The Forever Purge (2021, dir. Everardo Gout)

The purge extended in near-future Texas, a group makes a run for the Mexico border, pursued by murderous vigilantes. While a few changes are rung in the dystopian franchise‘s fifth outing, it lacks the focus of earlier, better instalments, and descends into well-meaning preachiness at times.

Here’s the trailer.

Texas Killing Fields (2011, dir. Amy Canaan Mann)

Detectives struggle with a series of murders. Based very loosely on real-world unsolved crimes, this noir-ish thriller can’t decide whether to go for procedural or for obsessive cop angst. It tries both, and so doesn’t gel. Decent performances from an up-and-coming cast and an OK look make this a not-uninteresting curio though.

Here’s the trailer.

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019, dir. Tim Miller)

A young woman is targeted for termination; an augmented soldier is sent as a protector. This alt-timeline sequel (ignoring all but the first two films) is for series fans only. Some OK action, nice ideas and good jokes, but no purpose, some handwavey plotting, and too much weightless CG tomfoolery instead of grounded mayhem.

Here’s another review.

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.

Office Uprising (2018, dir. Lin Oeding)

Nerdy colleagues band together after co-workers become murderous via a weaponised energy drink. Okay-while-its-on comedy-horror with a Larry Cohen-esque conceit and a whiff of The Belko Experiment. No real surprises or scares, but some nice lines and action details.

The Highwaymen (2019, dir. John Lee Hancock)

Two retired lawmen are recruited to hunt down and kill Bonnie and Clyde. Handsome but slow period thriller that can’t quite make up its mind if it wants to go for drama or action. Well-played, though, with a great Thomas Newman score, evoking Road To Perdition.

Sicario 2: Soldado (AKA Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado) (2018, dir. Stefano Sollima)

Graver enlists Alejandro once more; this time to start a war between cartels. A focus on people trafficking rather than drugs second time around; terrifically stylish and well-executed, if flirting with some reactionary ideas.

No Country For Old Men (2007, dir. Joel & Ethan Coen)

After stumbling across the proceeds from a drug deal gone wrong, a Vietnam veteran is pursued by an implacable hitman. Astonishing thriller about violence, randomness and fate, which works also as a contemporary (it’s set in 1980) borderlands Western.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation [AKA The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre] (1994, dir. Kim Henkel)

Four students leave their senior prom and get lost in the woods, happening across the Sawyer clan. Again, there’s interesting stuff among the scream and chase stuff, not least an odd wider story, and some smart production design. Patchy, though.

Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990, dir. Jeff Burr)

A young couple and a survivalist fall foul of the Sawyers. Straightforward back-roads bodycount series entry, with the Sawyer family dynamic again the most interesting aspect. Notable for a young Viggo Mortensen in the cast, plus veteran Ken Foree.