You’re Next (2011, dir. Adam Wingard)

A family reunion is interrupted by home-invading masked killers. Superior horror flick with touches of black comedy. Knows precisely what it is and works to fulfil expectations well: a brisk, bloody job well done.

Here’s the trailer.

V/H/S (2012, dir. Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Ti West, Radio Silence)

A horror anthology, linked by the contents of a video tape. Overlong (there’s a short movie too much) and at times repetitive, this is nevertheless a generally solid found-footage horror compilation, even if the dudebro-ness on display doesn’t always translate into critique. Two standout stories and the interesting credits (acting and direction) make it worth your while. Sequels followed.

Here’s the trailer.

The Sacrament (2013, dir. Ti West)

A documentary crew travels to a remote religious community to conduct an interview. Its found-footage approach to its riff on the Jim Jones/Jamestown cult mass suicide works, but the film doesn’t convince in the storyline logic of its sudden dark turn. A shame, as there’s talent involved, and Gene Jones is great as the messianic Father.

The Innkeepers (2011, dir. Ti West)

Two workers stave off boredom listening for ghosts over their supposedly-haunted hotel’s last weekend of business. Slow-burn riff on The Shining, anchored by great central performances and a mounting sense of dread that pays off in straightforward but nevertheless-effective ways. Excellent sound design supports the visuals and script.

The House of the Devil (2009, dir. Ti West)

A student takes a babysitting job for an unusual couple. Stylish and well-acted autumnal horror film, with a well-designed 70s aesthetic and some great shock moments. Simple in story terms, but works well through a combination of quirky casting, sustained dread, and third act delivery on its promise.

In a Valley of Violence (2016, dir. Ti West)

A US Civil War veteran swears revenge on the men who killed his dog. Lean spaghetti western homage, equal parts John Wick and Pale Rider, with lots to enjoy┬áif you’re a genre aficionado. Nothing too original, but diverting nevertheless. The cast plainly has fun.