’s the trailer.

Final Exam (1981, dir. Jimmy Huston)

A motiveless killer attacks a campus at end of semester. Curious character-focused Halloween-derived slasher pic with strong elements (it’s well-shot, builds to a decent climax, the baddie is great) but which struggles to fill its running time, substituting frat boy hijinks for a genre plot. Not uninteresting though.

Here’s the trailer.

Urban Legends: Final Cut [AKA Urban Legend 2; Urban Legends: The Final Cut] (2000, dir. John Ottman)

A serial killer stalks a group of film students. Tenuous (and only vaguely urban legend-ish) sequel that has fun moments and a couple of neat movie shout-outs, but which is unscary, not gory, is illogical, and has few characters to root for. The whodunnit angle gets lost in the process. A third movie followed.

Here’s the trailer.