Prisoners of the Ghostland (2021, dir. Sion Sono)

A captured bank robber is forced to retrieve a kidnapped woman for a gang boss. A post-apocalyptic samurai/western hybrid, using a Mad Max/Escape from New York structure for all kinds of digressions. It doesn’t all work (the script is the culprit here), but it looks great in a neon Terry Gilliam kinda way, and everyone seems to be having fun.

Here’s the trailer.

Chaos Walking (2021, dir. Doug Liman [and Fede Alvarez])

On a world where male thoughts are visualised, a young man helps a stranded female astronaut. Ham-fisted loose adaptation of Patrick Ness’s The Knife of Never Letting Go. OK performances help, but a cut-and-shut script and dangling subplots evidence the movie’s troubled production.

Here’s the trailer.

Bacarau (2019, dir. Kleber Mendonça Filho & Juliano Dornelles)

A remote village is beset by a series of unexplained deaths. Part Brazilian political allegory, part weird western, part body-count horror with SF touches, Bacarau is tremendous throughout, looks great, makes you think, and has Udo Kier on fine form. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

News Of The World (2020, dir. Paul Greengrass)

An itinerant Civil War veteran volunteers to take an orphaned child to distant family. Handsome, straightforward, elegiac and allegorical Western. Light on story, perhaps, but does what it needs to do at its own pace. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

The Pale Door (2020, dir. Aaron B Koontz)

After a train heist goes unexpectedly awry, outlaws find themselves pitched against supernatural forces. Fun little Western/horror hybrid that’s basically From Dusk Till Dawn with witches and horses. A strong cast of character actors helps, as does interesting detail and a couple of weird gross-out moments.

Here’s the trailer.

The Wind (2018, dir. Emma Tammi)

A remote homestead may be plagued by a demon. Good-looking and well-played psychological horror, making effective use of location shooting and its Western genre context. Tricksiness with time and character motivations limit its impact, but there’s more than enough here to want more from writer and director.

Red Hill (2010, dir. Patrick Hughes)

The arrival of a transferred deputy to a remote Australian community coincides with the escape of a vengeful murderer. While the plot elements don’t quite work, this is nevertheless a well-staged and good-looking contemporary Western/horror hybrid, with a couple of mythic touches and a great villain.

Hell on the Border (2019, dir. Wes Miller)

A black bounty hunter is promised a marshal’s badge if he can bring in a notorious criminal. Based on a true story, this Western has good intentions but is a scrappy beast. Some good performances and the presence of solid character actors like Ron Perlman and Frank Grillo are undermined by poor writing and direction, and under-par cinematography.

The Kid (2019, dir. Vincent D’Onofrio)

A brother and sister, on the run from their vengeful uncle, cross paths with both Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid. Deliberately-paced Western focusing on character playing, landscape, and on actorly performances as much as on its narrative approach to an oft-told bit of genre history.

Deadwood [AKA Deadwood: The Movie] (2019, dir. Daniel Minahan)

Over a decade has passed since the events of the TV series, and Swearengen, Bullock and others have to face up to their pasts and their futures. Elegaic return to a splendid unfinished TV show that does the original justice. Recommended.